I’ve missed a whole month now of Jiu-Jitsu because of sickness and family needs. I’ve gone into withdrawals and now I’m starting to hallucinate. Well, maybe not hallucinate. I am dreaming about it. Not every night mind you but more often then not. The interesting thing is they are never sport Jiu-Jitsu type of dreams. I don’t dream about being in class or at a tournament. I dream about having to defend my self. In some of the crazier dream I’m special forces or an assassin. What ever the dream it always comes down to hand-to-hand combat and I’m fighting it out with BJJ. Of course the guy I’m fighting with in the dream doesn’t know BJJ. I get in a sweet choke. I wake up the next morning feeling thrilled until I realize I won’t be going to BJJ today and it was all a dream. My Submission Master Grappling Dummy won’t tap out, ever! I need a human to roll against. I’ve watched all my videos, read blogs, and watched enough YouTube.com to last me a good while. I can’t await to get back to class. It will be rough for a few classes but I’ve sure missed it.
Johnny “One Eye” Carlquist is a local black belt. He is named “One Eye” not because he only has one eye but as the story goes, his first time doing BJJ he was injured and his eye became swollen shut. He loved BJJ so much he was back the next chance with his swollen eye. That is true devotion.
I’ve meet Johnny once or twice. He is just as Pedro Sauer says:
“One eye skills are impressive, very smooth, efficient, technical. [. . .] on top of all this talent is the nicest person you ever going to know. I’m very proud of you my friend.”
It was very gratifying to watch this match of his. He does four things in this match that are very clear and easy to see (at least in my opinion).
I’m looking at my copy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements by Roy Dean. As I ponder what Mr. Dean is teaching I found myself wondering how he has managed to stay injury free. When I get to the level of a black belt I don’t want to be a physical wreck. How do you achieve that level without being screwed up in some way?
Miles, one of my friends at BJJ posted on Facebook "The pain’s of being a grappler! Added a hyper-extended elbow to the list of nagging injury’s occurred during No Gi training!”. I felt his pain. I have my own list of “nagging injuries”. I added to it the week before with a simple accident at class. While doing a drill my class mate preformed a “Baiana” or double leg takedown on me but failed to lift me sufficiently before twisting to take me down. With my legs still firmly rooted this put all the force against the side of my knee. I heard a small pop and experienced a little pain. Now I’m having sharp pains when I bend over to pick something up. It was a accident.
How can you make a profession out of teaching BJJ, practice at least a short while once a day and not end up needing therapy or surgery after a while?
Here are some things I’ve been doing that have helped:
Tap early. Forget the pride! You want to keep doing this for the long term. If I feel its good I tap. No need to risk injury.
Give yourself rest. If it means sitting out for a while then do it.
Protect your joins. I had stopped wearing a leg brace. I’m going back to it.
Learn healing methods that speed the process of recuperation. The proper use of ice and heat are doing wonders for my back.
Please share with me any insights you have. I want to be doing BJJ until I die like Heilo Gracie.
I posted a while ago about “Learning About Cauliflower Ears”. I got my first visible damage to a ear and it made me paranoid of getting cauliflower ears. I also have had very sore ears from practice. Its been a pain trying to find a way to sleep on my side at night. The solution was to find suitable protective head gear for rolling during BJJ practice.
I picked up a pair of Cliff Keen Twisters from MMAOutLet.com and a pair of Asics Unrestrained from my local sporting goods store. The Twisters cost me $31 and the Asics $24 (tax and shipping not included).
The Twister as you can see from the picture has 3 main straps. The Unrestrained has 5 or 6 depending on how you look at it. I’ll cut to the chase and give you the verdict Cliff Keen Twister won hands down! I couldn’t even make myself wear the Unrestrained. It gave me a headache just wearing it. Unrestrained? No, a better name would be headcrab.
Cliff Keen Twister
Larger straps spread out the pressure. It didn’t feel like I had anything on.
The ear protectors are made of a flexible plastic that moves better with you.
Minimal adjustment of straps was needed to get a comfortable fit.
Plenty of ear space.
Foam on ear protectors is light weight and has no construction edges that might rub.
Detachable foam for cleaning or replacement.
Snap-On-Snap-Off chin strap. One time adjustment is all that is needed.
Straps have rough ends that might rub during rolling. I had to mash my hair down on the front strap to make sure I had some protection. I didn’t get any rub.
Strap adjustment takes for ever!
I felt like I was the man in the iron mask. It was giving me a headache no matter how I adjusted the straps.
Ear space is acceptable but only after lengthy adjustment of straps.
Very stiff and inflexible.
It is all Velcro no snaps
Top strap was like some one constantly pushing their thumb into the top of my head.
