Damn, two months in already? It has flown by. I’m not really sure how to feel about it. It’s great that I’m enjoying it so much, but two months down means I only have five months left before I want to be placing in a tournament. There’s still so much to learn..
I’m afraid this is going to be a rather short post because the last month has been overshadowed by one thing. Something that I tried my very best to avoid, so much so that I made a big point about avoiding it in the write up of my first month. Injury. After being so high minded and sure that I had learnt my lesson, I have only gone and done it again – this time messing up a rib.
Unlike when I broke my finger, this injury is much more annoying (and painful). It is one that I can’t train with – I can’t just strap my rib up and get back to grappling, there is almost no part of BJJ that doesn’t use core strength or involve pressure on the ribs.
I have instead been forced to sit idle, twiddling my thumbs and watching lots and lots of YouTube videos.
The injury happened while training guard passes. I can’t remember the exact moment, but it wasn’t from sparring too hard or from ‘spazzing out’, I was just unlucky to get a slightly too vigorous knee dropped on my ribs. It hurt immediately but I didn’t think it was too bad so continued training, by the end of the session I was in agony and eventually ended up in A&E.
That was almost two weeks ago and I haven’t been able to train since. The time off has meant that I’m now well behind on my targets. In my second month I have managed a (pitiful?) 19 out of the planned 31 hours.
But let’s forget about the injury for now and focus on the positive first half of the month.
Most importantly, I finally feel like I know what’s going on. In the last post I spoke about how I was thrown straight in at the deep end. I didn’t have a clue what was going on, and it felt like I never would. There were so many techniques and intricacies to learn and we were covering just one or two a session. At the end of my first week I remember telling someone that I couldn’t wait to start getting submissions on and they remarked that it would probably take six months or so.
It hasn’t, now I not only have an idea what’s going on but am also, very occasionally, executing the techniques I’ve been studying. It has been an amazing ego boost. Granted I’m not getting submissions off any blue belts or high level whites and I’m still getting subbed all the time, but still – this is a long journey and I’ll take my victories where I can.
There was one obvious big highlight of the month, which was coming up against someone who was much bigger and stronger than me but was completely new to Jiu-Jitsu. Check out the video below for a clip from the sparring session.
I had 2 seven minute sparring rounds with him and managed to submit him five times: one palm up palm down choke, two triangle chokes, an ezekiel choke and an arm bar from mount.
It was the first time I had truly seen my technique coming together and triumph over strength. What’s even better is that I was relaxed and calm the whole time using a fairly minimal amount of energy. I could have continued for much much longer whereas he was huffing and puffing like anything. What a change from my first few sessions where I was so shattered after a couple of rounds that I threw up.
My general fitness has also been improving. If you have been following my daily training timetable you will have seen that the number of rounds I get in each training session is going up and up. If there’s anything that the expertise research agrees on, is that the more time spent practising the better. This improved cardio and better ‘fuel’ management is real helping me to clock up more mat time. For instance on the 1st June I managed 8 seven minute rounds with just one minute break in between. That’s almost an hour of non-stop grappling.
I’m also getting slightly stronger, although I still weigh pretty much the same as I did when I started (76kg), my body fat percentage is down from 14.9% to 13.8%. Which is great.
I have been trying to improve my diet and eat ‘cleaner’ in order to recover quicker, but haven’t been too successful. There’s something about getting home from training at 10pm completely shattered that really puts me off cooking. I’ve had way too many Tesco sandwiches and MacDonald burgers.
Next month will be better… :-S
I’ve been recording my expenses on an ongoing basis here. All in and including the gym membership I spent £225.65. This was mainly due to buying a new training gi. I was having trouble cleaning my one gi in time for training each day so I picked up a cheap(ish) one from Valor for £68.99 including another white belt.
I purchased the BJJ Blue Belt Bible app by Roy Dean for £14.99. Pretty steep for an app but I think it has been worth it. It has a bunch of technical videos which I watch on the way to and from training each day. I’ve watched them all multiple times now, and they’re slowly starting to sink in – plus it really helps me get in the zone for training.
I’ve been having a bit of trouble with recovery with a bunch of aches and pains keeping me up at night, so to help I got some post workout recovery powder recommended by some of my team mates. It cost £28.68 and should last three months.
This month also saw quite a few of our team mates at Legacy BJJ head off to the two of the biggest BJJ events of the year; the British open and the Worlds in LA. It’s pretty epic to have found a gym where I can train with people competing at such a high level.
I think I’m at one of the most exciting points of learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. My improvement hasn’t yet plateaued and I am starting to see results. I’m really enjoying it, I’m loving being able to see my improvement, I’m loving the community and how dedicated everyone is. BJJ is an awesome sport. I’m just gutted to be off training! Please wish me a swift recovery…