BJJ Session # 34 – Opposable

The last couple of days have been a lesson in just how important some things are that we take for granted. Coffee mugs, door knobs, cell phones, frying pans… it’s a long list of things that become very unwieldy when you’re down 50% of your thumbs. One aspect that I’ve liked about BJJ from the start is the relatively low instance of serious injuries from training. Now, accidents happen in any undertaking, but little bumps and strains don’t bother me too much. Up until this week, I’ve avoided any injuries of the more serious nature; the kind that limits your training and starts to affect your daily life. Things like getting your thumb caught during at poor attempt at a balloon sweep. Frustrating and annoying is what it comes down to; I’ve just reached a point where things make more sense and I felt like there was some progress being made.

We had worked through some grip breaking and other self defense standing escapes/counters and were working on a balloon sweep when someone grabs both your lapels. Step back, control the back of their elbows, lift a foot to their hip while you sit down, use their momentum to leverage them up and over. I was too tentative, not because I was worried about hurting myself but because I was worried I was going to dump my partner on his head in a awkward fashion. About three or four reps in, he was going over in a weird way and I adjusted my arm out to…, I don’t know, catch him? Ultimately my fault and my responsibility. It is after all, my thumb that was hanging out there. A lot of his weight landed on my thumb and before I could slip my elbow out from underneath. I heard/felt some gross crunching sounds. Tried to work the next drill, which was top control from mount, but by then my thumb was throbbing and screaming at the slightest brush. Time to take a week off and come back Tuesday (with the thumb taped in a sloth-hand position, I think). The lesson learned: arms in, thumbs in.


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