So I’m starting to get a bit bruised and battered with all the training I’m doing. My finger is broken and my ribs on one side are very tender and sore. The ribs are what really worry me. It’s my Achilles heel of injuries. Previously I’ve been sidelined for 2 stints of 3 months because of the ribs. Having a separated rib is not a pleasant experience – anyone who has felt the pop and tear will attest to this. The recovery is very slow and the mobility you have is very limited. The current injury is in the same area as the previous ones, however for now it’s not as serious.
There are certain injuries that are easy to work around, and others that aren’t. The broken finger for example was remarkable easy. I’d just tape the thing up to another finger nice and tight and not use too many grips. I used it as an opportunity to work on alternate methods for controlling such as underhooks and overhooks.
The ribs, well, they are more insidious. Everything in BJJ is connected to your core body movement. The ribs are central in that they are affected by anything your core does like twist, hip escape, turn. Once injured they become the weak link in the chain for your body.
On the flip side I don’t want to go for weeks without training. This injury probably will take me about 3 weeks to fully recover and if I’m not careful I could be out for another 3 months. So, with that in mind I once again will have to modify my training.
I haven’t got any concrete ideas yet on what I should be doing but I’ve got some initial thoughts on it.
- Limit live sparring
- Turn live sparring into a positional drill
- Tell my partners “No Knee Rides”, “Knee-In armbars” or rib pressure.
- Ask to improve my top attack game, to limit the pressure on my ribs. In the hole training…
I like the last point. Anything underneath is going to hurt quite a bit and potential lead to a greater injury. Still I understand that some people don’t like to have it all one way. Hopefully some people will like the challenge of escaping to a better position and starting again. While I will have the challenge of start in side control and submit or get and control the back for 20 seconds.
I want to have goals that progress my BJJ and give me something to work for each class. The nice thing about being restricted in what I can and can’t do is it gives you an opportunity to innovate and become creative. You can actually incorporate these restrictions into your goals. Having restrictions is a good thing for BJJ and life.
So my opponent can’t knee ride and arm bar. Okay, so they have to innovate and come up with different attacks and controls. I can’t be on bottom. Okay, so I’ll make goals such as taking the back. I’ll work on submissions and attacks that don’t increase the injury to my ribs. My finger is broken, okay so I’ll work on controls that don’t use Gi grips.
So with these restrictions I’m going to look forward to training. As long as I have supportive partners and I obey the restrictions I’ve imposed I’m sure I can still improve my BJJ in a safe manner.
Time to put on the problem solving hat.