Thursday, August 14, 2008

Retina Check--So Far, So Good

Yesterday, I went for a full retina check, something I'm told I should now do every year. I'm very nearsighted, or myopic, which is a big risk of retinal detachment--it means my eyeball is a long oval instead of being round. My father had a detached retina in his early 80s.

The fact that I get hit in the head in sparring--ideally, not super hard, but mistakes happen--and that in grappling I'm straining my muscles, adds to the risk.

The doctor said my retinas look fine for now, but that I should beware of any warning signs of detachment--loss of peripheral vision, floaters, showers of sparks in my vision--and in that case call him immediately. He said he thinks it's okay for me to continue my martial arts as a quality of life thing. If I had lost vision in one eye, he'd say I shouldn't.

My eyes were still way dilated a few hours later when I went to sparring class. (It was very freaky looking.) Moreover, I've still got a strained shoulder and groin muscle.

So once drills were through, I didn't participate in free sparring, I went over to a heavy bag and worked on combinations.

Yesterday, I bought a 100-pound heavy bag and hung it from a rafter in the basement. This morning, I went out for a two-mile run at the high school track (much easier on the feet than pavement).


Michele said...

What type of sparring drills do you do in class? I am always looking to expand on the drills we currently practice.

My daughter just started soccer practice and I told her that I would run with her. I have never been a runner but am willing to give it a try. Does running bother your knee?

BobSpar said...

Hi, Michelle,

When I say "run," let's put this in perspective: Nobody would mistake me for a competitive runner at the speed I'm going!

Running didn't bother my knee, I'm happy to say. It bothered everything else, though! Afterward, my daughter and wife and I went for a walk in NYC, and my plantar fasciitis (bottom of the feet) was hurting, and my right hip flexor was tight.

In my ideal world, which I realize doesn't exist, I would be running for distance (not super long distance, just 2 or 2.5 miles) several days a week, and doing multiple short sprints (after stretching and a one-mile jog) other days.

This Wednesday, to the best of my recollection, our drills were:
1. With a partner, mirror image light punches, touching each other's gloves, for 3 sessions of 3 minutes, with a little footwork;
2. catching the jab and cross punches from your partner with your glove; the trick is not to have your hand come out to meet the punch, which leaves an opening;
3. working our way up to throwing and blocking/catching a pre-set combination of punches and kicks--all at half speed--with a couple of counters thrown in. For instance (with your partner in parentheses), jab (catch), cross (catch), (counter-jab) catch, rear round kick to the thigh (block with shin), (rear round kick to the thigh) block with shin, cross (catch).

Other classes we work on slipping or ducking from punches, rather than catches.

I commend your interest in learning from all sorts of martial arts!

Michele said...

Thanks for sharing the sparring drills. I am going to give them a try!