Training at Home When You Have No Other Choice

My forth child is due end of April 2011.  What does that mean?  The wife needs me more then ever to look after our three other children and I need more money.  So I have no other choice then to take a sabbatical from BJJ for a while.  That means no formal classes.

At first I started to despair.  When would I ever be able to afford to go back?  My instructor was kind enough to let me know I was welcome to come back now and then for free when I needed to get away.  That is what is great about West Side and BJJ.  Its about the learning and training not the bucks.

I decided the best thing for me to do was fill in the free time, if any, with training at home.  I have my DVD’s and Submission Master Grappling Dummy after all.  I’ve tried to have a routine at home but with regular classes it was easy to let it slip.  I knew I’d get my practice in at class.  Now I’m really going to be tested on my commitment to BJJ.  So I needed something to help me keep going.  Of course I thought of my blog.  I’m going to try and chronicle my training at home.  If all else fails just keeping up this blog will keep the light of BJJ flickering in me.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Marcelo Garcia Bares It All

No Marcelo is not becoming a centerfold.  But he is exposing his game.  Marcelo was interviewed on TheFightWorksPodCast.com a while back.  He and a friend talked about his new website MGInAction.com.  I was interested when I learned that they had taken the approach of teaching as a chess master would in studying other masters games.  I was also very surprised that Marcelo would just allow every aspect of his game and technique to be public.  As I was thinking about it, I remembered a old boss of mine.  He would do classes for people on how to hang wallpaper.  I asked him one day, "Why? Don’t you lose business if they do it themselves?"  His reply was "No!  I get more business!  They go and try to do it feeling confident.  Only when they try they realize it takes more skill that is developed over time.  They then remember how well I did and call me."  Maybe it is the same way with Marcelo Garcia’s website.  If you stick with it long enough you should get skilled but if not . . . you might join his dojo or school.  I think I’m going to have to fork out the $25 for a month just to see what it is like.  I’ll be sure to share what I think of it.

Balancing the Family and Jiu Jitsu Training

I don’t want to sum this whole post up in one sentence. You should know where I’m going with this before you even read it.  Family comes first.  That has been the theme for my holiday season, well the entire month of December (as it should be).  Meerkatsu in his post "BJJ Frequency Spousal Happiness Slide" talked about his experience with it.  FightWorksPodCast.com did a poll entitled "To What Extent Does Your Spouse, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Significant Other Support Your BJJ Training?"  that gives some statistics.  They are both very interesting.  When it comes down to it I love my family more then BJJ.  Yes, its hard to hear that any one could love anything more then BJJ when it comes down to us true addicts.  I made 3 of the 10 classes I would have normally made this month.  When I went to those 3 classes I felt like I was already behind.  Those who are single or don’t have an attachment fill their time with BJJ and I feel like I’m falling further and further behind.  But I don’t know what else I can do.  I usually resort to my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.  But even that is of no use when my 2 and 3 year old join in.  Its a good laugh and we have a great "royal rumble" but I don’t get much training in.  When I try to slip away to watch some videos I have to lock myself in my office.  That doesn’t last long before the wife is knocking wondering why I don’t come spend time with the family while I’m off for the holidays.  As a last resort I use my iPhone apps and watch some GrappleArts.com videos.  At least they are quick and portable.  I can snatch a moment to watch them now and then.  If only the itch to do instead of just watch would go away until I had time to try them out.  Oh well, I think the balance is tipped heavily in the direction of the family but for good reason.  When my children get bigger we will all go as a family but until then its catch as catch can.

Recovering From Injury In BJJ or MMA

Royler Gracie said in his book Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Submission Grappling Techniques, “Over the years, I have learned that one of the most important things you  can do is to allow your body and mind to rest.  The natural tendency is to simply ignore the body’s messages.” (pg. 23)

I have seen a guy dislocate a elbow and be back in class the next week.  The addiction to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that strong.  I have seem people training with a broken toe and sprained ankle.  I myself tore my MCL.  I sat out for about a month and a half.  My instructor told me to come during my injury and take notes.  I just could not.  I can not stand to just watch.  I tense up.  I want to be in the action. 

We have to fight another battle when we are injured in BJJ, MMA, or another martial art.  The battle to allow ourselves to recover physically.  Winning one battle doesn’t usually win the war either.  There is the mental rest we need too.  As much as we would like to spend all our time on grappling, take downs, arm bars, and chokes we need to give ourselves some mental rest too.

Royler also says farther down the page “Grappling is not a sport that you need to train for every day all day.  In fact, some of my top students prefer to train only a few days a week – except of course when competition nears.”  I find that two days a week is enough for me.  I put in only two and a half hours of physical training and the same for mental training.  It takes me the rest of the week to heal from bruises, pulled muscles, and other injuries throughout the week.  If I let myself think about Jiu Jitsu I’d do it all the time too.  I find that when I reset my mind it helps me to better absorb what I learn.  It all comes down to all things in moderation, even BJJ or MMA.