My injury has given me a lot of time to think about karate and what it means to me. When I was first injured the surgeon came into the room and said "So, you are a karate instructor" and I said "Yes". I will remember his response forever "No ACL - no Karate". He indicated that people live without ACL's (I know a few) but in order to continue with karate I would need my knee repaired. I did not hesitate a moment and scheduled the surgery.
While I was away from the dojo during my recovery, I was amazed about how much free time I had. I started to enjoy my time away from the dojo. I was often asked when I was coming back to the dojo. I think I told everyone that I would not be back until Jan 2008. There may have even been a moment or two when I considered not coming back at all. This lasted about 3 months. I made my first appearance in the dojo in August. I was "walking" through some kata and I was not in any sort of stance but it was good to be back. My short time away made me realize how important karate is to me.
I am now approaching karate with a new outlook. I am so glad to be training again. My movement has changed, my self-defense has changed and my bunkai has changed because I need to consider the safety of my knee. I know that I will work through this and the end result will make me a stronger martial artist.