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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?


Sleep at least 6, preferably 8-9 hours a night :) Eat lots of vegetables too.

My background: Amateur Boxing, Professional Boxing, Motocross, Shotokan Karate, BJJ-just today : )

we do a lot of jaw exercises to stabilize the supporting muscles. You can take a medium towel, roll it around a dumbell, start with around 15lbs, bite the ends and from a neutral stance, lift your head up and down. I like going for minutes, but 20-30 reps, 3 sets is good.

I'm sure you know core workouts are king, and there are so many challenging ways, check out you tube. Best thing is to add weight when doing core workouts!

Try push ups with your hands facing away from each other, or wide stance push ups. They work the biceps and deltoids.

A good recovery trick is...CHOCOLATE MILK! I take my sons stash. : ) A tetra pack of any brand post training gives your depleted muscles protein and glycogen.

Stay hydrated! I think local gatorade is watered down, and Pocari is too expensive. I buy Gatorade Powder 02 at SM or Landmark. You can mix to your preference and needs. Plus, no more plastic trash!

Supplements: SERIOUSLY. Centrum Silver. Its got an army of stuff.

I never over stretch especially before a spar or fight, studies say it weakens the joints. I save my long stretches post work out. Then again, do what you think is best for you.

Hope you can get into boxing too!

Wow, that is a LOT of good tips! Thank you Manila Monkey :)

You're welcome and I hope to train with you soon! I just started at KMA Makati. Be nice! I'm new... I can feel an arm bar coming! Will be glad to share boxing tips with you or anyone at the gym. Regards!

Hahaha! I might train tomorrow in Makati! Hope to finally meet you :)

Hi! Was supposed to train after sparring today, got ready but I forgot it was Gi day and I don't have a gi pa. Alanagan naman if I go there in a bath robe and scream "HEY WHAT'S HAPPENING FOOLS!!!"... not right. Will most likely go on Monday if I get to K1 later. My name is Rob by the way. Hope you can teach me a thing or two, as again I'm more than willing to trade boxing tips! Best regards!

Hahahaha! I wasn't able to go either. Maybe next time! I did boxing for about 6 months, before I tried Muay Thai, then finally found BJJ. I still love boxing, it sure tires the hell out of you. I miss my pink Fairtex gloves! I sold it when I stopped doing boxing :(

With your aggression and athleticism, I don't see why you can't compete in the Amateur Nationals in Boxing! It's a different kind of fatigue all together. With boxing, it's cardio and upper body rotation. As I've observed with my first BJJ session,'s WHOLE BODY ROTATION LOL

I went to K1 today and got a local gi muna, I think its fine for beginners. What do you think?

Fairtex gloves are awesome, although I use Twins. Will train Monday evening, dislodged a knuckle during sparring haha speaking of injuries! Pulled it back and applied a MACROXAM patch. That's hella effective for sprains, swelling. It's a medicated patch, so no need to take anti inflammatory meds. Available at most drugstores. Have a great Sunday!


Hahaha, I lost my competitive attitude already! I don't even compete in BJJ anymore. And I'm scared of getting hit, masakit kasi hehe :)

Yep, a local (or a cheaper) gi is okay to start with. What brand did you get? I think coach also has cheap Korean gis, and some of the guys say it's good. It's around P3.5K, I think.

Hopefully I won't need Macroxam but will keep that in mind, just in case (keeping my fingers crossed, I don't like getting injured -- well, no one does!).

Enjoy training! :)

The competitor in us never goes just stays dormant. We have liquid courage running through our veins!

Bought a cheap Gi for 1.5K, people at the gym say its okay for starters. Boxed, then trained first time at the gi class. I had a great time, although I landed on my head... LOL

YEP, injuries suck but the lessons we get from them last forever. Have a great week ahead!

That gi should be good for trying to get a feel of the gi game. Just don't roll with someone who has a strong grip! I've seen gis that got ripped by the "tough guys" haha :)

Hey! I may be a bit late but what I find helps me a lot is taking a protein shake right after a hard class (which in our gym is usually Gi class on Tuesday and Thursdays).

Helps recovery and all. :)

Hi Su Ling! Yeah, our bodies need the protein, plus sugar which converts to glycogen=muscle food! Best of luck with training!

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