Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Do I Do This To My Body

I went to open mat last night, then again this morning, and since I didn't have anything until 4pm, just drove across town to get a few more rolls in after Klint's class. Yes. I am sore.

The wonderfully wretched thing about rolling with new people after working most exclusively on technique or a few months (and I speak as a white belt with barely over 6 months behind me) is that, more often than you would ever find enjoyable, you find yourself on the wrong side of side control. Wonderfully wretched. It helps you learn how to survive and escape, and that's usually your first few sessions of live rolls. I'm in the middle of that period right now. So it might not be a universal experience, but it's definitely mine. I don't think I had a single roll where I wasn't on the wrong end of side control this morning. Most of the time I survived--sometimes I got out, sometimes I definitely didn't. Damian's school had no-gi week because it was brutally hot this week, so a handful of people were just working with rashguards and shorts. I had a chance to get schooled by a Ricco Rodriguez/Eddie Sanchez black belt, so that was fun. Mainly, I was trying to work on passing guard and controlling grips. I had some successes and lots of failures.

Right now, I need two hands to count the body parts that are operating at below-full capacity: left hand, left thumb (that's right, they're different), right knee, toe on right foot, right leg below the knee, left leg below the knee. One might think that so many tweaks and cracks might put a break in my training schedule. Not so much. If anything, I train a little harder. Is that the right thing to do? Probably not. But to be fair, if I was concerned about making sure that every part of my body was in perfect working order, I wouldn't spend my time rolling on the mats learning and trying to choke people and pop shoulders and elbows and wrists and hit sweeps.

I've started getting recovery drink powder from GNC. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, but I have to admit that I am less sore the following morning when I drink one of these nasty almost-watermelon-flavored concoctions. If anyone knows of a natural formula that does the same thing, I'd be open to it. Until then, though, I'll keep using this powder. Also, I've noticed that, since I started training, I'm much more careful about my diet. I'm already a vegetarian--lacto-ovo-pesco (i.e., I eat fish and dairy products and eggs)--so being conscious of what I eat isn't new. Being conscious of what I eat and the effect it has on my training, though, is. Partly because I wasn't training before, but mostly because it was never something that I cared that much about. But I'm not 19 anymore, and I'm not in college, so "gummi" is no longer a recognizable food group. I know that I should drop my alcohol intake--if not cut it out completely, at least limit it to no more than 3 or 4 beers a week. As anyone who has endured law school can attest, that's simply not feasible right now. I have another year of classes and papers and nonsense to get in the way of everything else in my life. Sometimes, nothing beats a cold bitter (Surly if you got it) or a clean whisky (Redbreast if it's handy, Jameson if it's not) depending on the season. So until I lose that stress-point and move into the new stress of actual employment, I'll keep the one main vice I have.


  1. One of the best things I did was to focus an entire month on bottom side control. I started with a private lesson, then every single practice I would intentionally start in bottom side control at least a couple times to work the escapes and transitions that I had learned.

    Keep it to 3 or so - you don't want to overload, and the principles are all there, so if you are using your hips or your shoulder or your arm to create space, the exact escape is less important than the concept.

    As a mid-level white belt, exactly like you're saying, being comfortable in bottom side control is a necessity. So put yourself there until you're comfortable at defending and escaping. Then go backwards and make sure you never get put there. :)

  2. I know exactly what you're saying about bottom side control. I still end up there more often than I would like, particularly if rolling with someone bigger than me. About 6 months ago I really started hitting escapes and sweeps from that position like crazy, and it has become much less daunting.

  3. This morning one of our blues showed me a nifty reversal from bottom side when they put their hipside hand down on the mat in front of your hip-- which normally would block my knee from coming in unless I shrimp ridiculously far which never happens. Hit me up if you want details :)

    Otherwise, yeah, get used to being on the bottom. And always having a rotating stable of minor nagging injuries. And training through them. And drinking beer. :)