Holy crap, I’m broken …

Life is fraught with peril. There is risk in not crossing the road, there is risk in crossing the road and there is risk on the other side of the road. Risk is a part of life … sometimes, when we take risk, it pays dividends; at other times, the risks we take, demands a price. In BJJ, the price for risk-tasking behaviour can be as little as finding ourselves in a position where we need to tap - at other times, the risk-taking might even result in injury.

I’ve certainly had my share of injuries over the years … nothing too serious, but four knee-operations, one elbow operation and one heart op … that last was a little more serious I guess (all good now). Most of my injuries & subsequent operations have not kept me from the mat for more than a week or two; so really, they have pretty much amounted to some small amount koi forced rest, in most cases.

When someone says, ‘can’t train for a few weeks - got a broken finger’ - I cannot relate. A broke finger doesn’t stop us from working our Guard, it doesn’t stop us from doing a lot of things - in fact, if we decide to tuck the effected arm in our belt and pursue our training/rolling and usual … over time, we might even notice that our Guard improves. Then, when we get the use of our hand back, we make what almost amounts to being a drastic overnight improvement.

Of course, some injuries are seriously debilitating; back injuries for example, might see us on the couch, frozen into immobility. I’ve been on the nasty end of that also … but, as is usually the case, time passes, we get better and are back into the fray in short order.

Being strong - and functionally strong at that, is one of the ways we can drastically reduce the chance of injury - this is particularly important as we get older. Having strength, particularly at the more extreme ranges of our movement, gives us a little leeway when things go pear-shaped. But it is also very importantly to make the distinction between discomfort and injury; being sore after a solid session is okay, being nailed by a good ‘Neon- Belly’ doesn’t mean we are injured and need to take a break - in those instances, we are just experiencing discomfort - this is just a part of being alive.

When you are merely bruised, ignore and move forward, went you are merely bent, straighten up and move forward, when you are actually broken … find a way to move forward - plenty of people, have much larger challenges to overcome than petty injuries - and they find a way and they move forward. Moving forward is how we get places. - JBW


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