View Full Version : Broken toe in TKD training... How to train: barefeet or in MA shoes?

03-08-2001, 04:08 PM
In our TKD school we do a lot of acrobatics, jumping, running etc. Often you hit the floor with your big toes. Situation worsens as the floor is covered with soft mats so it is more difficult to coordinate yourself.
When I started to train a couple of months ago I aquired continious pain in my right big toe. First I was thinking that it was some kind of arthritis or so, because I was in pain day and night week after week. Then one student told me: don't worry, everybody in here has big toes pain because you brush the floor with them.

He suggested to buy TKD shoes (like "Adidas" or "Pine Tree").
I was in doubt as on the one hand shoes cost $90 and training barefeet is better for meridians opening etc. but on the other hand your attention during the class is almost totally diverted from MA to fear not to hurt your feet.

Eventually last week one advanced BB awfully broke his big toe - literally toe was ripped out of the foot with fountaining blood all around - SIMPLY slowly running in the dojang and doing footwork.

What are your guys experiences with training barefeet?

Do you recommend MA/TKD shoes?

03-08-2001, 05:47 PM
You shouldn't be breaking any toes. It sounds like you're all landing wrong.

What is it that you're doing that you're scraping your feet or toes along the floor?

In my school, we land on the ball of the foot and collapse into that as needed to absorb the shock of landing.


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

03-08-2001, 06:22 PM
You accidentaly scrap the floor with your toe when you SIMPLY run. You might do some footwork also, let's say swicth, step forward/ backward/ to sides etc. and kicking, hopping etc. - you are suppose to shuffle. When you do all theese techniques with explosive speed you risk to hit your toes.

Maybe soft mats contribute in here...

Broken toe is reality.

03-08-2001, 07:17 PM
We're also on a matt floor and no one has stubbed their toes, yet. We get stuck on it at times making it hard to spin, but none of us have had problems sliding in or back. You need to be like in air hockey, slightly hovering when you slide. You should also be on the balls of your feet.

We have another room that has a puzzle mat where we have stubbed toes. In there, we use either TKD shoes or cheaper wrestling shoes (that we scuff on cement--or outside--prior to practicing in to weardown the bottom a bit).


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

03-08-2001, 08:55 PM
From your response I understand that you have two types of the floor: mat and puzzle mat. AND simply mat in your school is OK for bare feet but puzzle mat is not.

What is the difference between them?

Our floor is actually covered with puzzle mats: green squares I'd say 3x3 feet that exactly look like those on TKD competitions.

03-08-2001, 08:59 PM
We don't have what you have. Yours sounds also like the mats they use in wrestling gyms.

One of ours is a blue mat that goes end to end as one piece. Basically, it's a blue tarp over foam padding.

The other puzzle mat are foam rubber sqares that are cut out like gears so the teeth fit together, except square. Doing sweeps on this floor for kung fu is murder, but balancing on the other floor is equally murder. I guess we can't have it both ways.


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

03-08-2001, 10:21 PM
These are our mats. From Korea :|

I understand that our puzzled mats are similar and dangerous for techniques like low dragon sweeps etc. - because naked foam pad allows 0% sliding on it.
Also I think that you can train on your blue mat barefeet because of tarp over foam padding which allows some sliding with your feet.

Can you confirm that it is so?


03-10-2001, 02:38 AM
We're on the same page, now.

The mat in the link you showed me is what we have in the room where we wear shoes. This floor has a good grip to it. My advice is to buy shoes you're comfortable wearing. I found wearing low top sneakers (tkd kicking shoes) allowed my foot to roll and I wound up hurting my ankle. I got a pair of high top Aesics wrestling shoes at a sporting goods store for around $50. It took time to wear them in, but it was worth it. Very comfortable. It's no use training in bare feet if you're only going to end up hurting your toes from a grabbing floor.

The tarp covering the foam in the other room does allow from some sliding, but not much; landing from flying kicks can still be a sticky situation.


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

04-02-2001, 10:27 PM
I'm glad i'm not in TKD :)

never had any trouble with my feet except for blisters and callouses