Arghh! my back!

Title says it all, since my last postings on the wonders of Kimura arm-locks, i’ve managed to do the thing that most people do in training and that’s injure themselves, or in this case I’ve injured myself.

So what did i do?

During a simple warm up exercise i managed to hurt my lower back, not terribly serious, but when the following day comes and you can’t even put your shoes and socks on without screaming in pain? you know this won’t get easier any time soon. Luckily, or unluckily,  i’m not a stranger to injuries so i know that the first point of call isn’t your local GP, it’s a specialist that knows about lower back pain, i.e. an Osteopath. But before we get to that point, i was helped out by a member of the academy who also went through this themselves and helped me stretch my lower back out a bit, no it wasn’t pleasant!

Later that particular evening a very hot bath to try and relax the muscles in the area, which helped slightly. Gingerly getting into bed and the fighting for hours to find a reasonably comfortable position to sleep in. I don’t recommend lying flat on your front or on your back. The following day comes and disaster already struck! I’m on my back. I attempt to sit up and quickly lie back down again, my back in telling me things… don’t try to sit directly up! I manage to roll out of bed and come to my knees. It feels like my back doesn’t understand the concept of movement. So i grit the teeth and slowly come up straight, even though still slightly stooped.

Dressing myself was a challenge, i.e. putting on trousers, socks, etc. Getting to work was generally unpleasant. Sitting at a desk to operate a pc, yeah that didn’t go down well, considering every time i got up was recipe for disaster. A colleague gave me a contact number for a local Osteopath in the area, which he recommended very highly, so i dutifully made an appointment.

After answering all the normal questions, you do on a first visit, it was time to strip then get on the table. The hour flew by… crack, crack, crack, crack… crack some more. No training for the week, ice the back to reduce swelling, do not sleep on your front or back, sleep on your side with a pillow between the knees. Plus the Osteopath put these strips on my back, why? apparently it helps blood flow to the area.

Days past, movement is coming back, pain still there but I’m moving better. Decided to have another assessment done, as i really want to get back to training, went and saw the Osteopath, another series of cracks and checks. Confirmation, my back is a lot more  responsive and feels like there’s some give in places as before there wasn’t any. Warned me of going back to training and to take it easy, otherwise i can undo all the healing that’s been done. For good measure they cracked the sh1t! out of my neck too and my upper back. (I really do think that back cracking is like ‘popping your cherry’ for Osteopath’s)

But my range of movement is a lot better now and next to no pain. I will now look forward to going back to training, but no high impact stuff. Being injured isn’t cheap!

“Tapping out!”


Lock, stock and a smoking baton!

Due to heavy work commitments i neglected to write up Wednesday’s account of the lesson at the academy, so I’ll be summarising two nights in one.

Just as normal, we were addressed by the professor on the tone for the week with reference to self defence of batons and also if you ever get caught and end up in a headlock. We had some background philosophy on the regularity of headlocks in street fights and different ways people can try and put these on you.

With the warm-ups on Wednesday, we did running, side-stepping, running backwards and hip escapes. We finished off with a drill to simply try and escape someone’s guard and enter into cross body position or full mount. Tonight we did simple rolling to gently warm up the body.

We then went in and revised the moves from Monday’s lesson and on Wednesday; we had expanded on certain moves when defending over head attacks with the baton. This ultimately lead to the a throw over your head so that the attacker with the baton ends up landing on their head. This is performed if the person with the baton ends up behind you.

Moving on from that position tonight we also looked at another similar throw, which had a different element to it but achieved the same thing. When performing the throw, your hips need to be lower than your opponents. With the added details tonight this throw was performed more by aligning your backside with their thigh and simply walking backwards, whilst bending over to achieve the throw.

After drilling a few times, we then progressed to doing headlocks counters. We again revised Monday’s lesson and the added details taken from Wednesday lesson, which consisted of performing a frame on the person still trying to keep a tight headlock on you. The purpose of the frame is to eventually persuade them, via pain and discomfort, to let go of your head so you can perform an arm-lock. This was drilled with differing levels of success. The professor also showed us an alternative counter if we couldn’t frame. This consisted of going to your knees and putting them on their back.

We drilled this for a reasonable length of time before moving on.

All the extra details added into tonight’s lesson consisted of additional arm-locks, some arm-lock escape counters and a very sneaky triangle setup. One of the arm-lock escape counters involved a method of breaking the ‘gable grip’ which is common for arm-lock defending. The method involved doing an americana type lock on the ‘gable gripped’ arm.

After going through the other details, my mind was literally spinning at the level of detail being shown. The lesson concluded with a final address from the professor to make sure we respect the person we’re sparring with.

My thoughts, the lessons this week have been up to the expected standard and the knowledge transfer is truly amazing. Baton defence will beautifully complement the knife lessons. The only downside probably to the week is that, for me, a lot of the extra details on the mat, will require a lot of adjustment for me to make sure i can be effective. All work in progress…

“Tapping out X2”