Always Moving Forward

Matthew Wernikoff, BJ Penn and Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro

Matthew Wernikoff, BJ Penn and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro

So it was bound to happen sooner or later, I finally experienced my first real BJJ injury.  While trying a sweep from a modified half-guard position I got caught in a strange position with way to much weight on my leg.  The loud popping sound was way to familiar at this point.  For now it seems that my LCL is sprained and not torn.  I am rehabbing and trying to take it easy.

In the past it would have been easy for this to sidetrack my training and progress.  When you’re injured its way to easy to lose focus or become frustrated that you’re not a hundred percent.  AndI have to admit that I did fall off my diet for about a week.

Me and Rashad Evans

Me and Rashad Evans

But its the simplest things in life that can bring focus and clarity to your line of thinking.  My friend Shaolin Ribeiro invited me to a clinic at his school with former UFC Champion and BJJ World Champion BJ Penn on Tuesday.  I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity so I decided to wrap my knee up, put a brace on and do what little I could.  I am so glad I did.  BJ is a great instructor and the techniques and strategies he showed really opened my eyes to how a simple and straight forward game plan is far more important than fancy techniques and tricks.  The energy of the clinic and being around people who have such a passion for BJJ really motivated me to keep moving forward, through this injury and onto the next phase of my training.

I also got to see a friend get back to training when former UFC World Champion Rashad Evans came by the gym to train with Jamal Patterson and his fighters at AllStar BJJ/MMA.  Seeing Rashad and his crew interacting with the fighters at AllStar and the renewed fire in some of their eyes, also served as a reminder that you can’t always be peeking mentally or physically.  But you have to keep moving forward and take advantage of any opportunity to get better.

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