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January 29, 2008

Training session cancelled on a count of stiff neck. The kind that gives headaches. Also one of my guys is prepping for a trip so he’s out for this week, but that’s besides the point. I’m sore and I’m not training.

Not that I’m being a wimp. Okay, I’m sort of being a wimp. But it hurts to look right or left, up or down. Like a really bad kink. Although I don’t want to be lazy or give up a day of training, I really don’t want to make it worse. I think sparring or even holding up pads (cause there’s actual impact that transfers over to the shoulders and upper back) is out of the question.

I’ve read articles online that say it’s “safe” to roll with an injury or a sore body part (like my neck, btw, took two Eve – really good headache medicine found here – it did nothing for my neck. Headache is gone though.) so long as your training partner knows what’s up. Also slow rolling or very light sparring is okay. Again as long as both parties are being safe, roll till your heart’s content.

Now, I could have done that, but that’s not how I want to train. Not anymore.

I’m trying to improve my game by rolling in real time, with real resistance. I’m real good at slow rolling. In fact, that was my preferred method of rolling back home. I was the small guy in the academy. Most guys larger than me I’d hate rolling with because they’d go all out, using all of their weight and strength against tiny little me (which is not the best way for a big guy to train – relying on strength will only get you so far…) Obviously that’d work for them. In my case strength vs strength, big guy always wins. Plus I’d gas out pretty quickly too. I was not physically fit back then as I am now. So I sought out partners that would roll lightly – older guys, higher belts. Perhaps I became more technical that way, but my physical conditioning (strength, speed, timing) suffered because of that.

And then rolling last December changed the way I viewed my training. I want to compete, but my training sessions were not preparing me for that. I want to perform at 100% for the entire duration of the match no matter what the time limit is. Or give 100% when rolling against bigger guys. My friend back home told me that’s a good goal but one that I won’t be able to accomplish because everyone has natural limitations and that’s a fact we cannot escape.

I’d really like to prove him wrong.

I’m a firm believer in technique beating strength. I’m sure a few more years of learning and training will finally open up and reveal that truth to me as easily as slapping on an armbar from the guard. But I haven’t reached that level yet. I’m still seeing my own limitations and not seeing the technique help me move pass that. I don’t yet see technique providing me the bridge to surpass and overcome my limits.

And another day I don’t train, is another day I’m farther away from that bridge.

Either I need a new pillow or I should take it easy on the tabata bridges.

Train hard, sleep so you don’t wake up with a headache inducing neck kink.

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