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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Injuries, Injuries!

-- Jonna B.

This week, we had three major injuries, two in one night.  And the week is not over yet!

1.  JAW. Someone accidentally gave his partner a knee to the jaw, while the guy on top was going for a knee ride and the guy at the bottom was shrimping. Both of them are blue belts, and two of the best blues in our country. He couldn't move his jaw until the following day (lockjaw?). Good thing he has recovered already.

2.  KNEE. While doing standup, a guy landed badly on his knee.  He sort of twisted it, and he couldn't walk on it after. He was screaming in pain. He described the pain to be on the inner side, so it could be MCL. But he has to see a doctor and probably undergo MRI (which is very expensive in my country, by the way).

3. SHOULDER. Again, while doing standup, a guy did a double-leg takedown on his partner. Partner tried to counter, but the takedown was good. His arm got caught up while in the air and sprained his shoulder when it landed on the mat.

As one of our big local competitions is just two weeks away, the intensity in our training has been high in the past month. The good thing about it is everyone develops their heart for fighting. The bad thing about it is, well, INJURIES.

I've had my fair share of injuries during my white belt years, particularly in the first year or so. I have had a fractured pinky toe, sprained ankle, stiff neck, popped wrist, and the worst of all, twisted knee. Somehow, I haven't had a major injury (something that will take me off the mat for at least a month) since my bad knee in 2008. Maybe these are the reasons why:

  1. I roll better now. As I understand more about the mechanics of BJJ, I commit less mistakes, thus hurt myself less. I don't turn to the right anymore, when I'm supposed to go left. When I can't get out, I tap.
  2. My body is more conditioned to BJJ now. I was never athletic, and BJJ was my first dabble in anything sporty. As I train more, my body adapted to the mechanical and physical needs of BJJ.
  3. I choose my partner. I don't go for the egoistic novice grappler who uses brute force and power moves. I have been hurt by this kind of people before, so now I refuse to roll with them.
  4. I stop when I can't continue. I tap. And tap. And tap some more.
  5. I take supplements regularly -- Vitamin C (immune system), Calcium (teeth and bones) and Glucosamine (joints).
  6. I let my body rest. When I feel that I twisted or I popped something, I let my body heal. Before, I would be crazy enough to be on the mat the next day, wearing lots of tapes and some support around my injury. But I realized I am getting older, thus healing and recovering takes longer!
Injuries, no matter how minor, is always a bad thing to get -- the simplest will give you discomfort, the worst will render you disabled. And yes, I'll say it again: it gets harder to recover from an injury as you get older. So I try to prevent one from happening.

How do you get yourself away from injuries?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mouth Sore Treatment

-- Jonna B.

Who hasn't received an accidental hit on the mouth while rolling in BJJ?  I am always a victim of this:  my partner jerks his knee while I'm passing, or he forces a choke from the back by rubbing his arm on my mouth/jaw, or an elbow suddenly flies over my face and hits my lips.  

Almost every week, I get a new mouth sore (also called mouth ulcer or canker sore) from training.  I tried wearing a mouthguard but I couldn't get a perfect fit even after trying different brands.  So I have to live with getting mouth sores all the time.  I have tried different and expensive remedies, but they're not good enough.  Until I found the perfect one.  And a cheap one at that.

Tawas or alum is abundant in the Philippines, and can be bought for less than $1 for half-a-fist-sized crystal.  Powdered tawas can also be bought.  This is used primarily as a natural deodorant, but someone told me to try it on a mouth sore.  It's healing powers are amazing!  It usually takes only 1 to 2 days of treatment to heal the sores completely.

Applying this crystal on a mouth sore, however, requires a brave heart.  As soon as you put it on, you immediately feel a painful, tingling sensation.  Good thing the feeling goes away after the first 5 seconds or so.  I normally keep it there for up to a minute, then re-apply after 4 or 6 hours.

The taste is also a different matter altogether.  It has an awfully sour taste that is incomparable to the sour fruits that I have tasted.  But hey, at least it only takes 2-4 applications to heal a mouth sore!

This is how it looks like:

I wonder if this is available in your area.  Do you get mouth sores, too?  What kind of treatments do you use?


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rugby Jiujitsu!

-- Jonna B.

My teammates and I have an addiction lately.  It's a game alright, but we are so serious with it that we keep track of our scores, think of strategies to beat our opponent, then talk about it the day after!  This is what RUGBY JIUJITSU is all about.

I don't know if this is being done in other gyms (let me know if you do!).  This was started by my purple belt teammate who used to train with Yamasaki in the US.  Again, I don't know if he got this from his former team, or if he was just too creative to formulate a little game to enjoy BJJ more.  Here's what you need:
two medicine balls, preferably of different colors


some BJJ skills

The Rules:
  1. Form two teams, taking opposite (or diagonal) corners as the home base.  Make sure to distribute the skill level, weight and gender of the team members to ensure fairness.
  2. Each team gets a medicine ball.  We use the 5kg medicine balls, which is just right for the game.
  3. The goal of each team is to "steal" the ball of the other team and bring it to the home base.  If both were able to steal each other's ball, whoever gets to the home base first is the winner of the round.
  4. For you to get the ball, you have to submit members from the other team along the way.  For safety of everyone on the mat, we don't allow leg locks; just arm locks and chokes.  Members can gang up on someone from the other team.
  5. The person who gets submitted is out for that round.  As the game progresses and as more people are sent out of the round, the game becomes more aggressive and exciting.
  6. We do best of 3 rounds, or sometimes just do one round a night (we only do it on Mondays) but we make sure that the score is recorded on the board.
  7. IMPORTANT NOTE:  All players can only walk on their knees, roll, cartwheel or shrimp.  They are not allowed to walk or run.
When my coach saw it for the first time, he sighed and joked, "This is why you need a black belt in the gym!"  But eventually he gave in to our whims and allowed us to play one night while he was there!  (NOTE:  We usually do it when he is not around -- when the cat is away, the mouse will play!)


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