Well I managed Monday/Thursday last week and Monday this week and while my back is holding up well I am physically feeling it and really need to stick to that new year diet to get some weight off and some cardio up.
So my January 1st weight was 24st 8lb and hopefully over the months this will go down and down as I get fitter and stronger.
Anyway the point of this is around a class that I did with Gregg on Thursday and one with Chaz yesterday along with some conversations with John.
The classes have been focused around two relatively simple things, an arm bar and a sweep but have shown me that while the basics are still there the small details are what I have forgotten or have become blunted by 19 months away.
As Gregg put it “if you know an arm bar from mount you know one arm bar, if you know true and proper arm bar technique you know many many arm bars” and this is very true and what I am missing. I know what I need to do but at the moment am too slow or just not quite getting it and I was not sure why, basically it is down to fine details. Doing it all properly but not turning my hips right, or putting a foot on the floor rather than on their hip or a number of things.
The basics are there but the drilling that I have done over and over has left me a little bit and I am sort of running at that level where I almost have it and the instincts are already coming back but it is just behind a step.
All this really is to make the point that as boring as it might seem to drill the basics over and over if you don’t you will never ever get the helicopter arm bars or inverted guard. Build from a solid foundation and try driving a car first before you move to a flying car.
Well I survived training which was in itself a thing of doubt and it was hard, even harder than I expected.
As ever the guys at the forge were brilliant and it was great to be back but when I was dying on my shield half way through the slow jog as part of the warm up I realised this might be a long and physically difficult night……….
………….and it was.
My fitness after so long away was just horrible and I struggled even when drilling but I got through it and after some light sparring with my good mates Gregg, Chris and Chaz everything held together and nothing popped, cracked or more importantly ruptured into my spinal column :-)
I got home and after an hour sat in the chair I felt like I might not be able to get upstairs to bed as I ached, I then spent most of the night running in my sleep and aching, and mostly awake. But this is not much different to how it used to be and will get better as I put the hours back in and my body gets used to the knee/elbow in belly/sternum and the elbow in thigh among other fun things.
This morning I feel like I have fallen downstairs into a barrel of kendo sticks and rolled round for an hour but my back feels OK and that is the main thing.
So with all that in mind am I back or is it all too much for me, well I will be back again Thursday to do it all again as despite the aches pains and moans I loved being back. I still want to progress in this sport more than anything so what else can I do but keep pushing on smiling and aching all the way.
Well 2014 rolls around and I am making my second attempt at a come back, the first attempt was just over a year from my surgery to take a disc out of my back and chuck a new one in and was too soon I was too injured after every small effort at training to keep it up and setting myself back.
I am back walking properly no sign of the permanent limp they said I might have and bar a few issues left over from damage to my spinal nerves I am healed and well.
So once again I am back to BJJ which I have sorely missed and have always had it in my mind that I wanted to come back and one day earn my way through the belts. Who knows it could happen I just have to re dedicate myself and start the path again.
It has now been 19 months with no exercise bar a couple of hours and as such it is hard to see how I will do as I am less fit now than I have ever ever been but that will all come back with training and work.
Since have been away my mate Gregg is a brown belt with a stripe and James is a brown belt, well done to you both it is an immense achievement and something to be very very proud of.
Steve W is a black belt and that is fantastic and something that I genuinely aspire too and cannot say well done enough or how deserved it is.
If I have missed anyone it is because I haven’t been around and don’t know so my apologies.
Lets see how tonight goes and how I feel tomorrow I can’t wait but am also a bit apprehensive as another break down would really annoy me but I feel very positive towards it all.
Well I nearly made it back almost for a bit and then I didn’t just as quickly again, its been a long and painful journey which is not finished yet but is a lot further down the line than it was.
Let me also just state that this injury was nothing to do with BJJ in any fashion.
To quickly recap I had a micro discectomy on my L4/L5 S1 vertebrae on June 2nd 2012 which involved the removal of a disc in my back, some spinal fusion and a great deal of messing about. I had severe nerve damage as well and at one point was told I would drag my leg for the rest of my life and possibly end up with many other awful side effects. I was also told that it would be 18 months before I could look at any kind of sport or real exercise.
Well only a year down the line I have had a few relatively gentle sessions of BJJ and also some really excellent and gentle Judo sessions taught by the patient, calm and skilled Ming Wong. This has me way ahead of schedule and that is a great, I am not dragging my leg and only suffering one fairly annoying and sizable side effect but with time that will go away.
Recently I have had to hold off training again as I have been suffering a good sized whack of pain probably due to the amount of walking I am now doing on a daily basis but also down to the fact that I have been pushing pretty hard. However the fact that I have got back at all has been a major benefit to me and has further re enforced my love of BJJ and also Judo I just love being back albeit having to sit out again at the moment for a bit.
The main point of this though has been to say that once again the forge and the guys there especially John, Gregg, Ming and Naz and also the ladies there on a Saturday morning who have laughed at my co ordination issues have been brilliant. It has been like going back to a second family and has really lifted me from what can be at times quite a low time as it is hard to go from competing in big competitions and even medalling at the Grace invitational in London to being barely able to walk onto the mat.
So while I am not there yet I am getting there and sooner rather than later my journey back towards blackbelt will continue and one day I will get there that is a promise.
The track of this blog was about rolling, Gi’s and reviews and then I vanished, why you ask? Well in fact no one did but I am, going to tell you anyway so suck it :-)
I got very very down as a combination of work in a new city and a constant bad back meant training became almost impossible.
Then the bad back became horrendous and ended me in surgery more of which tomorrow.
So this blog now becomes my journey hopefully back to training and finally improving my skills and BJJ future. It may interest some and may not interest a lot more but I know I have spent a lot of time looking for info about people who have had back surgery and managed to return to BJJ and there is not that much so maybe this will help a little.
I will post a better update when I have worked out all that went on however just to say.
What a good day it was, well organised, some great fights and loads of the top fighters wandering around more than happy to pose for pictures or just chat.
One odd thing was watching fighters who when you train with them seem almost invincible getting beaten, it almost seems impossible but it happens.
As expected the superfight was cagey but with so much to win and lose it was not a shock.
Roll on day 2.
Well I have said it before but I am finally back in the game and back online.
I have been concentrating on getting my new job settled and making sure I make the right impact and that is now all going great and am enjoying myself even though it is a fair bit of travel. I also managed to squeeze a wee break in to the south of France and all that along with settling a few other things has taken me away from the game I love and from this site.
So I thought that the opening of the new Forge and the Mendes Brothers Seminar would be a good time to kick start my ass into gear again. Thus as of 23rd September 2011 I am have until December 30th 2011 to get from 23st 5lbs to a maximum of 21St and to prgress my BJJ in general.
I will also be tweeting from the ADCC weekend and writing an update when I get back so you can follow me @stewnorriss Here
Now to the main point of this article, I ran an interview some time ago with the legendary Draculino none of which would have been possible without both Justin and the Colby and I wanted to learn some more about Colby the man himself and also about his training. In typically cool style he produced a video interview for me in two parts and here they are. A genuinely interesting and certainly very good guy…
Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2