When I injured my knee a few years ago and couldn’t do Taekwon-do or my usual exercise routines properly, I didn’t want to lose strength and fitness whilst waiting for surgery, so I decided to try Pilates. After the surgery I continued Pilates during my rehab.
Once I had regained normal use of my knee, I decided to continue with Pilates anyway, as I found it benefitted me on top of my Taekwon-do training which I had returned to. In particular, isolation of different muscle groups and increased proprioception in certain areas. It wasn’t always easy to find the time, but having that routine of a regular class made me continue.
A couple of years down the line and I started to have problems with my other knee and my hip. Having my hip investigated took far too long, 10 months. During this time, I did virtually no Taekwon-do and stopped running altogether, but I managed to continue with Pilates. Luckily my Pilates instructor Amanda Fryer-Harris is very knowledgeable and takes a lot of care in what each of her students can do and how they do it, taking into account any injuries or limitations, she makes adjustments accordingly throughout the class.
Pilates is very varied and there are some movements which I must avoid, but there are plenty that I can do, and I continue to feel the benefit. My Taekwon-do is limited mostly to teaching now, but I’m so glad I decided to take up Pilates when I did, in fact I wish I’d found it sooner. In martial arts we tend to use ‘power’ muscles sometimes at the expense of the more subtle ones, for this reason Pilates complements martial arts well and I would recommend it to other martial artists of any level.