Sunday, October 30, 2011

It wasn't me, it was the one armed man!

I had to grapple someone with a shoulder injury recently.

At Fabio's, like most places I am sure,we are not wise enough to take time off when we hurt our selves.  We stupidly power through the pain risking further injury because, you know, taking a week off to heal up is just a poor use of time.  lol  So, people with shoulder or elbow injuries often tuck the offending arm in the belts and grapple one handed.

You'd think grappling someone with one less arm would be advantageous... but it isn't.  At least not when it is the arm on your go to side.  I had nothing to get a hold of, and no arm to tuck neatly at my side when in side control. ..which left me very little control.

It is good practice though.  It makes you think outside the box.

Fabio actually has us do that sometimes on purpose.  One person will have to tuck both their hands in their belt.... the result is generally a cruddy grapple, but a cruddy grapple in which you learn you can do amazing things with your legs if you have to rely only on them.  Either way though, I don't like to be the one with two arms grappling the no armed, or one armed man.  I like having handles.


  1. The parts I've injured most regularly are wrists, fingers, knees and neck. With the first two, it is very simple: you just don't use that arm. Like Fabio says, it is very possible to only spar with one arm, although you need to have an understanding training partner.

    I'm also a fan of the same drills I assume Fabio uses (I learned them from Kev Capel), as they're a great way of improving your ability to use your legs, knees and feet to hook, control and even sweep or submit your partner. It's one of my favourite drills, even when I'm not injured.

    The knees are a bit more problematic. I hurt that earlier this year, and was just about able to train by focusing on grips with my arms and relying largely on one leg. Also, limiting the positions: so, lots of half guard. Even more understanding training partners required for that one.

    The neck can also be quite limiting, as it means I can't swivel up onto my shoulders, which is annoying. I can't use my head for control either, which again is a big problem, especially on top, where making the head a 'third limb' is really handy. However, if you don't swivel on your shoulders and stay on your back in open guard, it isn't too limiting. Closed guard is more risky, due to the likelihood of being stacked.

    Right now, I've got a sore wrist and neck. Annoying, but most better than knees, and also better than shoulders (which I found much harder to train around, as almost everything seemed to still jar through my shoulder when that was injured back in 2006).

    I've been very lucky with my BJJ injuries so far, as I've generally been able to train around them.

  2. Neck and shoulders are annoying to work around! =( Personally, I never noticed just how much I use them, until it hurts... Same with my face... It is very much a third limb, and right now I can't rely on it. .. and it sucks!

    I think I've been lucky as far as injuries go. My knees have somehow escaped injury thus far.. at least anything that lasted more than a week.

    The only bones I've broken have been little.. toes, fingers... nose.

    And the most major injury I sustained was when I slammed and than instantly sprawled upon... Nothing major happened to my body, but it put me off the mat for several weeks. Body bruising is really difficult to grapple with.

    But I agree, most can be grappled through provided you have an understanding training partner. However, I've learned that I can't trust everyone, myself included. There have been times I asked to go lightly because I was injured, then ended up getting really into the grapple, and failed at going light myself. lol So, now I just tell people... "Hey, my _____ is sore. If you don't mind go easy it... but other wise just grapple like you normally would... I'll do my best to protect myself, and tap if I am uncomfortable." I tend to still get get gloved, but it takes away any of the... I said go light and they smashed me anyway, or I said go light then smashed them like a douche bag issues.

    Right now, my ankle is giving me trouble, to the point I am a little concerned for it. It keeps almost getting better, then retweaked. I think I may just have to wear an ankle brace permanently. Blarg.

  3. Hah - good point on body bruising. Sun burn is a real killer too (especially if you don't have a rash guard to hand): I definitely can't train with bad sun burn. ;)