I need to whinge and vent my pent-up frustrations. Today’s BJJ training was just shocking. My performance was horrible. I accumulated several major injuries (i mean not major major such that i need to be sent to the hospital but enough to aggravate me – you will see what i mean).

First let me give you a bit of background. For some reason, the mood was very somber today. The coach was really serious because he was teaching a new technique and berating the rest (i never feel reprimanded – not sure why, maybe it is because i am a girl?) for not being proficient in their open guards.

Open guard against a kneeling opponent


Open guard against a standing opponent

Anyway, the minute i joined the training, this is what happened:

1. In my first bout as i started grappling, i heard my neck crack. I froze, the sounds still reverberating in my ears. I immediately paused waiting for any pain to hit – nothing. I moved my neck, all good. I continued sparring, but i was shocked. The hell?! It probably sounds more atrocious than when it actually happened – a girlfriend whom i told, was appalled. But i likened it to a chiropractor cracking someone’s spine; except i did mine myself.

2. In the middle bout, i was wrestling hard. I felt my ribs twist. I kid you not, i could feel it was my ribs. I was flabbergasted – you know i mentioned before i was flexible, but my limit of flexibility never cease to wonder me. I immediately succumbed to the challenge my opponent had on me because i did want to take my chances and fracture my ribs. Rib fractures are not fun – they are painful and take a god damn long time to heal and i really look forward to my snowboarding trip in Japan at the end of the year.

3. In another bout, my opponent executed a choke; he did not get a good hold on my neck. I managed to inch my jaw within his grasp, and because i obstinately refused to tap out (courtesy of my former training in Judo – you don’t tap unless you absolutely have to. In fact some of my former judo mates never tapped – they just passed out, wtf); i felt my jaw shift. In my mind, i could see myself give an inward sigh of resignation.

4. In the last bout, i was on the side of my opponent. I don’t know how he did it (he’s much larger than me); he managed to throw me off. Because i refused to give in to the challenge, i landed, on my head. It certainly was not like the impact i sustained when i had that infamous black eye, but it was an impact nevertheless, and oddly, familiar. I used to bang my head in the same way when i was undergoing Judo training.

5. In the same last bout, for some reason i let my guard down (actually i have been doing that the whole night, why? I still don’t understand), and my opponent secured an armlock. Again i was intentionally slow to tap out because i wanted to break the lock, i was not successful and i felt my joint shift a little out of its socket before the lock was released. There was no major trauma, except a slight ache in my elbow which just rendered me more incensed. I really detest it when people inflict pain on me, but i know that other than calming down and focusing on my game, i was really no match for a senior belt. But still. Argh.

I realized that each time i learn a new technique; i am so focused on getting it right that i neglect other aspects of the game, and i think that’s why i did so poorly today. And also i reckon the other guys were keen to improve on their game too (guys are really blunt with one another – the coach openly tells them off if they have poor techniques. It is quite bizarre. I would have just been completely deflated if someone was so mean to me.) hence the increased level of viciousness.

So anyway, very disappointed with today’s training, especially when i have been doing well the past few weeks, and there was no indication that my skills were horrendous. I have reflected about it and i know this is probably the point in training where if i managed to get pass this hurdle, my skills would probably advance a level. I recognize the signs; but it still does not feel good. Argh.

I hope i do not need to wear my elbow guard to the hospital tomorrow. Did i mention that i managed to sustain a left medial ligament injury two weeks ago? And it is significant enough for me to not be able to execute one of the BJJ moves. Strangely, it only hurts at a particular angle – does not bother me when i am playing soccer. But point is i need to wear a knee guard if i am in in sports training, just so i do not exacerbate the strain. Would be maddening if i have to wear both a knee and an elbow guard!!


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