Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Self Preservation

No matter who you are, there are always going to be times where you have to be aware of your own self-preservation. For some, it will be something you have to deal with more often than others. Perhaps you're a smaller guy, or a woman, or a bit older...but even a big, strong guy coming back from an injury. or getting ready for a tournament and you're pushing extra hard and you're extra tired (which can make you more prone to injury)...there will be times where you have to become aware of your own self preservation or risk injury.
Sometimes it can be a struggle with your ego. You're caught in a bad position and you're fighting it and you get to the point where you have to decide: do I tap and go again or does the ego tell me I'm okay, I can go farther and I don't tap, get injured and sit out for two weeks.
Sometimes self preservation means not rolling with certain people.
There are many different types of people that come in to train. For me, sometimes self preservation can mean that I don't roll/break in the newbie 220lb. white belt. It's not his fault. He's a big guy just starting in the sport so he probably doesn't have the control (over his body and/or ego) to roll with a small female.
There's the guy who always goes 110 percent. He can be a great training partner if someone's getting ready to compete or do mma, but maybe not for someone coming back from an injury.
Maybe you've had an extra exhausting day and you haven't had a good night's sleep in several days so you're not quite "on"...maybe you take it a bit easier and are a little more careful about who you roll with.
How long do you see yourself doing the sport? Keep in mind the larger picture, your safety and longevity. Jiu-jitsu is not about one roll. It's not about one training session. Jiu-jitsu is a tough sport. There are no kata's. Injuries WILL happen. That is inevitable. So, how do you continue to train and last in such a tough sport? Trying to minimize unnecessary injuries can help.


Anonymous said...

the timing of this blog couldn't be more perfect for me-- I got tore up last night rolling w/ one of those 110% folks. During warm-up drills. I got in maybe a half hour of mat time. I'll most likely miss this evening. I HATE lost mat time. :(

I'd never rolled with this person before, and will likely be avoidant to do so again. Or will at least request they turn it down several notches.

Even though I am a white belt myself, I'm starting to automatically see folks w/ white belts on and assume they've no control over their ego yet.

thanks for this blog-- I can't tell you how much I get from it. :)

2Old said...

No felicia, I wasn't the last poster (anonymous)...although it COULD have been me, as you know from my call recently to complain about a 110 percenter I had the pleasure of rolling with.

Glad you are posting this.

Fragile male egos (takes a while for us to figure out that a big ego isn't necessarily a tough ego) find it hard to listen to this kind of "take it easy" advice, we think it's the "girl" in you talking to us, but it's finally beginning to sink in for me, especially "How long do you see yourself doing the sport? Keep in mind the larger picture, your safety and longevity."

Yeah, there's definitely something to be said for rolling at a sustainable (long term) pace. Even the young athletic guys at my academy are limping around these days. Pity my poor old bones.

I still have a hard time, though, declining to roll with tough guys who want to roll with me.

Although there is toughness and toughness, the rock 'n' roll amplifier that goes all the way to "11" vs. the one that only goes to 10, but has a full range. For example, there's a guy at our academy I want to call "St. Nick" (as in the devil, not the Christmas guy) as a play on his name, because he can be very hard charging BUT here's the rub - unlike the 110%, spazzy, dangerous, nearly out of control white belt I called you to complain about a couple of weeks ago, THIS guy knows his strength, his limits, my limits, and has technique not just spaz overpowering strength, so although he tapped me an average of once every minute or minute and a half last night, he's never unnecessarily (dangerously) rough - he's just a handful.

And he's the kind of rolling partner I actually enjoy - pushes me to within an inch of my life, but is very in tune with the yellow and red zones where I am are getting close to an injury - and backs off from the red if he's entering the yellow.

Last night he even surprised me by asking me if everything was ok after a particularly rough knee on belly attempt, so he's also got that quality of respect for his training partners that is oh-so- important.

Of course about 6 months ago he was a dangerous white belt I didn't want to roll with, so I guess we all live and learn.

Jimmy said...

If you don't tap, you don't lose -- imo.

Maha-mantra das / said...

What brought me to this sport is that it is a martial art where I can train full contact, every time, with less frequent injuries... But, when injuries occur, they can be serious. That's why i'm careful about who I train with and when I tap.