My left leg is 3/4" shorter than my right leg. I have trained in Tae Kwon Do for 6 years and earned my first Dan. However barefoot training is becoming a real problem. Martial arts shoes all seem to have very narrow soles not suitable for buildup. Will a wide-soled shoe help or is there another solution that will help this problem?
FWIW, I've read Bruce Lee had a significant difference in leg length too:
“You probably are not aware of it,” he said, “but my left leg is almost one inch shorter than the right. That fact dictated the best stance for me – my right foot leading. Then I found because the right leg was longer, I had an advantage with certain types of kicks, since the uneven stomp gave me greater impetus.”
You may want to experiment with which leg you put in front during sparring - longer leg forward. Experiment with your stance until you find a posture where everything's comfortable and level and able to rotate and twist in the directions you need for techniques including footwork.
Obviously, for patterns and a lot of set exercises you'll be expected to practice more or less evenly on each side, but you can get to know the implications - for example, you might find you are better at a more upright, quick kick with the shorter leg, and want to reach deeper with the longer leg - "listen" to your body to find what's natural.
There are a lot of flexibility issues with small stabilising muscles that could affect your overall comfort. I'm getting on - 42 now - and need to spend more time on stretches that I didn't even know about 5 years ago, like lying on my back with my feet still on the ground and maybe 60 cms apart, knees bent, then dipping my knees inwards towards the ground one at a time. I went to see a physio who's also a top Kyokushin fighter. I'd recommend a professional assessment of where you're stiff or weak and what to do about it.
Well talking about shorter leg. i think wide soled shoes will work out but.. might be not. If you have acheived your dan.. then u mst be a good player. I think you have got to turn your basics and modify them. I mean to say go as per comfort. Dont you wory about shoes thats the least important thing in martial arts. The key is proper execution of your moves. You can get ordered shoes as per yor wants. And might you can asjust it with high and low healed shoes in alternate legs.. Hope this helps.. -adrocks09..