Saturday, November 17, 2007

Snap, crackle, pop go my hips

Side kicks are harsh on my pre damaged hips. I can feel them popping, crackling, and making the most sickening sounds as I attempt to lift my leg, and stretch it out. At first there is no pain, just the crunching noises within me that make my heart sink, and fill me with deep concern. Later, it hurts to put any demand on that leg such as standing in a stance that has all the weight pressure on that leg. Hips! Hips are the center of Martial arts, of all movement.. aargh. Yes, I've gained in flexibility to the side through stretching, and perseverence, but this seems to have become a curse as my hip joints seem to have trouble keeping up with the the increased height of the kick. I WANT a higher kick.. yet.. I want to protect my hips. Aargh!!!!

With my Kyokushin Sensei's help, I'm going to work upon adapting my side kicks, and improving my technique so that I can put the least amount of stress upon my hips to allow them to improve, and yet continue training.

Yes, I realize that going to a sports doctor would help. I tried that and was told that I'd need special therapy sessions. Physiotherapy costs something like $55 a session, and I'd have to go 2 to 3 times a week. Chiropractic help would probably do wonders, also, but it costs. My kids come first, there is no question on that.. so back to adapting my side kicks to put the least amount of stress on my hips.

I will keep training, and trying, and working with what I have regardless as to the limitations I carry.


Rick said...

Dear fellow martial artist,

I am aflicted with the same popping of the hips when kicking that you described in your blog. Although I know train Aiki Jujitsu primarily, I still like to practice basic kicks and strikes to have a varied arsenal.

When doing side kicks I get the annoying crackling and when doing front snap kicks I get that disgusting pop..I can actually feel the popping and although it never causes pain, it is at times uncomfortable.

I find that spending extra time doing warmups such as hip circling and and various strecthes for the hips greatly reduces the popping and crackling noises.

I am of the belief that the most important aspects of martial arts (traditional) are the development of the mind, body and spirit. Keeping this in mind, it is a good idea as you mentioned in your blog to adjust your kicks to minimize or eliminate the dammage and or discomfort that your are experiencing. The point is to improve your body through your training, not to make it worse...right?

supergroup7 said...

Thanks for the supportive comment, Rick. I truly appreciate it.

I agree that the most important aspects of Martial arts is the development of all three parts of us: the mind, the body, and the spirit.

By working with, and learning to adapt to the various challenges presented by the limitations in my body, my mind, and spirit get to train even more in patience, courage, and fortitude.

I'll add some extra hip stretches, and warm up to support my efforts. Thanks for the suggestion.

Colin Wee said...

Mir -

A Side Kick SUX when you snap and crackle!

To reduce the stress on your joints and hips, the way to do your side kick is 'side on'. If facing forward is bearing zero degrees, a stress free side kick should be done at 90 degrees to the right. With the left foot it would be 270 degrees. It should be done at hip height or lower. There should be no rotational force or torque-ing. It should go out straight and come back straight. To juice up the kick with more power, you may experiment using a combination 'snapping' motion like a roundhouse kick only at the end.

Another way to do a side kick is to perform a back kick towards the side. Meaning you rotate away from the opponent and back kick him. You bring your kicking knee towards the support leg, aim the heel towards the target and mule kick it upwards and outwards. Not a pretty kick but very effective. Keep the knee and toes pointing down. This kick should not go anywhere above rib high.

I've experimented with side kicks when I've been afflicted with some arthritic pain in the hip. Hope the above helps.

And btw - you don't need to kick head high to kick someone in the head.

Hope that helps!


supergroup7 said...

Thank you Colin. Yes.. it does help to have all of that guidance. I've seen the various movements that you have described, now I just have to work with them, and see just what works best for me.

I truly am grateful for all of your support.

[Mat] said...


take care, Sensei!

"To juice up the kick with more power, you may experiment using a combination 'snapping' motion like a roundhouse kick only at the end."

That's my natural side kick. I get told over and over again that I don't do it the right way. Yet (do not tell Sensei this!) I train it the way it comes out because the traditionnal kick hurts me.

"Another way to do a side kick is to perform a back kick towards the side. Meaning you rotate away from the opponent and back kick him."

This is how it is done in Chito-Ryu. It's half side, half back. Yoko-ushiro.

Crack? OUCH!.

take care.

supergroup7 said...

Sometimes Mat, the best thing is to follow one's gut instinct.. and yet it's always good to keep the mind open to the possibilities that there is alternate ways of fixing a problem. Sometimes, I've worked pretty hard doing things that actually brought me into the opposite direction that I wanted to go in the first place.

Thanks for sharing your personal discoveries, they help me to see things from a different perspective.

Silverstar said...

That is annoying that you have hip problems, but I'm sure your instructor can help you adapt. :)

[Mat] said...

You're very welcome.

My little discoveries have changed since then and will change again. Please do not take them for cash!

My recovering knee is another factor that changes everything too.


Be well,

supergroup7 said...

My Instructor is just Fantastic, Silverstar. He's got tons of experience in various things including Natural healing, so I'm totally happy to rely on his wisdom to help this present problem, and any future things that might crop up.

However, I'm also grateful for the advice, and support given to me by all of you commentators of this article. It helps me to understand the issue better, and gives me a great outlook.

supergroup7 said...

Yes, Mat, your recovering knee has had a major impact on not only your physical training, but also has opened new areas in your understanding of Martial arts. In a way, it was an annoyance, but in another direction, it was a catalyst that brought you many different experiences, and knowledge.

Sarah said...

I don't think I can comment on anything that hasn't been said already - just that I know you'll find a good way to adapt to this. Our bodies always change, right? Oh, and, yes, in response to your comment - it does seem that exercise is a very good way to prevent osteoporosis - though, of course, it's not the only thing. Athletes have considerably more dense bones than non-athletes - because muscles being used (tension on bones) makes the bones grow stronger (or, that's what I understand). 30 minutes three times a week is supposed to be good, more is better (to a point - of course if you are damaging your muscles, bones, and joints - not good). But yeah - there you go. At least, so says my text. But for your hips - adapts as much as you can - but definately don't push it to the point where it ends up making your training backslide.I'm sure you and your sensei will figure something good out. Hope you're well.

Colin Wee said...

Side Kick Variations

A short post related to your issues.


Colin Wee said...

Another post that is related to your Snap Cracle Pop Go My Hips post. Calibrating the Side Kick. Colin