half a year has passed since I've injured my knee badly enough to require
surgery. I remember a very sharp and
sudden pain following a pretty loud pop : the sound of my medial meniscus
giving up as I was playing open guard.
fair, a white belt kicked me hard a few weeks back as I was standing to pass,
and I had pain for a few weeks before. On the day of the second injury, I
remember my body needing a rest, and I didn't listen to it. In the BJJ
community, we are used to minor bruises, and that's what I thought that was.
Bit big bruises can turn into big ones, that was my first lesson.
back, I am actually not angry anymore, and I don't regret it having happened to
me. I've learned that my quadriceps
muscles needed to be strengthened post-surgery, as a way to delay the onset of
osteoarthritis. They say that a 10% increase in knee extensor strength reduces
the onset of OA after 25 years by 20%. So far, I've probably increased my
strength by at least 50%.
therefore had to change my training a little bit. I had to sacrifice two days
of jiu-jitsu in order to hit the gym. Since I've learned the value of using my
whole body when working out, I naturally gravitated towards free weights, and
compound exercises specifically. This, despite the fact that a mixed of open
and closed cycle exercise rehabilitates after a knee injury faster (machines
and weights). I've discovered the deadlift, squat and clean and press, and I'm
very thankful that I did.
deadlift felt odd at first. I was surprised by how little weight I could
support. My back was definitely weak. As the weeks went by, I've increased the
weight gradually, and to be honest, I have never had such a stable core in my
entire life. Almost gone also is the pain I had between one of the vertebrae in
my lower back. The squat gave me significant increases into my leg power, and I
could feel the difference when I skated just today. I know also understand why
my passing has improved so much with so little training. Sweeping me got a
little harder than it used to.
the clean and press, is for me, the exercise I feel the most beneficial. I use
low weights and high reps, and since it's basically a combination of deadlift,
upwards pull (clean) and a shoulder press, it works pretty much every muscle I
care about, while also giving me a solid anaerobic cardio workout. It's hard to
complete four sets without going out of breath.
all, I have changed my perspective about training jiu-jitsu. I strongly feel
one should complement it with some other sport or activity in order to protect
against injury. I recommend everyone to evaluate their body, and strengthen it
accordingly if participating in full contact sports such as jiu-jitsu, judo or