Martial Arts and Your Feet


Have you ever wondered if a board-breaking karate kick could damage your feet? The short answer? Yes. However, there’s more to it than just brute force. Practicing martial arts actually has many benefits for your body, so the possibility of a foot injury shouldn’t keep you from trying it out!

Health benefits of practicing martial arts:

●       Martial Arts, whether it be judo, karate, tae kwon do, etc., is a physical activity that can be great for cardiovascular activity, strength training, and self-discipline.

●       These activities help to strengthen the feet as well as improve balance in the feet and ankles.

●       It can be a great activity for stress relief and increasing mindfulness. Children can learn self-control, perseverance, and discipline.

Of course, realistically, there are possible injuries to the feet and ankles:

●       Ankle sprains – Whether it’s from landing incorrectly after a jumping side kick or turning too quickly during a roundhouse kick, an ankle sprain can cause damage to your ligaments and surrounding tissues.

●       Direct trauma – Kicking the pads or a wooden board incorrectly can lead to bruises or cuts. More severe injuries from sparring or incorrect technique can lead to a direct force blow. That could mean bruised bones or even broken bones.

●       Overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or stress fractures – Practicing can mean repeatedly using the same parts of the feet to perfect the technique. For some, this could be too much strain on certain ligaments or tendons, leading to overuse injuries. Repeated stress on bones can also lead to small fractures.

Treat mild injuries with the RICE method, or get immediate medical help for severe injuries or persistent painful symptoms.

Tips to keep your feet and ankles safe:

●       Learn the technique properly and ask questions. Not following instructions can be the difference between a successful board break and a painful injury.

●       Participate in warm-ups. All classes start with warming up the body to prevent injuries like sprains and strains.

●       Use safety equipment properly. You might not like to strap on the headgear, body pads or shin guards, but that could lead to a painful injury to you or your sparring partner.

With proper attention and form, martial arts can be fun and teach useful skills. If you are unsure whether or not your feet or ankles can handle martial arts, come see a foot doctor at our podiatry practice in Jonesboro, AR. Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group for an assessment with Dr. Mark E. Reiner and his team of podiatrists by calling (800)737-3668 today!