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I have been practicing judo for about 6 months and I've found that I frequently manage to "jam" the big toe on my right foot during randori. Are there strengthening exercises that I can do for my big toe? Should I tape my toes before randori?

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Where do you jam your toe? On the mat? On your partner? In your gi? In your partner's gi? –  Anon Mar 13 '12 at 1:16
Yes on the mat, usually while trying to catch my balance. –  detour Mar 13 '12 at 1:31
are you toes catching on mat edges? or just sticking to the mats? does your dojo have proper tatami? or wrestling mats? –  Patricia Mar 13 '12 at 14:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You should practice slide-stepping -- with the ball of the foot, arching the toes up. Slowly, slowly, slowly -- quicker -- quicker -- quicker -- full speed.

Until the step becomes so natural that you will not hit your toe in the mat anymore.

And now, practice losing your balance and recovering it with that step.

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how you step is so important! this is a great answer. I'm a little surprised @detour 's sensei hasn't shown him proper stepping! –  Patricia Mar 13 '12 at 13:59
thanks I think this is what will help the most. @Patricia, its an MMA school and while I've been doing jujitsu throws for over 2 years, judo is a recent addition. Will mention it to the judo sensei to be sure I get it right. –  detour Mar 13 '12 at 19:39
my coach never "showed" us any proper way to step/move ... and I'm 100% sure I've never had to practice arching my toes ... Maybe its something in the "natural" position of your toes ... but at this point check for specialized help. ( some doctors specialized in foot, I just cant remember the names ) –  Thierry Savard Saucier May 7 at 19:00
If I had to guess, I'd say that there was a problem from his hip that led to a downward stepping direction instead of forward. arching the toe up can be palliative, and if done carefully, can help him backtrack all the way to the hip and fix the source of the movement. –  Anon May 8 at 11:55

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