Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 Weeks

That was what the doctors told me. 3 weeks of no rolling, I can do drills but I cannot roll, nor can I run or do anything that will put stress on my lower leg. Right now I'm trying to stay motivated and am looking took keep my diet, smoking reduction and exercise going.

I've found a free ebook written by Stephan Kesting and I downloaded it. Haven't had time to read into it but just from a quick glance through the pdf file it seems very informative. It's geared towards beginners so I'm sure I'll get some great information out of it! Here's the link to his site and yes it's FREE!!!

I think for my training, I'm going to hold off on going to class altogether. I don't want to be put into a position I shouldn't be in and if I do get injured I don't want anyone else to feel bad about it. The gym does have a weight room so I'll be spending my time in there and will continue my ab and stretch work at home.

I'm gonna stop posting what I ate, I figure it'll be easier to post any BS that I've eaten cause it'll save me time. I'm lazy. On the parttimegrappler blog I saw a new way of eating called the Warriors Diet, it sounds interesting and I'll see if I can find excerpts from the book to see if it'd be something I can work with.

As I mentioned above, I'm following yet another informative blog "Grappling and BJJ tips. The Part-Time Grappler: People who have a life outside the gym" It's got a lot of good insight into BJJ and how it relates to life. Reading these blogs made me realize that I don't know how to write LOL I know how to write but folks who I've found myself following actually know how to write well! one day maybe I'll decide to start writing better, for now you'll just have to deal with my scatterbrained style of blogging :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Patterns of Oppression

Throughout my adult life I've found that as I try to do something to improve my health there's always something that speed bumps me. In the past, these speed bumps have been anything from back pains, shoulder dislocations, illness and no more gym access which leads to no movtivation.

This time around though I had a plan! I was sure I could avoid getting hurt, For my back and shoulders I've been stretching each morning and every night on a daily basis to keep everything rotating properly. To ensure proper muscle support, I've been doing 200 sit-ups before I sleep and after I wake as well as 60 push ups after I do my sit-ups. For class I make sure I have at least 15 minutes before class to stretch out and warm-up. I've even started taking some supplements to make sure that my body has extra vitamins and minerals that I might need during training. I felt I'd covered a good majority of the bases that have gotten me in the past and I was confident that this time I could avoid the BS!

Enter Friday night, I get home from work, my son is done with his homework and he asks if we can roll. A few times during the week I show him stuff I've learned in class and we just go over that and we both enjoy it. We threw on our Gis, hit the mats in the garage and I was showing him an escrima technique with your legs that I was taught that night. After that, we went over a double arm bar that we'd drilled a few Sundays ago and all was well. After an hour of drills he asked if we could just free roll, I agreed and we started rolling.

My son is not a small kid, he's 16 about 5'8 and weighs roughly 160lbs but wrestles for his High School team at 170. As we roll he pulls some weird wrestling technique which ends up twisting my ankle beneath me thigh, I felt a weird pain in the area above my ankle, but I decided to roll through it. I was able to get my left leg over his shoulder and head for a triangle set up and I pulled my ankle to stop him from posturing but he was able to work his way up, in my attempt to keep him down, I felt the same sensation again and this time I told him I needed to stop and check something.

Back when I was his age I'd been hit by a car which ended up with me having a compound fracture of my lower leg. Rods and pins were placed in there and it all healed well. The doctors said I had the option to remove the lower rod and pins or keep them in but I may have to go through phyisical therapy again so I opted to just leave that stuff in. So I've got 2 screws holding in a plate right above my ankle, they kinda protrude out of the bone and all you need to do is run your finger over my ankle and you can feel right where they are and that's exactly the spot where my pain was coming from. I ran my finger over that area and could feel no pins...WTF?!?!

It's been a couple of days, the pain has subsided but now there is a strange bump which looks like a third pin has been inserted. When I push down on this bump there's a dull ache that increases to pain when more pressure is applied. I think I'm gonna go see the doctor to have this checked out.

I knew something was bound to happen, it's been too smooth, in my opinion I've been doing good! Have cut my smoking to 3 a day, been eating properly - with the exception of a few pieces of fried chicken -, been going to the gym, have been steady with the stretches and workouts, so everything was all gravy, up until a few days ago.

I'm gonna call and make an appointment to see a doctor this week.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Is not what I am striving for at this point, maybe later, right now I'm just happy with the smallest of improvements.

Tonight I rolled with 3 folks;

Andrew a very cool guy who'd rolled at Gracie Barra in Santa Barbara for 8 months and is 5 months at the gym we roll at now. He taught me that when on bottom try to keep off your back making a point to be on your hips instead so that you can attempt to gain a better position.

Ryan a blue who'd seen me trying to breathe and he offered to roll, we did but he was pretty active and I gassed within 2 or 3 minutes. I need to get used to rolling cause I felt bad that I wasn't able to roll with him for long, I know he would've been able to show me a lot. Anyone got any spare lungs I could borrow?

Jacklyn, we were watching two guys rolling going from position to position and I asked her what that was and she told me but I forgot what it was called. The way she explained it, they were rolling at 50% power and giving up position to learn to lock the subs. It looked cool! She offered to show me how to roll like that but as we were about to begin class ended. Hopefully next time she'll be able to teach me how to roll like that as I'm sure it'll help out my game.

