I’m happy to say that I’m 4 weeks out and hip pain free.
As a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I’ve lived the adages, "No Pain No Gain", "Work Through the Pain" and "Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body." Over my 18 years in the sport I can count the mornings I didn’t have pain easier than the mornings I did.
At 46 I need a knee replacement. I take Celebrex until I can work up the courage for the major surgery. And yes, I still train albeit limited and only with selective partners. Doctors all scratch their heads why I still do it. It’s high time I hang up my spurs, they say. Most doctors don’t know what BJJ is.
For the past 4 months I’ve had pain on the side of my hip, right where the drawstring on my gi pants ride. My doctor said it was soft tissue then shrugged and told me I should stop training. Said it was time. Said I wasn't 20 anymore.
That’s where Michael Ko, Physical Therapist comes in. He trains and we met on the mat. He offered to help. I shrugged and said arthritis, what can you do? He asked me to let him try. With nothing to lose and everything to gain I popped in for a visit. After asking me to walk and stand and lift he determined that my limited mobility in my knee was causing my hip to compensate, in effect I was dragging my leg behind me. We did stretching but mostly he educated me on how my knee injury, my hip pain and my gait were all related. My pain didn’t go away right away. It took about two weeks and some more stretching. Mostly I pay very close attention to when I’m tired and start dragging my leg.
Regardless if you are a world champion or weekend warrior you owe it to your body to stop ignoring the pain and get it fixed. And if you can find a heath care provider who does Jiu-Jitsu it makes it so much easier.
Michael Ko, PT, DPT
Movement IQ Physical Therapy 614 S Brea Blvd Brea, CA 92821 714-853-9252
Deneatra's BJJ journey started with a therapist mandate that she take BJJ for one year or face even harsher reality of being locked up.
Time’s up, my BJJ punishment: Sentence or Salvation
PTSD, my life long affliction. A never ending cycle of failed counseling. Days that can’t be accounted for and nights where going to sleep was the dream. Open heart surgery at 27, more surgeries followed. Eventually I just checked out for lunch with no designated time for return. I was not well. I can say, my recovery has been very slow. I was able to work for a small time until one day I was told I couldn’t. Then, out of the blue I fell back into old habits (not eating, not clean, not functional). I was close to reposting my out to lunch sign before one of my therapists' wanted to try something drastic. He found a way for me to cope, some unorthodox exposure therapy utilizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I was livid and was given no alternative. I was told to complete a minimum of one year doing this martial art. At that moment I truly thought death would have been better. I was hoping a car would hit me on the way to my car.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s phrase rang through my head loud and clear the day my sentence was handed down. “Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Over a year ago I began a complicated journey. Instead of saying it was a road I was excited to travel down, it was more like a cliff I was thrown off of unwillingly. Whatever my reasons were for starting BJJ (kicking and screaming) it has been one of those experiences we ALL need. It has been my ULTIMATE wake-up call. I had no plans when I began other than "ok Dee let's get this crap over with". It’s hard to believe how quickly a year passes.
At this point I’ve reached goals I never set. I am emotionally invested (which I don't do) and never saw that coming. The beginning was awful. I had to face my worst fears. I did not enjoy strangers rolling all over me. Let’s face it, some of the positions were flat out offensive to my delicate nature. In time the movements and transitions were something I could compare to an intricate lyrical jazz combo. I was able to cope by looking at each drill as a two count, or a four count instead of oh wow, junk and trunk and all sorts of uh huh in my face do I scream… is this part of the technique… I’m not so sure about what is going on here. Now, I’ve learned to laugh or at least focus on my count.
Like in a dance routine, all I had to do was smooth out my edges. The next obstacle I had to deal with was pressure…the overwhelming amount of pressure. I could drill the steps but the pressure that a person could inflict upon me was a horse of a different color. It took me to a place that is dark and unforgettable. That could get ugly for me or my drilling partner. I will always struggle with that. It is a trigger that is both a blessing and a curse. Thus far it is clearly recognizable and I have faced it head on. Honestly, I doubt anyone likes to feel as if they are being smothered. It is also a tad bit embarrassing when the person doing it weighs like 100lbs. That just means she has wicked game.
The obstacle that my therapists are still trying to get me to confront head-on is my ability to decipher a real threat from a perceived one. My inability to judge this puts me and those involved in a difficult position and in this instance I will flee. The alternative is still a blur to me but from what I'm told Hulk is not the only one that can SMASH. I look at this as 2 out of 3 isn’t bad but my therapists look at it as the third issue is the worst one of all. I looked at the bigger picture and thought don’t push this. I now weigh 115 lbs vs 90. Death is no longer hovering over me. Let’s just take what we can get and keep it moving. I can step on the mat with a clear mind. I can withstand the pressure and dish out some of my own. The right professor (which I have), the right training partners (which I have), can help you learn to cope with the worst of the worst. The training gets intense but the right synergy produces amazing results. My year in BJJ produced some beautiful moments.
