Front Stance – ACL recovery

  • Horse stance? Not bad.
  • Cat stance? Right as rain.
  • X stance? Feels fine.
  • Fight stance? Tiring but solid.
  • Front stance? Hmmm.

All through my recovery I’ve had no illusions that there would be a number of things that I wouldn’t be able to do for at least awhile. That sweep at the end of one of our knife katas, for instance, where we switch from one knee to the other. That one’s a real stumper for me these days and will probably remain that way well into next year.

What’s weird with the front stance is that it seems so easy. At least it’s easy to get down into one. It’s moving in one that is giving me fits. It’s not that it hurts, really. And the knee remains very stable. It’s more that my injured leg isn’t comfortable being in front, both when it needs to stop my momentum and when it needs to push off to get me moving again.

When I do single-person kata and I’m in control of the pace, it’s not that big a deal. But during two-person katas, when I have to keep up with someone else, it falls apart. I find myself either pulling my legs forward unthinkingly or having to gather my thoughts entirely and unnaturally around my knee. The good news is that whether I think about it or not, the knee can take moving at a pretty decent pace. It’s just very awkward.

For the time being, I think this is what the post-surgery, early-return phase looks like. Most things working well, with a few holdouts. A time of optimism and patience.