Tonight's victories!!!
* I was able to isolate an arm! Nothing happened, but I had it.
* I passed guard into full mount by feinting 2 smash passes and using a leap frog to get over the knees. Andrew complimented me by laughing cause I think he couldn't believe I passed that way.
* Got complimented on my submission defense, which isn't hard cause I have no neck and short arms and I'm heavy : )

Tonight's Defeats!!!
* Need to learn to not shit bricks when I'm mounted, I give up my back when this happens cause it hurts to have someone sitting on my gut. SITUPS SITUPS SITUPS!!!
* Need to learn to not get swept when in any top position, gotta take things slow, use my weight and make sure I have control before I try anything.
* Oxygen, I need it.
* Stamina, eludes me still but I think it's slowly improving.

Spoke with Sirus, he saw me and told me it took him a month and a half to get used to rolling. He said he used to gas like me but it got better with time. This is encouraging to me because Sirus is a physically fit guy with a six pack! So I guess even fit folks go through the pains I'm going through right now.

Taking this Journey slowly but surely seems to be the key to obtaining Game. Which is good cause at this point I can only do things Slow...

Today's food:
Breakfast - Spaghetti with ground turkey and whole wheat noodles, gotta love leftovers!
Lunch - Grilled pork banh mi! YUM! But I think I gotta chill on these.
Dinner - Cream of Broccoli soup and adobo. Not together though.

Started snacking on trail mix in the car.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend recap

The weekends are usually non-training days with the exception of random Sundays during the month in which me and some family members learn from my nephew's Brazillian Traditional Jiu Jitsu Sensei. He's a great guy, his instruction and attention to small details in positioning is top notch. Hopefully we're able to roll in a couple of Sundays down the road.

Friday - Met BJ Penn @ the Mall as he was promoting his book! Had pizza with cousin, sister, their kids and my family.
Saturday - Rolled with my son for a couple of hours, going over what we'd learned from Sensei Lira and what I'd learned in my own scheduled class during the week.
Sunday - Went shopping @ Santana Row didn't buy nothing. Went to Stevens Creek Surplus, boughts some Vans and shorts.

Food wise, I didn't do so well. Ate too much, ate the wrong stuff but was able to moderate my beer intake!

Looking forward to training this week and this Saturday is yeah! Gotta train extra hard this week to earn the right to party!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Food tracking 4/15

Breakfast - Whole wheat muffin, Morningstar sausage patty and an egg a lil mayo and srirracha.
Not too bad huh?

Lunch - Grilled pork banh mi and a can of coke.
Could've went without the coke, I'll shoot for water next time.

Dinner - 8 Donut holes(WTF? Right!), Swiss steak, 4 garlic/pistachio asparagus sticks
My brother took my daughter to Great America and brought a HUUGE box of donut holes over...I have a weakness for glazed donut holes.

After dinner snack - Handful of chips, shredded cheese and jalapenos.

Obviously I should NOT have eaten the donut holes or had a lot fewer than I did, but I'm takin baby steps! LOL Gotta find a healthier snack for after dinner and maybe I'll also incorporate snacks in between meals. Gotta figure out what to snack on, I'm sure a bag of Doritos wouldn't be very good right?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Skipping class tonight

Somehow I tweaked my back last night so no class tonight, packing my Gi and stuff just in case it loosens up in the afternoon.

While working at the airport loading/unloading passenger planes, I'd slipped a disc in my lower lumbar area, I was about 22 years old and since that time my back has never been the same. For the most part I've been able to do everything fine but my back does flare up every once in a while, but I've learned the hard way when I can push myself and when I should just rest up and let my spine re-align itself.

To counter my back problems I've got a stretching routine in the morning that has helped keep the pain away.

On hands and knees under the covers I'll stretch my hands out and reach as far as I can go and hold the stretch for about 10 to 15 seconds. I'll repeat those movements reaching left and right to make sure I cover a good range of motion.

Curling into a ball also helped until I got heavier then my gut felt like it was pushing my spine in a weird way. That goes the same for the upward motion of a catch stretch, so I'm leaving those two out for now till I lose a portion of the Gut LOL

If I miss training today, I think I'll do some Yoga and hopefully it'll help me out for my next session.

Food tracking begins:

Breakfast - Oatmeal and a banana
Need to add a protien shake to this meal and I think I'm good.

Lunch - Carl's Jr, had a Big Carl, medium fries and a 32oz fruit punch
I blame Mark.

Dinner - Had a rib eye, broccoli and fried rice
I'm the Uncle you've got that likes the Fat of the steak and will eat mine AND yours. I know it's bad and I shouldn't but I do it anyways. I need to stop that or choose a leaner cut of meat.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Congrats Mr Ripper!

BIG congrats to a friend of mine for taking Third place in the Pan Ams Adult Super Heavy White Belt Division! Good job DJ!!!! Oss!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I hate warm ups

Only because at the moment I suck at doing them. This was actually my third day of class and today was the first day we did warm ups. Until today I thought I'd found the magical No Warm Up class but alas I was wrong.

