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Third Time’s a Charm (not really)

July 29, 2009


I wish I had pleasant news to post, but I don’t.

It would be nice to write about my triumphant return to jiu-jitsu practice where I got to cover all the techniques I wanted to and drill them to my heart’s content. Where old friends from my time in the quaint town of Kurogi met up once again and pushed each other to our limits.

Yes, it would most absolutely be great to post something good, something earthed in actively pursuing jiu-jitsu for a change.

Not this time.


Seth, Carl and I drove down to Kurume City on Monday, and we arrived at the Judo Hall Teppo Ebi trains in with a surprise. There were no parking stalls available, leaving us to park on the road – a no-no in Japan – but we were there for jiu-jitsu and we’d be damned if we were going to let parking be an issue for us.

But the best surprise was seeing good old Esteban again on the mats.

Esteban, who I have not trained with (but have met up with once in a great while off the mats), showed up to Teppo Ebi a changed man. Since last time, Esteban joined Judo at the high school he teaches at, injured his knee, had surgery, got better, got back into Judo and finally came back to his jiu-jitsu roots.

I really missed Esteban and it was good to see him on the mats again. He was a welcomed addition to our circle.

I had warned Seth and Carl about Esteban. Back in Kurogi, I was the quick, speedy one. Brent had strength and incredible top-game pressure. Esteban on the other hand could easily match what both Brent and I had to offer plus his height which made for terrible in-Esteban’s-guard moments. I’m happy to report that, yes, Esteban lived up to his hype.
After our typical (new to Esteban) Teppo Ebi warm up everyone broke into pairs and we all went over techniques we wanted to drill. I wanted to put in armbar drills ala new-Pat style. And I did. Two reps. With Seth and Carl. One at half resistance, then the other at full resistance. And I had to finish the armbars. And finish I did.

After that, Round Robin drill from closed guard.

I went in with Carl. He was on bottom. I was on top. I opened Carl’s guard rather quickly, stood up and was threatened with a sweep.

Carl would have had the sweep had I not braced myself with my leg.

I would still be able to walk up and down stairs with ease had I not braced myself with my leg.

The right leg. The one with the re-injured knee. Or should I now write the one with the re-re-injured knee.

Yup, third time’s a charm.

This is not a smile.
It’s the hatching of an evil plan to conquour the world
three times over!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!

I met my requirements of flexibility and strength so it’s not like I rushed into things. In fact, I could even jump up on one of those giant rubber balance balls and stand on them like that clip with Andre Galvao and Leo Vieira.

I was never going to spar.

I was only going to start off with drills then work my way back up to full sparring one or two months later.

Round Robins are relatively safe.


Yesterday, I went to a brand new clinic, Emoto Knee and Sports Clinic, the same one Esteban went to for his knee injury. I went through the whole motions, filling out of the forms, medical history and x-rays. And got a proper MRI done on my knee (which should have been done on my knee in the first place).

Everything was brand new in this clinic, including the clinic. Top of the line rehabilitation and exercise equipment. They even had a very large, open and comfortable waiting room complete with plants almost two meters in height. In my previous clinics I went to I could jump up and touch the ceiling in the waiting room if I wanted to.

The doctor, Emoto-sensei, who happens to be the top doc in the clinic because it’s named after him, spoke really good English. He spent an entire hour with me, carefully going over my injuries and treatment plan.

He then spoke about going to workshops over in the states and constantly reads new articles and surgery techniques on knee injuries. He told me it’s good to keep learning new things even though you already know a lot (reminded me of the need to constantly improve our own jiu-jitsu).

As Emoto-sensei was going over my injuries, I immediately wished for a time machine to go back to February of this year when I injured my knee and seeing him for the first time instead of going to the very old and outdated clinic near where I live. That probably would have saved me a lot of frustration and pain.

Here’s what ails me (sorry, no pictures, too busy being in awe seeing the inside of my knee for the first time):

I have four points of injury in my knee. The first is a mild tear in my MCL at the femur attachment and the second one is a tear in my medial meniscus. Because of my MCL injury the lateral point where the femur and the tibia meet is my third injury.

These are mild and the treatment is conservative. Lots of rest, no sports activities. Which is what I’ve been doing everytime I’ve injured my knee.

Emoto-sensei wondered why I kept re-injuring my knee.

He suspects a torn ACL. My forth injury point.

He believes I must have had that injured ever since February and it’s the reason I keep spending time mending instead of training. On the MRI reading it wasn’t clear the extent of the injury so he didn’t feel it necessary to say I need surgery. There were a few cases – some he experienced first hand – where the ACL was injured but then somehow recovered to a point of acceptable flexibility. He wants wait and see where I fit.

I go for a re-check next week. Stay tuned.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 7:28 pm

    Damn, sorry to hear that – three times in a row is horrifically bad luck. Get well soon!

  2. July 29, 2009 10:19 pm

    Oh, no! Hopefully this shiny new doctor can get everything identified and fixed. Get well soon, Patrick!

  3. July 30, 2009 9:04 am

    Thanks, slidey. Thanks, Leslie. This time a speedy and a FULL recovery is what I’m aiming for.

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