Monthly Archives: July 2011

On Knowing When to Walk Away from Jiujitsu

There’s a saying that a black belt is just a white belt that didn’t stop when things got difficult and just kept on training. I’m finding it difficult to find inspiration in that.

Lately, training in jiu-jitsu is frustrating and all I have to show for my efforts is just me getting more hurt.

Yesterday I was paired up with a large, dumpy blue belt to drill sweeps with. He asked if I could stand up so he could work on Dela Riva sweeps. When the fairly simple sweep didn’t work as well as he wanted it to he proceeded to drive his hips into the side of my thrice-injured twice-surgery knee like he was jumping into closed guard.

Knowing that the crap was going to hit the fan I went down to the mat as quickly as possible in the hopes that he’d ease up and let go. Nah, instead, he climbs up further on my leg and pushed his weight down on the follow through.

That’s when I heard the pop.

I yelled at him to get off of me and immediately went to R.I.C.E. my knee. This freaked everyone in the class who’s known about my surgery and my knee, especially Tomari-sensei.

Dumpy offered a half-hearted apology before moving over to the side to do push-ups.

I can walk. I can bend my knee. I still have the same range of motion as previous to this. I can support weight on my right leg.

However, my knee doesn’t feel the same. It feels off. There is a slight dull uncomfortable pain at certain angles, and even though the pain doesn’t linger it’s a reminder of all the times my mobility was hindered because of my injuries and especially of my time after surgery.

As much as I adore jiu-jitsu I’m more appreciative of having the ability to move and walk around under my own power as well as being able to sit cross-legged comfortably.

Ever since I’ve come back to training jiu-jitsu it hasn’t been fun and that perhaps is the strongest indication something is amiss. Right now, it’d be easy to walk away and feel no regrets about leaving. Seriously.


Back to Training After a Week Off… and Found a New Submission to Try

Worked out today after a week off to rest the wrist. Wanted to go to jiu-jitsu class, but thought it best to get my strength training back on track.

Did deadlifts 3×8, db rows 3×10, push-ups 50, crunches 60 and my hip exercises.

My deadlift gains suffered the most from my wrist injury. I basically took a two-week break because of it. I also wanted to work in some squats, but do to my prolonged break, after doing deadlifts my lower back didn’t really enjoy the extra added attention when I started a squat warm-up set. Actually, I’ve never really felt comfortable doing squats AND deadlifts on the same day.

Injury Update
Wrist has much better range of motion and it feels okay supporting weight.

It still doesn’t have full range of motion and there are angles were it’s very uncomfortable/slightly sore. I’m heading into class on Tuesday. We’ll see how it goes then.

New Submission to Try
Bill Cooper’s Super Spin Clock Choke seen here at his Grappler’s Quest match against Rodrigo Ranieri. Set-up from top half-guard.

Or Isao Okano’s Supaa Supin Kurakku Chokku seen here among his highlight reel. Set up from top turtle.

Either one I think will do. They kinda look the same, right?

Electronic Awesomeness – BJJ Hacks and Rickson Gracie

Of all the new blogs, electronic resources and articles out there on the internetz strictly for us jiu-jitsu folk, there’s one that caught my eye and had me clicking links and reading the back archives like nothing else. The site? BJJ Hacks. Oh, it’s like ambrosia for grappling dummies. Waitasec…

Anyways, I’m usually very picky about the sites I visit and read, particularly when it comes to jiu-jitsu. I’ve found out that after my absence from jiu-jitsu, both physically and electronically, there are a lot more practitioners writing. That’s great in terms of the growth of our art, but… like I said, I’m picky.

BJJ Hacks, in my humble opinion, is one of the better ones. Absolutely great stuff on that site, like this one on Japanese BJJ schools (hey, waitasec…) and the following video of an excellent interview with Rickson Gracie.

While I’m sure they don’t need my help in gaining more readers – ha, like my daily single digit views is gonna pull in massive numbers – I’m placing them as one of my links on the right to do my part in helping spread the jiu-jitsu word.

… And Then I Realize Not to Take Myself So Seriously

See, you train jiu-jitsu because it’s fun. You know you’re not gonna be a bad ass, kiai yelling five hit combo master of the martial arts.

You’ve always wanted to do this:

You’ve never wanted to do this:

Okay, actually a part of you wants to do the technique at the 1:25 mark.

So get over yourself.

Hugs and Kisses,

Injury Update – the Wrist

My wrist currently doesn’t like to twist even if it’s just a key to turn, hates full range of motion and, for some strange reason, dislikes holding spoons with a passion. Chopsticks are fine though, so is writing and typing for short periods of time. 😛

Unfortunately, I have to scratch front squats off my list of weight training exercises. Front squats bend the wrist back to an almost uncomfortable point, but I got used to it and my wrists were quite flexible until yesterday. I might even have to go easy on my deadlifts, cause I’m pulling heavy weights now. Sigh.

Moral of the story: tap early.

Here Comes a New Injury!

I won’t even address my pathetic attempts at escaping side-control.

Sparred with a purple belt probably two weight classes above me. He’s a purple belt, the worst that could happen is I get submitted a lot.

Got a wristlock slapped on me. At the exact moment I tapped, my wrist went snap.

We both were surprised at the sound of the pop.

I got up, immediately iced my wrist and held it above my head. The condensation from the ice pack dripped down on my head and with each drop I wondered why I even bothered coming back to jiu-jitsu.

On the trip home, I pulled out a wrist brace I had from way back when and happened to have in my backpack, wrapped it around my wrist and drove home with my hand holding onto the door frame of my car, keeping it elevated.

Home, two ibuprofen, a long contrast shower, and started typing.

It feels fine now. No swelling and it’s not bothering me. It does ache at certain angles and if I place pressure on it.

I hope don’t wake up with it aggravated in someway. Cause getting injured again kinda puts things in perspective. Not being able to escape side-control isn’t that big of a deal and definitely not as detrimental to my progress as an injury would be.