Things Break, Suck It Up


In the last two years and some change, here is a list of injuries that I’ve suffered during Judo randori and BJJ tournaments and rolling:

  1. Torn trapezius
  2. Fractured rib
  3. Torqued (sprained) neck x 2 (yes, my guillotine defense needs work)
  4. 2x sprained ankles
  5. jammed ankle
  6. broken finger
  7. multiple sprained/jammed fingers
  8. strained back x a lot
  9. pulled hamstring
  10. 2x sprained MCL
  11. 1 sprained ACL
  12. bone spur
  13. strained biceps
  14. multiple bruises, bumps and mat-burns

Being 34 years old, I’m sure that some of these can be attributed and written off to that inevitable saying “you’re not 20 anymore.”  That being said, I’m 100% sure that these wouldn’t have happened without jiu jistsu and judo going on at the time of their showing.

Here’s the beauty of being injured; I liken it to a business.  Say there is an employee that works a job…long shifts…boring work, but with the potential to make a mistake costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Say that employee actually did that mistake and cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What would you do if you were the boss?

I’m willing to bet 99% of you would say “can his ass.”  I say keep him, and here’s why; You hire a new guy, he needs trained, he falls into the same ho-hum routine and has the possibility of making the same mistake and another 100k down the drain. 

You keep the guy that screwed up who has had the reality hit of actually losing 100k, more than likely his attitude will be something similiar to, “I’ll never screw that up again.”

We’ve all been there…that moment you fuck up and think “Shit, I’m so fired.”  Only to find out you get reprimanded a little and you keep your job…whatever you screwed up is instilled in your mind, and you WILL NEVER SCREW IT UP AGAIN.

…The same goes for BJJ and Judo.  I broke my rib by trying an Osoto-Gari throw (major-outer-reap, visit judoinfo.com for a view).  My mistake?  I didn’t have my weight committed forward and got absolutely blown up with what some would describe as “The Rock Bottom”.  Guess who never has a problem leaning forward now?  Guess why…Because fuck that.

  • The neck – Not looking up during a double-leg
  • The fingers – Improper breakfall
  • The back – Bridging with the opponent stabilized

I never do these things.  I don’t do them because frankly, they hurt like hell.  My technique improves because I know what hurts me and what happens when I try it my way instead of the proven way.  I’m not an innovator of the art just yet, but I’m learning what works; bones, bruises and sprains are a hell of a group of coaches.

Pain is your reprimanding

Quitting is being Fired

Break it, then suck it up or find another job, this is my career.



Categories: EVERYTHING (in no particular order), Jiu Jitsu and Judo

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1 reply

  1. I ran into a 24 year old kid some years back in Utah. (Famous ski resort like Aspen, but name escapes me). He drove this awesome $40,000 Ford Pickup and was hauling probably a $10,000 trailer, loaded with I think he said $100,000 plus of snow boards and equipment.

    Turns out this kid was a pro-snowboarder, and toured the country demonstrating the boards for his sponsor. He had been doing this since he was 9 or 10 years of age. His passion, the moguls. (Did I say he made over a $100,00 per year)!

    We got talking. I an middle aged carpenter, who never made that kind of dough and this nice 24 year old kid was on top of the world. I was interested in how he started, how he liked his life and on and on…He loved it of course…Nothing better than doing what you love.

    Where am I going with this? Well he started telling me that he was worried, that his career would come to and end the following year. He had run moguls, since he was a kid and had numerous injuries, many to his knees and back. He was lamenting that fact, that he was 24 years old, could hardly walk or perform without pain pills etc. He said if his sponsor found out they would can him. He had saved his money of course, and was living large, but reflecting back, he wasn’t sure the money and fame was worth all the pain at age 24.

    The moral of the story…It’s hard enough to grow old with the normal things that come with it, but growing old, when you force upon yourself so many injuries at a young age, is not a pleasant experience…I fractured my neck when I was in junior high and screwed up my back when I was 25, and have two bad knees from various accidents, stupid kid tricks etc… I am 63 years old and have had a life of pain and missing work because of it.

    Have lots of fun, do the things you like, but take care. Living with all this pain for so many years is a pain in the ass…Not to mention it affects your work, life and loves…;)

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