Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grappling With 20-Somethings

I'm really enjoying grappling. I'm signed up to take it twice a week, though for the next few weeks some travel will interfere with that plan.

What I enjoy most is when I get paired up with a young guy--late teens or 20s--who doesn't have grappling down yet. He's totally trying to use his strength, instead of technique, so he gets exhausted. I'm waiting for him to make a mistake and then I move into a good position. It's just so much fun to be grappling with a 20-something and have him gassed before me.

Of course, when I encounter a 20-something who knows grappling, or was a wrestler, I'm totally out of luck. I know some things well about grappling, but there's a lot I need to learn, and of course an athletic 20-something is stronger and better conditioned than me.

For now I'm still staying away from kickboxing. It's the riskiest thing for my knee to kickbox, and I passed that part of my black belt test anyway. My sensei is fine with that for now.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yogi Berra On ACL Recovery

Black Belt Mama, another ACL recoveree, is scheduled to head back to class in two weeks, if she doesn't die first from poison ivy. As with all ACL-reconstructed martial artists, she's nervous about getting back onto the mat.

Michele, who teaches Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudo, has had her own worries about her reconstructed ACL.

I personally think my knee, overall, will never be the same; however, I also think my ACL itself is strong and fairly risk free. But there is doubt in my mind as well.

I've decided that, as with so many things, Yogi Berra (would have) said it best: Getting back on the mat after ACL surgery "is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Swamped But Training

Work and home have remained busy, but I did get to three classes this past week (no classes over the Memorial Day weekend). This morning, I did a self-directed physical therapy session for my knee--push-ups (one hand on a ball for some extra work), sit-ups, then lunges with a resistance band, knee leg lifts, etc.

In class, I'm trying to concentrate on grappling, and core class for cardio and strength. While I really love sparring, I don't need that for my black belt, and it's where I re-injured my knee, so I'm taking my time about going back to it.

I put my gym membership on hold. I joined so I could get some cross training during working hours (allowing me more time at home with family), but with my new job I just can't get to the gym.

Hack Shaft is just about to return to his American Karate class after ACL surgery and rehab--we're all looking forward to his report of his return.

I spent a lot of time painting--nothing pink, only blue.

Later this week we're having a home alarm system involved. One of the things preoccupying me after our trip to Philadelphia is we did have a break-in by a confused and troubled person, so we're installing an alarm.

Happy Memorial Day, everybody.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Between work and home, I've been swamped. I only trained twice this week, and didn't work out separately at all. I've taken a new assignment at work that's is a step up, and I'm alternating between being excited, terrified, and having to work very hard to master it.

Life outside work has been demanding as well--some discouraging issues, some positive ones.

We did have a happy Mother's Day this morning for my wife, with some presents very beautifully wrapped by our daughter, and a pancake breakfast including some M&Ms in a few pancakes.

I did try my first grappling class since the bone bruise on my ACL-repaired leg several weeks ago. I took it easy, "rolling" instead of truly grappling--that is, going through the moves to learn them rather than trying to submit my opponent. (At least that's what I think rolling means--BJJ practitioners like Steve could say for sure.)

I'm concerned that the leg still hurts when I voluntarily hyperextend it, and that it doesn't feel quite right when I torque it (even gently as a test). I may go back to the orthopod to see what he suggests--probably physical therapy, though when I'll be able to fit that in, I don't know.