Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Pause

Things are developing that I'm getting a break from training in the last week of the year. The blizzard on the U.S. East coast kept my school shut Monday; I've been out of town on a mini-break with my wife since Tuesday. On Friday and Saturday, the school is closed for New Year's.

It's not an unwelcome break, given that I'm nursing a bruised rib. Last week I did train, including running two days, though I concentrated on "core"/bag training classes and not grappling or standup sparring, which would have hurt my rib. Time off also gives me time to reflect.

I'm becoming increasingly interested in the practice of mindfulness,a concept from Buddhism that also is growing in psychological circles. I associate it more with traditional martial arts than with my mixed martial arts school. One aspect I'm very interested in is the idea of not judging or trying to push away suffering and troubling feelings, but embracing them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I don't think I have a torn pec, I think I have a bruised upper rib. Took a punch there from Anthony while infighting; it hurt so much I couldn't move, even though the Joshu was yelling at me, "Punch back! Punch back!"

From an Internet article on bruised ribs:

Bruised ribs are notorious for their long healing time. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about bruised ribs as they tend to heal on their own. Typical healing time for bruised ribs is anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks. Once, you are diagnosed for bruised ribs, it is important that you prevent them from any further damage.

Tonight: Naproxen. Ice. Stretch. Hot shower.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pec Pull

I seem to have a strained pectoral muscle.

It might have gotten hurt Friday dueing kickboxing when I blocked a high kick with my arm. It's been a little sore, but tonight when I was grappling, when people put pressure on my chest it was intensely painful. Then in sparring it was mildly sore and not an issue.

I've never heard of a strained pec, but I suppose any muscle can get pulled.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Violet KnockOut and the Judgment-Free Zone

I went a few Saturdays ago to my first Roller Derby. I was there accompanying my wife, who was running an outreach table for her her organization, which is in the mental health field. It was a charity event unlike any other I've attended.

One of the female contestants, I was told, was a clinical psychologist; her moniker for Roller Derby was Freudy N. Slip, and her "number" was DSM4 (shorthand for the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders). Other good names: Serial Mom, Jenny Bangs!, Whiskey Lullaby. Two of the best skaters were Violet KnockOut and C-Roll.

It was really fun. Everybody attending and participating looked exhilarated. One interesting thing was how non-judgmental the atmosphere was. Some of the skaters were big and some were big and butch and some were petite and limber, and nobody seemed to care how they looked. People were just having fun.

Fun, that is, plus knocking the other skaters onto their asses. But I didn't see anybody get mad about getting knocked down (though I'm sure it had to happen at some point).

There is also also a non-judgmental atmosphere in martial arts schools at their best. Unlike gyms, everybody wears the same outfit in a dojo, which tends to muffle some of the differences in wealth and build. There's often a very encouraging spirit (if also a very challenging one.) Certainly I give credit to everybody showing up, no matter what their body shape, because the easiest thing to do would have been simply to stay on the couch at home.