Everything started out fine with a light jog, then turn out, then in, then backward, then high knees, then I can't breathe and I'm off in the corner trying not to die.

After a couple of minutes I'm back into the warm ups with jumping jacks, simple right? No...I think we must've did them for 5 minutes I never thought it was possible to do jumping jacks incorrectly but no....I was proven wrong again and ended up sucking air again after the jumping jacks.

The class moves into some kinda situp variation and I was actually able to keep up, I'd been doing some ab work at home in preparation for the classes and it payed off. Afterwards the instructor gets up, falls down, slaps the mat, kicks his feet up and rolls back to his I do my best imitation of his movements after a couple of tries I get it right and then after a couple of more I am unable to come back my corner and the instructor is smiling..the class moves onto Shrimping across the mats, rolling forward and then in reverse and I was fine with those as I'd also practiced that just in case.

After warm ups and a quick question, answer, demonstration, the Instructor shows us a technique to get past someone's guard while you're standing. I'd explain it, but seriously at this point in time my knowledge of how to explain these things in person needs work so I think if I write it down I'll confuse you even more. For now I'll just say, I learned the technique with the help of a Blue belt named Andrew.

We were also shown that when in someone's full guard if you grip your opponents Gi, position your hands in a certain manner and just keep your head up it is very difficult for your opponent to manipulate your posture. Practiced this technique with a blue striped fellow named Eddie, the man was big and I couldn't lock guard but everything worked out well and the fact that he was so big and couldn't break my posture proves that I'll be adding this technique to my Game for sure.

Towards the end of class I'd practiced with a girl named Helen and we just went over the stuff the instructor showed us. Class ended I said my good byes and thanks to those I'd rolled with and was on my way home.

20 minutes stretching on my own
20 minute warm up(8 minutes spent in my corner sucking wind)
30 minute technique
10 minute extra time to go over techniques learned

Got home and caught second wind, so I did more stuff to prep for class and some stuff to hopefully improve my cardio so I can do better in class.

15 minutes ab work
4 x 5 minute Heavy bag Punches
2 x 5 minute kicking
10 minute ab work

I need the extra ab work because when fully mounted I feel my guts going into my lungs and it forces all the air out LOL This GUT has got to go!

Me and why I train

I'm 5'6, weigh 210lbs, have 3 kids and I'm married to a very patient woman. Smoking is a habit I am working on cutting down and hopefully out, drinking is something I do every few weekends and I do that well. Eating is another thing I do pretty good, especially in front of the TV. I can cook, mostly fried and fatty food, my fried chicken is my family's favorite thing to eat, my wife mentioned it in our marriage vows, coming in a close second is my Rib Eye.

In my elemtary school days I wasn't the athletic kid, nor was I the fat kid, I just was in the middle. In Jr High, I gained 10 lbs from my 5th grade weight, I do remember being able to do 5 pull-ups. In High School, almost joined the football team quit on a double day, no sports for me. Ran with the "wrong" crowd, did some time and came out in my Senior year as strong as one of the smaller lineman on the football team, but no...I did nothing with that new found strength and speed. As an adult I tried to maintain that same level of fitness, but working out for 6 months at a time and taking a year off - until the next workout - to eat and party isn't a particularly good workout regimine.

Just recently I used the stairs to get to my work area, legs were aching, head was sweaty and I couldn't breathe properly for 5 to 10 minutes. Was at home changing when my 6 year old walks in and she says, "Daddy you're fat." Saw pictures taken at a BBQ and my shirt that fit a few months back was now looking like an Affliction shirt...the shirt was a button up.

My Son has been in sports all his life, he'd placed 4th in Country for Wrestling his 2nd year in Jr High, he's a beast on the mat in High School he's pretty well rounded kid. My daughters who are really shy are just starting their first classes of Judo and you can tell they are trying to over coming their fear of talking to people just by going on the mats and rolling with the other kids. I've got 3 nephews that have taken 1st place in local Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Tournaments, multiple times. Two of them are 7 and the eldest is 10. They have less than a years worth of training...

Why do I train? Please see above.

Off to the 1st day of my 2nd week, Inspired.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reason for the Blog

I decided to create this Blog to help myself keep track of the smallest of gains, the constant failures and to note the tiniest glimmers of hope that one day I will have Game. No, I don't have a self esteem problem - I think, nah I don't - I'm a realist and I'm aware that the choice I've made to undertake Jiu-jitsu in my mid-years will be a very rough one with a lot of aches, plenty of pains, a few bruises, small bumps(hopefully not staph) and lots of fading lights and sounds around me as someone is cutting the blood flow to my brain. Fun times!

Plus I've got a crappy memory so typing things out and being able to see how I've done in the past will make it easier for me to correct all the flaws in my Game that I'm going to come across. When I get around to it, I will also create a spreadsheet to track my meals, smokes and days I end up drinking more than a 6 pack of beers. I don't have a drinking problem, I'm just able to drink a good amount of beer. I try to stay away from hard liquor because I usually drink that at the rate that I drink beer and the nights and next morning just end up bad.