Monday, January 28, 2008

My First Black Eye from MMA Training

I fully expected to get a few bumps and bruises on the road toward becoming a pro MMA fighter. Yesterday I received one such bruise, but not the way I would have expected.

I was training with Tasia, the girl I competed against in December’s Submission Series tournament. In the last couple of weeks we’ve started to meet up on the weekends to train together for our mutual benefit.

At the end of each session, we roll with each other for awhile, trying out moves, etc. We had been grappling for about 10-15 minutes yesterday without stopping and neither of us had managed to get the other to tap out. Then, at one point, Tasia attempted a roll-over from guard. I had her wrist in my grip but she tried to thrust through it. But, because we were both slick with sweat, her wrist slipped out of the grip much faster than expected, launching her bony wrist straight into my eye.

I felt it thud into my eye brow bone then stopped. With all the adrenaline running through me, it didn’t seem all that painful but it started to tear up and swell immediately. Tasia became a flood of apologies and inquiries about my condition.

“I better get some ice for this,” I said, matter-of-factly as I got up and walked into the other room where Mark, my MMA coach, and Jeff, one of the other coaches at the school were training.

Mark sat me down and thrust his thumb into my eye socket where it was swelling. I hissed a little at the pain that resulted, which was much worse than when I actually received the blow.

“Yeah, I know. This is gonna hurt a bit,” he said as he pushed down on the swelling and rolled it out away from my eye. He then followed up by pushing down on it with an ice pack.

“By pushing the swelling away like that, it will keep it away from the eye and usually stop it from getting completely blackened,” Jeff explained to Tasia who nodded understanding.

Mark glanced up as he began to deliver a second painful thumb jab to my eye. “I don’t know why it works, but it does.” I felt a little like a science experiment as everyone around me theorized as to the reasons for its effectiveness. I certainly never learned this in my first aid/ Heartsaver “C” training course, but then that curriculum wasn’t exactly sport-specific.

Whatever the medical explanation is, it seemed to have been effective. This morning I inspected my eye in the mirror. It was still swollen and a little bruised, but the bruising was relegated to the edge of my eye rather than the eye itself.

I thought it was a little strange that the first black eye I received since starting MMA training was as a result of no-strike grappling. Mark and Jeff informed me, however, that it’s actually more common to receive bruises this way.

“When you’re expecting strikes, you’re more prepared to defend against them,” Jeff explained. “But when you’re just grappling, knees, elbows, and other limbs fly out when you’re not expecting, so you’re bound to get hit every once in a while.

Duly noted.

No comments: