Sunday, August 27, 2006

Rickson Gracie: Choke

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Latest Class Photo

Here is our team's latest photo, with a few guys missing, from just over a month ago. (Click it to see larger version.)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cauliflower Ear (DIY)

I am not a doctor. But I know my body and am getting old enough to understand that I do not need to see one for every little thing. On Monday, after class, I found that my left ear was pretty sore around the top curve part. It had a bump, like a little pocket of juice under the surface between the cartilage and the skin. As the discomfort continued and I asked for advice in the forums on Tuesday. The consensus was to drain out the fluid.

Being the cautious guy that I am, I decided to wait to see if the discomfort would diminish. I was not afforded that luxury because after class last night, and a few rolls, that little pocket of juice grew. It grew enough so that my sleep was disturbed a few times. In the middle of the night, I grabbed an ice pack that became my new pillow.

So this morning I decided to take action. I did some preparation reading online; I like to study things of this kind of importance. I was then ready to pick up the materials for my little bubble bursting mission. I picked up the following:

  • A 10 pack of BD Ultra-Fine II Insulin Syringes (1cc, 8mm, and 30 gauge)
  • Gauss
  • A triple anti-biotic ointment
Now for the attack. I had given a lot of thought to how I was going to penetrate the skin and suck out the juice for maximum effect. I did not want to stick the needle in and out all over my ear, so one entry point was essential.

At the bottom edge of the bubble, I stuck the needle in upwards so the point was almost parallel beneath the skin, I did not want to hit cartilage. *It is important to bring the needle to the ear and not bend the ear to the needle as it slipped out one time as my ear bent back. Once the needle's point was at, where I though, the center of the bubble was I started to extract. I slowly pulled out .4 cc of dark red and clear fluid.

As the needle exited the hole, a big drop of blood followed. I took the gauss and cleaned it up and applied the anti-biotic to kill any baddies that may want to wander in to the needle's exit point. I felt instant relief from the pressure, although it is still sore to the touch but less so than before. It has not bled since the initial bleeding and I can barely see the entry point. Kudos to the inventors of small needles!

The next part is to keep an eye on it to ensure that it remains drained. Next class is in a while and, with some things, I heal pretty quickly. So I should be good to go before my next roll comes around; I will be defending my ear in any case.

Thank you for the advice from everyone on the subject. I only wished that I had asked for advice on dealing with the discomfort from the pharmacist's attitude when asking for a bunch of needles. That, in this whole process, was the most challenging thing.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Managing Expectations

It is a good idea to understand where you are in your training, because setting up certain, not all, expectations will allow you to fight at a higher level. If you train every class and give it your all, you can expect that after a few months, you are in pretty good shape. That expectation will allow you to fight a little harder when you roll, without the need to mentally save your energy for the next fight, or the next, or the next. You expect your body to perform.

Now that the physical element has been managed, at least pushed aside from your main focus, you can tackle your mobility. Your drilling of certain moves will allow you to understand what you can do well and what you need to work on. If you have a good escape, say Upa (or bump from bottom mount), then you can expect that to work for you most of the time. That expectation will lead to confidence in that situation so you can concentrate on what comes next after the escape.

Expectations that you have a full tank of gas and a vehicle with some mobility is a re-assuring thing when rolling. Even if you lack a little confidence, we all do sometimes, we at least know that some bases are covered.

The next is the submission game. Similar to mobility, it is good to know that you can rely on certain things that will help you finish your opponent. After practicing and practicing, you know what you like to use. And it offers comfort to know that if you can get to a certain place, you can deal your submission.

I really enjoy figuring this stuff out. I expect my body to function well for the rolling part of class. I expect that I will be able to be mobile. I expect that certain defenses will work. I expect that certain offences will work. This can only be achieved through constant practice and training. The balance, as with all things, is essential for improvement. Lastly, I expect to have fun when rolling when my expectations are wrong because that leads to even more improvment.


P.S. The expectations you have for yourself can sometimes be read by others... ;)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Mexican Standoff

There is nothing like getting "back on the rack" in training. Last month was full of impediments to my training (staph infections in class, the Master Cleanse, vacation, etc...) But I have been to 7 classes straight and trained hard. Not that 7 classes straight is a big deal but I hate missing classes and feel the pain after only one miss.

So my stamina is back up to normal levels. I am training harder and harder. I feel my fighting improving. And I am becomming more intelligent in my game.

One thing did happen in last class which confused me. I was fighting a really tough classmate (one of my favourite guys to fight because he is insane strong and a blue belt to boot). He closed guard on my and locked my right arm in his arm pit (to draw the picture). I know he was going for a cross choke, which I could defend all day. And I was hoping he would go open his guard and go for a sweep, because I would have a chance to pass. But that did not come.

I tapped and asked to start in a different position because I wanted to add some motion to the roll. As I pulled my arm out and asked to start in a new position, he said "put your arm back in there". "You want it out, take it out". I felt a little ashamed about what I asked for, and I admit to being a little amused by my white belt request. But in the end, my arm was locked there for a few more seconds and I did get it out in a position shift.

So what would you do in this "Mexican Standoff"? No one had a distinct advantage. I wrote about this about 4 months ago when a classmate got my back triangled and I would not give up the choke. It is possible to get in a stalemate in BJJ if either opponent is unwilling to smash ;). Perhaps that is why there is a five, six, and seven minute time limit to matches. And there is always a next class and another opportunity to roll. What would you do?