Tips for the Banged Up Grappler

Anatomy-of-a-Black-BeltI am a banged up grappler.  Before I came to grappling, I had a laundry list of issues not the least of which being a chronic (pain) hip issue.  Having that issue opened me to have other issues…but not nearly as many as others who started around the time I did.
What’s my “secret?”

I don’t have secrets, but there is a lot to what has left me more resilient than most while being more disadvantaged than most.  I can’t tell you all of it here, in fact, its so voluminous that I have a certification course all about it…but let me get you started with some general principles.

Know Your Limits
In a macho sport where it’s all about pushing beyond limits,
let me recommend another approach: Work within them.
How?  By listening to your body.

  • If something hurts, don’t do it.
  • If you start to get tired, take a break.
  • If you want to be real conservative, stop whenever you start to slow down.

You might be thinking…
Well, how am I supposed to get better if I don’t do those things?
By doing what you can.

Work Within Your Limits
Ask yourself these questions:

  • If something hurts, can you do some part of it comfortably?
  • Now that I’ve taken a break from being tired or slowing down, how soon again can I start?
  • Can I come to class earlier?
  • Can I stay later?
  • Can I work within my limits more?
  • Can I work more?

Expect Your Limits to Increase
As you get better at listening to your body,
expect your body to reward you with more ability.
Periodically, you’re going to be able to do more of something. That may be:

  • A more complex movement
  • Being stronger in a position
  • Rolling Faster
  • Rolling Longer

I’ll go so far as to say if going to BJJ is actually beneficial to your body on that day, expect to do more in some area than ever before.  But doing BJJ isn’t enough to be healthy.  You have to…

Do What You’re Not Doing
Our body reshapes itself after what it does making it easier to do what we do.  That’s good.  But this reshaping makes it harder to do what we don’t.  That can be bad.

If we don’t want to lose the ability to move, we have to practice moving in all directions.
Unfortunately, no Martial Art moves the body in all directions it can move.  So what can we do?  Go to the gym.

Unfortunately, other fitness routines have move in ways we already do in our sport, which just compounds the issue and makes us more susceptible to injury. So what should we do in the gym? Do in the gym what we don’t do in the dojo.  That’s what THE MASTERPLAN is all about.

THE MASTERPLAN isn’t another Strength & Conditioning routine to add in to what you do….Because I don’t recommend adding in another routine, I recommend that you:

Eliminate Routine
Routine can be useful in starting a habit but can be progression’s worst enemy.  Progression has to allow for regression.  Doing the same old thing can only get you so much better, but…If you know your limits, work within your limits, expect your limits to increase, do what you don’t do, the only thing routine in your life will be getting better.

Try these tips out and let me know how much better you are getting!