I love to see news clips like this. This guy was trying a Rear Naked Choke. It is also obvious he didn’t have any BJJ experience. As you will see in the video he doesn’t get his hooks in or really attempt any takedown. He doesn’t even get the choke on. The bank robber gets away. If you listen to the commentators though you would think we was Black Ops or something.
If only he had known Jiu-Jitsu. He could have taken control and the guy would be in jail awaiting his hearing. What ever the case its always great to see how applicable BJJ is everyday and that there are good people willing to stand up to crime and terrorism.
I don’t do well at describing. I tend to stick with visual representations. Here are two techniques we went over in class Tuesday. I was bummed up and couldn’t participate so I took video.
The Hip Switch – Side Control to Mount reminds me a lot of the usefulness of Over-Under technique that was shown in two of my last posts “Over-Under Hip Throw” and “North South Arm Bar”. I’m noticing that having a Over-Under setup leads to many different techniques. As I’m typing this I just realized that the Butterfly Sweep we learned at the open house uses it too. I especially like the Hip Switch technique because once you have it you have all the time in the world to work for the mount. As Mark demonstrates you can’t upa out of it.
With every low must come a high. The surprising things is I’ve missed a lot of class due to everything from family to sickness. I’ve spent time doing solo drills with my Submission Master Grappling Dummy, which has helped, but nothing can be a complete substitute for live submission grappling. Despite it all I’ve done great when I have made it to class. I’m feeling high on BJJ.
Last night I sat out with something pulled in my back. I thought about staying home but I really wanted to be there. I missed the comradery. I missed my Jiu-Jitsu family and the fun I have with them each week. I sat and watched. I found myself tensing up during different parts of the training. During the rolling I wanted to be in the action. I wanted to call out submissions, sweeps, and escapes I saw that others didn’t. It was about as good as a suspenseful movie!
Today I was asked to substitute for Miles and teach the free High School class. We are going over sweeps. I want to do some simple but effective sweeps. I have a few in mind but any suggestions from my readers would be appreciated.
A while back I posted "What Do I Want from Jiu-Jitsu, Sport vs Street". I was concerned that my Jiu-Jitsu was too focused on the sport part of BJJ. I got into BJJ for the practical street application. One of the comments to my post was that Jiu-Jitsu is about control. Your ability to control your opponent applies to everything you do with BJJ. I understood what was being said but I really internalized it at last Monday’s class.
I had a co-work and good friend join me Monday for a introduction to BJJ. My friend had wrestled in high school. Yes, he was out of shape from years of sitting at a computer but that was why he was interested in starting BJJ. Just like me 2 years ago when I felt I had to make a change.
I teamed up with him for our drills. One of the drills for that day was holding side control for 2 minutes, resting 1 minute, and then repeating after switching sides. I realized during those drills how much I had changed in the last 2 years. My friend put tremendous amounts of muscle into everything. He strained and held his breath. He felt rigid and stiff. In two cycles of the first drill he was winded and tired. He didn’t even start the next drill. He thought he had pulled a muscle and was spent.
During that time with him I realized that control truly is the essence of Jiu-Jitsu. As he fought with muscle I felt like water flowing around him. I felt submissions from everywhere. I held dominance. If I had been in a street fight with him it would have been like child’s play to choke him out or hyper extend a arm. I don’t say this to embarrass him, I say it to express my new understanding of what Jiu-Jitsu means to me. I’m not longer worried so much about whither my BJJ is street or sport. Its core is applicable everywhere.
I’ve reviewed and written a number of posts on the Submission Master Grappling Dummy. I get a lot of questions along the lines of "its it really worth the money"? I have always answered "yes"! This week only served to strengthen that. I’m a dedicated father and family man. Its not uncommon to have conflicts with my training schedule. This week was back-to-school week for my kids. I had open houses to attend and last minute school shopping. Needless to say I missed class this week but I had my Submission Master to save the day. My grappling dummy has more then once become my life-line to Jiu-Jitsu. After the kids were in bed, I broke out my new favorite training DVD Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements: Gateway to the Advanced Game by Roy Dean and started working over Zed (my grappling dummy). In no time I had worked up a good sweat. I went over techniques at my own pace. I formulated some new solo drills based off what I was learning from Roy Dean. I got in some really good reps on some of the techniques I’d learned last week in class.
The Submission Master helps me keep my skills sharp when I can’t go to class. It helps me work out new ideas I have. It never complains or gets hurt. One negative side affect though is its rough. When working with the Submission Master for a extended amount of time remember to wear a rash guard. If you don’t then try my solution to gi burn from my post "Gi Burn Be Gone". It works great for me.