25 July 2011

Well it is official!

It is official, I will be having surgery next Tuesday. After a pretty stressful day, the consensus  is there is at least part of an ACL there. Unfortunately there is not enough of one for me to not get it replaced. So the best option is the cadaver ACL, it has a faster recovery time, and for what the Surgeon says, women have shorter hamstring tendons which can cause problems in the future. The will also be fixing the medial meniscus tear.

I’ll have a few days off of work to recover, then it will be back to work on my best friend, crutches… (someone kill me now, I do not have the coordination to do crutches again) Nah as long as I don’t fall down the stairs again on my crutches I will be happy. I will hopefully be back to walking in my normal knee brace after a week on crutches.

The approximate timeline i have been given is

2 weeks- full weight, with knee brace slow work on straightening and bending my knee

2-6 weeks, stationary bike (slow no resistance) and swimming (yay!)

3 months some muscle conditioning and light cardio (to me this means slowly going through techniques, and only ones that I can comfrotably do)

6 months specific training!!! Working on all techniques, and light sparring/ flow rolling.

9 months full contact! Absolutely no restrictions on my practices.

1 year, back to the condition I was in before the injury, hopefully I will have a tournament done by this point, even if it is just a slow introduction tournament.

I am really glad to know what all they are fixing in my knee before they go digging in to it.  I guess recovery is the name of this blog for now. Not sure if I’m relieved or upset to know that it’s finally going to happen. It’s mostly surreal. The first few months are going to be rough. I’m lucky to have Lance', my boyfriend’s help for the first 2 weeks after surgery. After that he will be deploying, and then I am on my own. I’m hoping family will be able to visit, I would actually really love family and friends from back home to visit. I won’t lie going through this without the support system of my family near is scary. So happy thoughts! I will be a huge mat rat and will hopefully have my own little corner to sit and watch practice.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts!

19 July 2011

Women’s Training in BJJ

Women training in BJJ is always a hard subject. There are few females that do the sport, and fewer that stay in long term. There are many ways out there to try and combat the high attrition rate. Women’s only open mat, female instructors, women’s only classes, women’s only BJJ Camp, and women’s only seminars. So from personal experience, and assistance from a few other females, here are some things being done to help women training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In advance thank you so much to Kristen and Ariadne, you have definitely helped make this article possible!

Open mat/ Class

In Indianapolis, my old team had occasional women’s classes. It was an opportunity for all of the females, pre teens- teens and155070_104891999581857_100001831728370_38323_2086738_n adults to get together and train some. It took place on Saturdays during open mat. If any of us were competing soon we would make it more competition focused. That way we had a little more time to work with possible skills and styles we may encounter at the tournament. Otherwise it was more of a Q & A where we worked on popular issues. It was pretty loosely run. We would always invite any females we could find to it. Mainly we wanted to get more females interested so we could try and have a permanent women’s BJJ class.

Female black belt, Women’s only class

As jiu jitsu grows and women who started years ago are  becoming black belts, schools are finding ways to incorporate women’s classes into their schedules. In Chicago, IL team Brazil- 181708_574585336329_210800143_32952630_5421209_n021 has women’s classes 3 times a week. Their instructor Hannette Staack , is a black belt and teaches the hour long class. A white belt girl names Kristen Martin, who reached out to me through my blog, volunteered to talk about what class is like there.

There is about 4-6 students there every class sometimes there is less. we work on what people mainly have problems on or just the basics and then spar. I like the small class it is easy to work out the small details to work out positions.

This small class, give the ladies a chance to get together,ask questions and slowly let new females build up the courage and techniques before going to the full blown co-ed class.

Open mat/ Seminar/ bonding time

In Texas, something completely different has formed. Girls in Gi’s is a community group in Texas. Ariadne is a purple belt and an active member of the group. She was awesome at explaining how exactly everything worked.

Basically it's a completely free open mat for women of all ages to get together and train in a non-competitive environment. It is open to all women, regardless of affiliation (there are just too few of us and we need each other). It's not a place to check out the competition or 'win' training. We start with a warm up, then a mini seminar lead by a higher belted woman (usually the one hosting the event at their gym), then open mat till we all get tired.

To make it fair Girls in Gi’s rotates through different cities, all the ask for is a host gym where the ladies can get together and train.260455_224208244277672_223743377657492_780837_4617601_n It’s a monthly event for them. Currently Girls in Gi’s is only in Texas. They hope to see that change soon, Girls in Gi’s is working on making it easier to start a chapter of the group in other states.  Honestly I think it’s an amazing idea. I hope to get help from the amazing women at Girls in Gi’s to possibly open a chapter up in Washington/ Pac NW.

Starting a women’s program is definitely a plus. If you aren’t an instructor, sometimes the best thing to do is talk to your coach, see what could be done, if anything and start to work from there. Don’t just wait for it to happen, be the catalyst that sets everything in motion.

Bending the Rules

Sooo instead of just sitting by the side and watching or doing technique only,I bent the rules today. I did a lot of light rolling. I did about an hour and a half of either positional rolling or light flow rolling. My knee is a little sore but not bad, it’s actually really refreshing. I’ve not rolled at all in 6 weeks. This little bit even if it was super light was so amazing. I may be bending the rules a bit with my knee but I’m making sure to not do anything that would hurt it or damage it any more.

I also taught my little kids today, they were hilarious. We played knee tag, went to pick up tag and then had a takedown battle. Miss Cameron won. She beat 3 kids who were all bigger than her and had a smile the whole time. Nothing better than a little girl who can beat up kids bigger than her while giggling and doing te techniques right!

Well more to come later I was just excited about being able to actually grapple a little tonight. Tomorrow I have physical therapy and I need to rock that so I can get this surgery bs over with!

