Rolling with a hurt shoulder

On Friday, at open mat, I got Americana’d. About the same time I was getting ready to tap, my shoulder popped, I heard it and the guy doing the move heard it. He backed up right away. It didn’t really hurt, I wouldn’t say I was in pain, it felt more like hitting my funny bone on it.  I did a couple laps around the mat (the BJJ equivalent of “rubbing some dirt on it.”) and sparred a couple more times.

It’s still a bit sore, but only if I move it in a certain position. Otherwise, I have full use of my arm. In fact, this morning I was doing push-ups, curls, bench press, butterfly and even a lap of bear crawling. The weights weren’t that heavy, but none of those movements irritated my shoulder.

However, last night as I rolled, I wasn’t sure how it would do so I figured I’d try rolling, if I couldn’t handle it, I’d just bow out and rest up.  I went the entire class, and afterwards I noticed something. I had some really good matches. Not in a “I tapped everyone I faced” way, but just there was good movement and defending on my part. Once or twice I tapped because an attack was starting to get locked in on that shoulder.  As I thought about this after class, and even this morning I realized that keeping your elbows in is super effective.

I think the 2 rules of BJJ that I’ve heard are: 1. Protect your neck and 2. Elbows in.  And I know that and I try to be conscious of that when I roll, but last night I was kind of forced to do that, because I didn’t want to flare my shoulder out and have someone take it.

So to all my coaches out there, you were right all along, if I keep my elbows in, I’ll have a better roll.