BJJ / Grappling tips: Injury and awareness

I injured my finger today* in BJJ. We were drilling open guard vs passing with full resistance and in the heat of the moment, the ring finger on my left hand bent the wrong way. It hurt. It really flipping hurt!

I quickly got off the mat, screaming and shouting in agony, and got to my locker where I had some ice spray which actually helped a little. A friend saw me and kindly got me a bag of ice which further helped reduce the pain and the swelling. I'll tape it and keep icing it and it should get back to good very soon.

The injury itself isn't really interesting. What interests me is the before and after. This might surprise you but I could see it happen. I knew I was vulnerable today for a number of reasons:

1. I'm tired. Last week was a heavy week (training volume, low rest, uni work...etc.) 
2. Today was a busy day. I'd been working hard all day at catching up with uni assignments so my mind was very tired. 
3. I was lethargic. My total calorie intake for today had been very low. By 6pm I had consumed no more than 300-400 kcal and a ton of coffee. Far from ideal for such a high pace activity like grappling / BJJ. 
4. I wasn't properly warmed up. The general structure of sessions at the Labs is 10-15 warm-up followed by 45-50 minutes of no resistance positional drills then 20 minutes of positional drills with full resistance and 40 minutes of rolling. This is often ok if the pace of the no resistance drills is high and keeps your body warm and loose from the warm-up and transitions you into the resistance drills but today it just wasn't happening for me. Usually, none of this matters because I arrive 20 minutes early and do a kettlebell workout before the warm-up so I'm loose like a goose and ready for action but today... 
5. I arrived late. I had a lot of uni catching up to do and had to take the later train so I got on the mat a couple of minutes late and didn't take the time to properly warm my body and mind up 
6. I have let my morning mediation slack in the past month or so. Ever since we moved flats I've been, at best, irregular with this most important practice. I know this has a huge effect on me because I could see the signs: I was watching others (he did this, he didn't do that...etc.) Instead of focusing internally, I was a bit everywhere, going back to my locker 2-3 times to get a belt or flip flops or what have you...and other signs of distraction. 

Heading out of the gym, I swung by the shop and bought some stuff for better lunches for the week, and some coconut water for re-hydration. As soon as I got home, I prepared enough packed lunches to last me the rest of the week.

My body is my responsibility and I have already re-scheduled my daily wake-up alarm to factor in some meditation time.

I'll let you know how it goes. The finger swelling is already down a little and should be fine by Wednesday with enough ice and rest.

*This post was written on Monday at 8pm-ish as I was waiting for my train home.



Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. As I sit at home nursing an injured ligament near my rib.

It happens in our sport, no two ways about it.

But I think I was rolling lazy and that is partly to blame. I need to take my own advice " get my head in the game or stay home."

Feel better.

Liam H Wandi said...

Thanks buddy likewise. Wise words!