Tai Otoshi is one of the hardest single techniques to master, in Judo, not least because it is so appallingly taught in many places. A big, powerful technique it requires a very good mastery of fundamental skills and a keen sense of space surrounding you and opponents positioning and when executed expertly there is no real defense.
Can tai otoshi hurt tori’s knee?
Yes, yes you can hurt your knee while executing tai otoshi. But injury is a part of every sport and avoiding injuries is also a very big part of any sport or martial art.
How to hurt your knee while attempting tai otoshi?
1.Attack uke with the knee being straight, parallel to the floor and tapped right against uke’s leg(“Traditional way of executing tai otoshi”). If uke falls unexpectedly or resists vigorously, uke’s body weight can push against tori’s knee, which has no direction to move. The only direction for the force to travel would be through tori’s knee, potentially detaching the ACL or MCL.
2.Do not commit fully to your attack, and uke will attempted to step over extended leg or just slip down on your leg in attempt to avoid falling, then probably you will hear a pop, a loud one, and feel, not to go into details but, it is not the most pleasant experience.
How to avoid tearing your acl / mcl while executing tai otoshi.
Get in the proper position for tai otoshi, lead uke to the inferior stance with movement and execute lightning fast.
Bend your knees and not have your extended leg flat-footed (ie., heel raised on your toes).
This way if uke blocks the attempt by coming down on the extended leg, the knee will bend naturally.
If you have to think about where what goes, how fast is lightning fast how to get in the proper position simply don’t try tai otoshi in randori or competition.
Practice hard, make it a reflex, once you get all of the above to a place where in randori you do not have to think weather to do it or not and it just happens them probably you wont get injured.
So, yep tai otoshi can hurt your knee, to be more specific the thing that would potentially hurt your knee is not the tai otoshi it is you not practicing tai otoshi in a way that is safe for you and your opponent.