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Protecting Yourself During Sparring

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  • kiai_killer
    I'd suggest trying alternating hot/cold water in the shower for your arms and neck - it worked for me a lot better than just heat. Do a minute or two of really hot then go cold for a minute or two and repeat. When I started out grappling I had to come up with a way to sort my hands out as I play guitar and wouldn't have been able to jam for days after otherwise. I found one stretch also helped me alot, it's basically making goose necks with your wrists, ie. with your elbows in and fists clenched, move your hands toward your face with your palm parallel to the ground, hold it for a few seconds then extend your arms with your fingers spread, hold and repeat a couple times. Hope that makes sense, lol.

    I think it's also worth mentioning that what you eat plays a big part in how well you recover. Also when drilling some moves, e.g. armbars, I go through the full move the first time and apply the submission, but after that I'd just do it up to the finish but not extend the arm out as IMO it's not required and leads to unnecessary wear on your parter's joints.
    Last edited by kiai_killer; 9/29/2006 12:51pm, .

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  • RoninPimp
    That about covers it.

    The key imo, is prevention and protection while healing. Atheletic tape is your friend for you fingers and hands. If my toes get banged/burned up, I wear wrestling shoes for a while. Protecting your other joints is usually about tapping quicker. When you're caught, you're caught. If someone is tweaking a lot of people's elbows the coach should know about it and address it with them.

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  • OldDog53
    started a topic Protecting Yourself During Sparring

    Protecting Yourself During Sparring

    I thought about posting this in the physical conditioning forum, but my goal is something more bjj specific. Old-timers may forget about their many early injuries, minor and not-so-minor, but injuries are a real fact of life for beginning jiujitsu students like me and make it hard to practice consistently (I got back from Kaiser yesterday for another rib injury). Please list common injuries, especially the "that was stupid!" ones because those are the ones that always catch newbies by surprise.

    Here's some stuff I came up with so far:

    1. The "craw of death" - hands with much reduced grip power because most of your digits are sprained from gripping too tight. I don't know what to do about this, aside from soaking in hot water and taking up any of the many grip/wrist exercises out there, but Aeso DID suggest (in his sleeve drag technique thread) using a "pistol grip" in lieu of a different grip in order to reduce finger stress when the gi is ripped out of your fingers. Similar tips welcomed....

    2. The "spewing my guts out my anus" effect when a fellow beginner applies his first knee on stomach - full force (unlike the blues and above who make you feel the pain, but don't bruise internal organs).

    3. The "how many broken ribs do I have" effect when a former high school tackle footballer with little technique but a lot of athleticism come sailing in directly from knees into a side mount in knee-based sparring - his butt lands on the floor, but a lot of weight from the side of his body comes down on my chest (I think I need to use my elbows to protect myself). No broken ribs yet, mainly due to luck, I need some way to protect.

    4. The "hyperextended, you sure that doesn't mean broken?" effect when a beginner decides the last few inches of an armbar are where he's really got it right and comes down hard (it's not only me on this issue, I drilled with a blue belt who was being really cautious about his arm when I was learning how to arm bar him).

    5. The "funny I can't do a yoga plow (touch toes behind you while back is on the mat) during warm up, how come my chin is buried in my collar bone now" effect when, never having literally "rolled" before (over the shoulder roll), you get rolled over and every thing gets squished down really tight - feels like your neck is going to break.

    6. The "feet flat on the mat, matburn, or on the toes, sprained toe" one-two.

    Please tell me what to watch out for - what stretching I need to do (most critical), what core strength exercises are critical, how to hold my body during practice.

    (Yes, beginners can even hurt themselves just holding guard. I recently I got better at keeping posture in guard and using my arms to hold the person pulling guard down. My practice partner worked really hard to break my posture or sweep me, all without success - yay - but then got an enormous muscle cramp from his efforts and had to sit out a round. And this guy is young and well conditioned, and I wasn't doing ANYTHING except keep my base and hold posture.)


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