Jun 222010
 

charleebluebelt First thing’s first, congratulations to Charlee on her blue belt.  She’s been training off and on for about 3 years, but has really kicked it into high gear lately and it shows.

And check out this video that Matt Hickney put together for Rick.  Very cool:

BJJ training is moving right along.  I’ve been training regularly again for a while, and that’s been terrific.  Being physically able to go to class three or four times in a week is a downright luxury for me.  My back is feeling pretty good, in no small part thanks to Dr. Sean’s attention.  My cardio is getting better every class.  I’m getting my butt kicked all over the place, but that’s okay by me.

I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s a period of time after every… episode with my back where I just don’t trust it.  Have you guys all read the article that’s floated around periodically about the archetypes found in a gym?   If not, take a few minutes to read them.  It’s hilarious!

But at the same time, if you’re like me, you read those and think to yourself, "Okay… damn.  I did that once.  Crap.  I’ve done that, too."   We all have a blind spot.  One of the hardest things to do is see ourselves as we’re seen by others.  While BJJ is pretty hard on the ego, I don’t think anyone would like to see any of those negative stereotypes applied to themselves.  And yet, they’re funny because we DO know those people.  Now, I don’t know about you, but to me this suggests that there are a lot of us who embody, at least in part, these negative stereotypes, but don’t know it… don’t see it in our actions.

While I don’t spend too much time worrying about how I’m viewed, I think we would all like to be respected and well liked in our circles.  More importantly, these archetypes highlight more than some common personalities.  They highlight a lot of common excuses that we make.  So, when I’m sparring, I spend a lot of time assessing my back and how I feel.  Every time someone asks me how I am, I consider whether I want to tell them the truth, which is usually that it hurts to some degree or another, or to gloss it over.  I’m concerned about developing a reputation for being the perpetually injured guy.  I don’t want to be that guy.

Does anyone else struggle with a chronic injury or limitation in your training?  I’m not talking about something that heals.  I’m talking about nagging, persistent pain or limitation.  A bad back? Pinched nerve?  Maybe some kind of persistent joint issues or hip problems… the sort of thing that you don’t really ever come back from. 

How do you handle it?  Or if you know someone or train with someone, does their persistent limitation affect your view of them?

 Posted by at 6:33 pm

  7 Responses to “What’s new?”

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  1.  

    Great post. Loved the archetypes link. I’m some amalgamation of a number of types and the link caused me to reflect on my image in the gym.

    I entered BJJ with a chronic pain syndrome, Ehlers Danlos Syndrom – Hypermobility Disorder. It’s a blessing and curse with BJJ. Blessing because I’m really flexible. Curse because my muscles tend to over-compensate when trying to keep my joints in socket and they fatigue very easily. Also, I’m prone to tendinitis and other strange ills EDS suffers like to refer to as “trigger point injuries.” Synovitis constantly plagues me. My condition used to be debilitating. I recall days as a younger man (mid-20s) when I had to miss school or work because it was too painful to get out of bed. Took a while to adapt my life to my condition so I could cope.

    Thankfully, the last 17 years spent adapting to and coping with life with EDS has allowed me to cope fairly well these first two months of my BJJ journey. I’m really really trying to learn technique and rely on leverage as opposed to strength. If my left shoulder is hurting, I pretend my arm is stuck in my belt. I use as little strength as possible with that shoulder until it feels better. Sure people take advantage of me and work me over. But I don’t think BJJ isn’t about them, it’s about me and my development – personal and physical. And I know that part of the reason why I get worked over is because a particular joint did not want to cooperate that day. So I give my opponent the props s/he deserves and try to think of ways to survive without relying on that joint or muscle group.

    Long story short, my “thorn” is not a single nagging pain, but a seemingly endless streak of miscellaneous joint pains that I just have to accept and cope as part of my BJJ journey. It’s not always fun. In fact, sometimes it’s maddening. I encourage you to continue the fight and do your best to adapt your game around your thorn. If that means you get abused by guys/gals who used to be a walk in the park, so be it. Good for them. They found a hole in your game and exploited it. But their victory is not necessarily your defeat. Consider what 90-yr old Master Helio Gracie said to Saulo Ribeiro…”Son, you’re strong, you’re tough, you’re a world champion, but I don’t think you can’t beat me.” He didn’t say that he could beat Saulo. He said Saulo he didn’t think Saulo could beat the old man. He thought he could survive. Younger and/or stronger opponents who are free of nagging injuries and pains certainly have an edge. But they can still help your journey…just return to survival basics and measure success differently until you feel stronger. That’s my gameplan anyhow. Good luck and keep yer chin up.

  2.  

    Great post. Loved the archetypes link. I’m some amalgamation of a number of types and the link caused me to reflect on my image in the gym.

    I entered BJJ with a chronic pain syndrome, Ehlers Danlos Syndrom – Hypermobility Disorder. It’s a blessing and curse with BJJ. Blessing because I’m really flexible. Curse because my muscles tend to over-compensate when trying to keep my joints in socket and they fatigue very easily. Also, I’m prone to tendinitis and other strange ills EDS suffers like to refer to as “trigger point injuries.” Synovitis constantly plagues me. My condition used to be debilitating. I recall days as a younger man (mid-20s) when I had to miss school or work because it was too painful to get out of bed. Took a while to adapt my life to my condition so I could cope.

    Thankfully, the last 17 years spent adapting to and coping with life with EDS has allowed me to cope fairly well these first two months of my BJJ journey. I’m really really trying to learn technique and rely on leverage as opposed to strength. If my left shoulder is hurting, I pretend my arm is stuck in my belt. I use as little strength as possible with that shoulder until it feels better. Sure people take advantage of me and work me over. But I don’t think BJJ isn’t about them, it’s about me and my development – personal and physical. And I know that part of the reason why I get worked over is because a particular joint did not want to cooperate that day. So I give my opponent the props s/he deserves and try to think of ways to survive without relying on that joint or muscle group.

  3.  

    about six months into my bjj training I developed a shoulder injury that got worse and worse until I had surgery. now I’m recovered but i so much prefer not to discuss injuries and not have this question “how is your shoulder” before every sparring session.

    I think the best way is not to discuss injuries at all with classmates and if you need to, just tell the instructor.

    the archetypes article is really great, enjoyed it. I particularly hate “the Professor” guy who keeps instructing you all the time about everything. I had a partner like that who instead of doing the techniques the teacher asked, just kept doing his own thing and even telling me to do things like him and not the instructor’s techniques. At the same time he got killed by everyone in sparring including me, but still every time I tapped him, he would submit and then discuss that I did this wrong or he would do it like this

  4.  

    man… I just can’t remember any day without pain in my body since I started BJJ… sometimes is big deal, sometimes it’s not; I think that’s the precious thing about BJJ, everyday you fail and every day you come back in one way or another, it requires great amount of spirit, hope and faith. I enjoyed a lot this post :) kinda makes me feel I’m not alone

  5.  

    Over time and after many injuries, I have learnt to take it easy and not to give it my 100% when I have an injury. Its hard to do sparring at 60% but I rather get tapped and come back the next day to train rather then win and be out for 2 weeks.

    In BJJ I think you will experience pain a lot of the time before you go to class. Something you have to get used to and just differentiate between when it is something serious or if it something minor and train accordingly.

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