I received my Blue Belt, I write about a great sport, I became the WBJJF Regional Champion, I went to my first worlds, I attended my first women’s camps, I have had the honor of meeting and conversing with seven female black belt champions face to face. I mean I don’t know about anyone else but hey for a person whose plan was to just get this crap over with, I think things have definitely worked out in my favor. The year has brought all that I never wanted or asked for but everything that was necessary for me to understand why my therapist made the very unique choice that he made for me. At the time he made the decision I thought, I probably shouldn’t have insulted him for the last three months, but now I have to say the man is awesome at his job. Speaking so fondly of my highs related to my sentence would lead one to believe there were no lows, that is not so.
My lows were in some ways private, personal, and at times interrupted my training. When a trigger surfaces, I have become so accustomed to holding it in that it takes its toll on my health. I have had migraines that came on only moments before a class when I knew I was o.k. seconds earlier. I have laid down just to relax before a session and meditate and the next thing I know, the session is in progress and I’m being awakened and completely disillusioned. I have gone to the restroom repeatedly to blow chunks because I felt so absolutely disgusted in a training session. Then were the times my blood pressure started being heart attack high and the blackouts followed. Once those issues surface, I must completely cut ties with training. There is no question. If I do know what the trigger is or if I don’t, until things normalize, it is an unsafe risk to continue to ignore the signs.
My final session to discuss all that has happened, good and bad left my therapist with one question, "Now that it is all over, do you understand why YOU needed this?" Big picture, my entire experience wasn’t just about BJJ. My entire year has been beyond stressful and honestly had I not been training, I do not think I would have been remotely as prepared as I was to cope. However, my sentence brought a very unreal amount of crazy to my door as well. I didn't plan on being pulled aboard a merry-go-round of mayhem. What I learned from all of this is I was a shut-in because the outside freaked me out. It always will, whether I’m locked up in my house, or sitting in a restaurant, or training. My level of trust and confidence in people is never going to be what it once was. I just hope that if I keep heading in this direction the overwhelming feeling of suffocating will not be as crippling for me. The Big Bad Wolf is real to me. This experience was less about me seeing that my fears are irrational. It was more about understanding that in life, no matter how good we are, how much we prepare, or what road we take, sometimes BAD THINGS HAPPEN. I am happy to say, my sentence is complete. I'm nothing but loyal to my Professor 3rd Degree Black Belt Bruno Alves Pinnacle MMA/GFT, no matter where I go from here, I will follow Professor Alves. Thinking back on this experience in its entirety finally puts everything into perspective. The sentence is over but my salvation awaits.
“What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.” Don DeLillo
By focusing on improving both on and off the mat, you can guarantee improvement in your grappling game. By having the proper training approach and understanding the benefits of specific workouts and how they benefit your game, the process at which you’ll grow will be astounding.
Exercising With A Focus On Your Grappling Game
As someone who has the pleasure of being able to travel the country to and experience various views on the game of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I value various insights and takes on the overall game be it on the mat or the training grapplers put in so that they can become more rounded.
All too frequently I hear about grapplers who lift weights in order to bulk up and become a dominant grappler. While this isn’t the worst, it certainly isn’t the ideal approach you can take so that you can become a better grappler.
By having a workout plan that is catered towards what you do on the mat, you are not only becoming a better physical grappler, but you are also adding dimensions to your game by strengthening sport specific body parts, that translate directly to grappling!
You can bench press all you want—I don’t knock those who treat weightlifting seriously—but if you’re looking for workouts that will improve your grappling ability while becoming a better athlete, then how can you go wrong?
By simply searching the internet, you can find a goldmine of workout plans that will translate directly your craft, and thus killing two birds with one stone!
More Than Physical: The Other Benefits of Working Out
When you figure out a good workout schedule, you are doing more than just than what the physical benefits offer you. By committing to something that is meant to improve the big picture, you are developing something much deeper than how many pushups or squats you can do; you’re developing discipline.
It happens to every athlete out there; certain days will come and go where you want nothing to do with your planned workout, so you can either brush it off and rest or go after it! By choosing to grind through it, you’re showing yourself just how dedicated you really are to what you do and how serious you are about developing your craft.
Over time, this will become regular and you will develop an edge knowing that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get better. The payoff will be great, because it won’t take long till your focus shows on the mat, and all of those extra hours—which add up over time—shine through as you start to defeat opponents rather easily.
Years ago when I began training almost daily, my body ached and sleep was lost due to my body being ragged, but a friend of mine—who wrestled in High School—sent me a text that resonated with me and pushed me through each and every session. The text was simple and read “keep your head and down and put your nose to the grind stone.”