14 July 2011

Showing off my progress.

I had my second physical therapy appointment!photo 3 I know I shocked  everyone there by the amount of progress I have made in only a week. Not only can I completely straighten my leg, but my knee can actually bend past the 90 degree mark!!! This is a huge step! With the help of gravity,photo 1 (1) there is only 5 degrees difference in my range of motion!! The swelling is low, almost non existent. After seeing the progress my physical therapist added a few light weight training exercises, and then I even had a few balance exercises…  Big surprise, my photo 1 (2)balance still sucks on my left leg. It sucked before, it sucks even more now. Oh well I knew that was a losing battle…Anyway I took a bunch of pictures, I’m excited about my progress with not only being able to bend my leg more, but also being able to use weight, bike longer with a higher resistance, and not needing to wear my knee brace all day. I feel like I’m winning lots of mini battles, even if the biggest one is still not here.

So I’m still photo 1awaiting my next actual doctors’ appointment, hopefully to set up the surgery, and go from there. The physical therapist said she couldn’t feel my ACL, which is bad, but I’m just hoping she’s loony and it really is attached in there. Anyway I’m going to keep working my butt off to help heal my knee. I’m not good at beiphoto 3 (1)ng injured so I will push my discomfort level, and work to get as much strength as possible built up! That last picture is of the amount I rode on the stationary bike, 3.07 miles on level 8 resistance, in 15 min. yay!!Take that you dumb knee! I’m gonna come out on top!

photo 4

12 July 2011

The BJJ Birthday Wish List

For Christmas I jokingly made a BJJ Christmas wish list. Funny thing is I actually ended up with a few of the things I wanted on the list. Now I’m not sure I’m going to be able to beat last years birthday. I got my purple belt a few days before my birthday, got a BJJ Life purple belt for normal day use, a purple ranked JJPG rash guard, and then on my birthday I helped coach a few teammates at a tournament then refereed the rest of the day at the tournament. I am going to try to make a BJJ Birthday wish list.

1.  My knee fixed. Not so much a BJJ wish but an every day wish. I want my knee back to mostly if not totally normal.

2. Funny/ cool bjj tees.JJT Shrimp W-2 Really I have very little fashion/ style  since my job entails me spending lots of time in a fantastic polo, shorts, and in a hot, loud indoor water park. Something to show my BA ness, while walking into and out of work while still entertaining my lifeguards would rock. The BJJ Life always has funny shirts..

3. Enough sponsors to live bjj.  That just sounds like a nice dream lol. People paying me to train all day every day. Just doing bjj. that’s all.

jjpglightgiwht-2 4. Jiu jitsu pro gear rip stop gi. Seriously have you seen these? Insanely light, insanely strong, and pretty stylish. My buddy Ty has one and he thinks it’s the bees knees. Yes, you heard me right, bees knees.

5.  more kids in my bjj class. I love teaching the little kids bjj and if I could have like 10 kids between the ages of 4 and 6 I would be ecstatic. Nothing better than going crazy while teaching bjj to kids for an hour a day 4 days a week!

6. BJJ patches.  My gi looks awful naked… not sure if I like that.. so a few patches namely a patch of my new team… would be pretty awesome

7. BJJ of Olympia gear.  i don’t have any rash guards, or BJJ Oly shirts, I need to change this. I would like to represent my new team, the next time I am at a tournament, whenever that may be…270030_10150247850449089_69520374088_6919331_3899489_n

8. Fight soap. Not just any kind though… I want the new liquid  kind. Mainly because it’s new, not out so that makes me want it more...  Besides fight soap rocks my socks on a pretty normal basis.  Seriously it smells good and prevents ringworm, life doesn’t get much better than that. 

9. Keiko Raca Capris. The black ones are cute, and they look good for no gi and working out.

10. Headgear. Gotta prevent cauliflower ear from returning… Simple as that!No idea what kind I want though.. It’s gonna be awhile till I can get back on the mats…

11. All expenses paid training trip. Brasil and or southern California, preferable to visit a bunch of bjj schools, and after my knee is fixed. No point in going if all i can do is sit and watch, at the moment.

12. BJJ belt Keychain. Thank you BJJ Life for making my life harder and making my want to buy your whole website…  now I want their cute little key chains.378_1484 There’s a purple belt one :)

13. BJJ Rashguards/ Tank Tops. Keiko Raca has tanks that  would work awesome under gis. I only have a few rash guards, they’re getting beat up, and  I want either on to represent my new team or basic BJJ ones, pretty simple, nothing fancy. (The black and green one is my favorite)

Like I said this is all in good fun.I need a goofy pick me up. Everyone has a wish list, and sometimes it’s fun to write it all down.. So what would you like for your ultimate BJJ birthday present?

07 July 2011

Day one of physical therapy

Well I started therapy. I did well, it's not like the therapy I've done before... Im not allowed to use weights at all. Just body weight, and movement. It seems easy enough but seeing how much range of motion I'm missing is rough.

The thing that is making me go crazy though is this breakdown of communication. At first it was torn meniscus and ACL. Then it was just the meniscus. Now they are talking about an ACL tear, again. I am just going with it not being torn, and am going tondo as much as possible to get ready for surgery.

Off to do my exercises!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

06 July 2011

Being able to train

Since the orthopedic surgeon told me as long ad it didn't hurt, I could work out lightly, I've started to participate in practice again. Some of the techniques I have to alter to do them without hurting my knee, and take downs are completely out of the question but I can still go through 80% of the class without too much difficulty. Heck I even did modified burpees in a tabata yesterday. It was very awkward and not by any means fast, but I could do it.