Saturday, April 30, 2011

Arthritis and Joint Pain in BJJ

"My arthritic shoulder is killing me from driving it into his face for so long."  Does this ever happen to you?  If so, you are old.
I think everybody has some problems with joint pain and training.  It must just be that us old people feel more pain.

I have been using the following remedies and snake oils:
  • Ibuprofen - easy and effective
  • Hot tub - effectiveness is not important
  • Ice packs - only when its severe or with other issues
  • Tiger balm - my wife hates the smell, saying I smell like an old man...go figure
  • Cherries, juice, extract - I don't know if it does anything, but tastes good
  • Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM - like the cherries, the 2 week delay until they start working makes it harder to judge its effectiveness when combined with other therapies
  • SAM-E - also helps with mental instability
The Mammoth has a great blog post on nutrition to reduce joint inflammation and other problems.

Arthritis and joint pain seem to flare up and subside these days, never really going away.  When I started BJJ, it was a much more of a constant problem or that I am just now more accustomed to having to deal with it.  Now, it is just an inconvenience and annoyance to deal with.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thankful for BJJ

A more serious blog for once...

It doesn't really matter that I am not the ripe age for a BJJ noob.  I may never be the greatest at it, but BJJ provides an experience that is very much needed in my life at this age and most other ages.  Here is my list of reasons for thanks, not in any order:
  • Feeling good physically
  • Belonging to a team, a group of people that I respect (most of the time)
  • Adrenaline rush of competition
  • Feeling of accomplishment for what I have done; something that nobody else can take the credit for, unlike other things in life
  • Laughing at funny BJJ stuff and team member antics
Here would be a list of things that I hate about BJJ, but that list would be obvious to anyone that loves the sport.  BJJ is complicated, difficult and sucks in so many ways that make it a great experience in life.


Team Dave Trader JJ had 3 competitors at the IBJJF New York Open, which all won medals.

Michelle Welti with a silver and bronze in blue belt adult.  She looked really good and dominated except for one nemesis opponent.

Arturo Ayala with a bronze in a tough white belt weight class.  His second opponent wins the tournament's Douche Bag Award by showing up at the podium and saying that he was Arturo and taking his medal.  The the IBJJF did the right thing and gave Arturo another medal.  Can you believe/tolerate that there are such people out there in our sport?

I was very fortunate to win my one match and a gold medal in the white belt senior.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Farting, Sweating on Opponents, and Subjects in BJJ That Are Not to be Discussed

Given that I am planning to start competing in BJJ, I thought that my would-be competitors may think twice, if they only knew somethings about my game and other subjects in BJJ that are not to be discussed.

Such as homosexuality....

Sorry, I will not even go there, but if I did, the first image that comes to mind is Wanderlei Silva in this compromising photo:

Wanderlei Silva had the chance to respond to the photo recently in HDNet's The Voice Versus (@1:07):

Some take it as a point of pride, along the same distorted lines as pride in having cauliflower ear.  Others accept it as a novel, always humorous statement of sorts.  Female BJJ practitioners may find it awkward as the uke receiver or the deliverer, but I would not know, as the token female (kicks-your-ass-blue-belt) at Dave Trader JJ never farts...never...never, because girls don't fart.  Honestly, I should not single her out as she has no context in the subjects of this blog.

For me, making an opponent fart is credited as one of my most momentous achievements in BJJ.  Rolling with Black Belt Master Dave Trader, I made a (failed) attempt at a stack pass and, voila, he had a reverberating pontification from down under (which was now pointing up).  Although in the direct line of fire, I found my ability to force any undesired physical adjustment on Dave to be worthy of laughter, salute, pride...and then he swepped me and submitted me.  But, Dave, you can never belittle my shining moment.  The moment, my imposing will forced you to...

Sweating In Your Opponent's Eyes or Mouth
Now, it is time to get serious.  BJJ practitioners have many unique skillsets that are specific to their individual attributes:
  • The egotist (I will never lose (or be put in a situation that I could not win))
  • The bully (I will spar with my overcoming strength and not care about technique, as I will disappear and take a crap during drills)
  • The happy-go-lucky (I love BJJ, thanks for choking me)
  • The staller (wait, that's me...)
For me, my secret weapon is sweating in my opponent's mouth and/or eyes.  Its a technique that most just don't have the physical attributes and abilities (i.e., fatness).  Although I don't know from the receiving side, I can assume from my uke's responses that there is nothing more disgusting or distractive than having beads of sweat fall in your mouth and eyes when your opponent is on  top of you. It may be a kind of a Chinese water torture, but much much worse.  Just think of how many terrorist attacks would have been averted, if they used sweat instead of mere water in waterboarding.

I sweat so much that I have started to keep a sweat rag with me throughout class.  I keep it tucked into my belt like a football referee.  As my days are numbered as a BJJ practitioner, my sweat rag is well-positioned as a new technique for myself as a BJJ referee....  The flag flies and I bark, "illegal toe lock, advantage red, resume from the guard position." But, the sweat rag flag falls on the face of an innocent wife by-stander at mat-side and I am once again, the pariah of all that is disgusting in BJJ.