Sunday, March 10, 2013

Women in Jiu Jitsu


There have been some really good blog discussions lately about whether women should be in jiu jitsu. I’ll admit that I have been paying attention half-heartedly. I feel a bit guilty about it, like I should be putting in my own two cents. But I’ve got my own drama playing out in Shark Land.
 I’ve hinted in my past few posts of a mysterious injury. Nothing to elaborate on, I thought, so I didn’t. Well, it’s been a month and The Injury, perhaps looking for greater billing on my blog, not used to taking a back seat to vacations and margaritas, has started to make some noise.
            I’m not quite ready to describe the incident yet, but I am ready to describe my feelings and my fears.

The Injury was partly my fault and partly my partner’s. When it seemed like The Injury would be minor, I chalked it up to training. But weeks later, as it grows worse and not better, as I wait for results of X-rays and MRIs, as Husband says, “I hate to say it, Honey, but this could be the end of jiu jitsu for you,” as RICE and ibuprofen do nothing but alleviate discomfort for a short while, as all of my cross-training exercises fall off the list of things it seems my body can handle, I have to face that surgery and an extended jiu jitsu hiatus are on the table for me, even if I try to be optimistic.
With every passing day, the chance that my orthopedic surgeon will say, “Just a sprain, just a sprain,” gets smaller and smaller. And this is where it gets complicated. I am starting to resent my partner. Even though it was partially my fault, even though there was no harm intended.
            I fear Husband is right, or that if he is wrong, my jiu jitsu game will be drastically changed, or I will be so changed in my practice that it will no longer be satisfying to me.
            So, should women be in jiu jitsu? Right now that seems like a silly question. My feeling is that this woman, me, should be in jiu jitsu right now. But I can’t.

13 comments:

  1. Oh goodness... I'm so sorry. All I can tell you is, no matter what the injury is (unless it's quadriplegia, and doesn't sound like it) you CAN and WILL come back to do BJJ again. Of course! I know people who have had ACL/MCL/LCL tears or replacements... shoulder socket whatchamacallits... broken bones... torn ligaments in ankles, feet, wrists, elbows. I promise, this is NOT the end of jiu jitsu for you unless you decide that is what you want. At the very worst, you will have to be off the mats for a while (though your physical fitness will really help you with your rehab and PT) and when you come back you may have to change your game (if you're used to playing spider and have to find another go-to move while the knee heals for example) but that is what most, if not all, jiu jitsu players have to do at least once in their careers.

    Psh, tell your husband nothing keeps Shark WOMAN off the mats :)

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    1. Thanks, Georgette. I need all the moral support I can muster right now. I hope you are right. I'm not a good rester!

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  2. I'm so sorry.

    I suffered a knee injury at the hands of my coach. He never apologized or asked after the injury, of which he was aware.

    Good part is my knee is getting better, but the association with that coach has ended.

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    1. That's really sad that he never asked after you or apologized.
      I'm glad to hear you are getting better. What has your path been like?

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    2. I had a minor tear of my MCL, which healed well with physiotherapy. I also had a gouge out of the patellar cartilage which wasn't diagnosed for eight months after the injury. The surgeon wanted to be conservative with that injury and I've done a bunch of physio. This part of the injury is the most nagging and I've been dealing with it for a year and a half.

      But I am getting better.

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    3. Wow. I hope you improve without the surgery. I suppose you can always have it done, but you can't "undo" it, huh?
      How long did you stay off the mat? Thank you for sharing your story.

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    4. The physio would rather that I didn't return to BJJ, as kneeling is really bad for my knee.

      For the second injury I stayed off the mat for about 4 months.

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  3. It's an interesting and frustrating process to see if something passes the "hurts too bad and for too long to not go to the doctor" threshold. I'm sorry this one turned out that way and hope that you retain your amazing cheer, skillful wit and chompy outlook on life, Shark Girl.

    Best of luck with the recovery process.

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    1. Thank you, Tree Frog. You are too kind. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I am a horrible, horrible over-reactor.

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  4. Ouch, sorry to hear that. Injuries are the worst part about training BJJ, but unfortunately they seem to be an inevitable part as well.

    In six years I have yet to get injured in such a way that I couldn't somehow train around it, but if yours ends up keeping you off the mats completely (for whatever length of time), that will hopefully just mean an opportunity to study supplemental material, catch up on some reading and socialise with all those people outside of BJJ. :)

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    1. Well, maybe it's time to write that gi review...but I'm so sad about no jiu jitsu that I'm not even sure I can go there!

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  5. Very sad to hear you're still injured. I have been reading your blog for a while now but I never comment. Here's to you getting better without complications!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Taliko! I appreciate the support.

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