You’ll always have to do things you have no interest in doing—such is life—but if you’re willing to grind through it, the payoff is worth it. If you think you could even grind a little harder check out Funk's full training videos here.
Marketing hype or scientific formula? We finally settle the issue of which works best for hydration – water or sports drink?
We've all experienced it at one time or another – in guard and a big dollop of sweat drops onto your face from up above! As your training partner apologizes profusely (or not) you continue to roll...
Hydration is a crucial part of exercising – particularly for those wearing additional clothing (e.g. Gi), training in a hot/humid environment (e.g. the gym) or those training for an extended period of time (most likely all of us!).
Fluid loss equivalent to just 1-2% of bodyweight can have a large impact. A sub-optimal state of hydration can lead to the following:
- Impaired mental function and concentration
- Impaired motor control
- A decrease in your ability to tolerate heat
- Impaired physical performance
- Slower gastric emptying
- Impaired recovery from training
Body temperature regulation, blood volume and heart rate are all affected by your hydration level and showing up to training or to an event dehydrated will render you at a disadvantage that you will not be able to make up.
In order to optimize (re)hydration, fluids must contain carbohydrate and electrolytes. A sports drink (such as Gatorade) that is 4-8% carbohydrate will facilitate gastric emptying and enhance fluid delivery. The presence of electrolytes also aids in fluid replenishment. Sweat composition varies from person to person, but, generally contains more sodium than potassium. As such, sodium should also be included (110-200mg per cup).
Drinking fluids that don't contain electrolytes can lead to increased urine output. That is, a further increase in fluid loss – leaving you even more dehydrated!
Consuming plain water can also blunt the thirst response, whereas citrus flavored beverages often increase fluid consumption.
Regardless of the type of training that you're doing, fluid consumption during and post training is absolutely essential for optimal performance and recovery.
So, how much do you need? The simplest method of assessing the amount of fluid you need to replace is to weigh yourself both before and after training (remember to remove any sweat-soaked training gear though). Each kilogram of body weight lost equates to 1 liter of fluid that needs to be replaced.
Therefore, sports drinks (such as Gatorade) that contain both carbohydrate and electrolytes (such as sodium) appear to be more effective at promoting hydration than just water alone.
Athletes at the highest levels have access to the latest technology as they strive for peak performance. They and their coaches are monitoring multiple stimuli, both external and internal, to determine what training loads achieve the perfect balance between improvement and recovery. As we all know without adequate recovery you’re not going to be able to train effectively and your chances of injury increase. Recent innovations and products have opened the door so that even recreational athletes can utilize products that just a few years ago were cost prohibitive to all but well-funded athletic programs.
Heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring can be used to quantify your baseline level of fitness, track you daily recovery, develop a personal strategy for peaking, and identify trends from changes in your training regimen. HRV based program have been developed for professional athletes of all sports, including the UFC, and may represent the next step in individualized training programs.
An article was posted was posted earlier today on the future of Dan Hardy in the UFC and in combat sports. Please check out the full article if you’re interested. In a nutshell the CSAC failed Dan on a physical and discovered that he has Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW). Dan’s not getting surgery, feels fine and wants to keep fighting for another year or so. The information in this article is purely for entertainment value and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace the advice of a qualified medical professional.
When I first started playing organized sports about thirty years ago we were all told that water was all you needed after and during practice (it wasn’t called training in those dark ages). Next came Gatorade. Gatorade has been around since the late 1960’s and really took off in the 80s when the formula was purchased from the University of Florida. Everyone was drinking Gatorade to “Be Like Mike” or whatever spokesman was popular at the time. Fast forward another decade and someone figured out that adding amino acids (protein) to these drinks may be an even better option after training. As you can see, this is not a new topic by any stretch of the imagination but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give you a basic and practical guideline on what you need after training, why you need it and how to use it in your training.
My name is Adam Glass. I am 30 years old and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you have heard of me before, it was probably not for BJJ. I am a white belt at Greg Nelsons Academy. BJJ is one of my favorite sports but that is not what I love most. I am a grip strength athlete and strongman. Many would make the argument I have pound for pound some of the strongest hands on the planet. My grip training roughly consumes 14-18 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. I tell you all of that to drill home one point – I know a lot about hand pain and how to resolve hand pain. I am going to share with you some of the best methods for improving your hand health and a few simple movements that will be high pay off for not only your BJJ but all areas of your life.
Many people who read this currently do not have hand pain and that is a good thing. Rather than pass this article over, I would like you to consider adding these movements to your training now. It is much easier to do these things and never get serious pain rather than develop pain and try to get yourself out.
BJJ Legends Magazine is proud to present Athletic Body Care (www.athleticbodycare.com); It's always great to have advertisers who are socially conscious, we picked up on this story by ABC and thought it was worth mentioning to all our readers and BJJ / MMA fans. Adam - doing a great job!.
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