BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

Scary vegetables

on December 14, 2011

Woke up yesterday morning and my right ear hurt. One isolated place, and it felt like it was on fire. Ached, too. Of course, my mind immediately went to “Oh noes icky cauliflower ear!” and so of course that place felt swollen when I touched it. But I couldn’t see or feel any place that felt like it could be drained, so instead I hauled an ice pack to work and alternated it on & off in 20-minute intervals. All. day. long. I also practiced saying “aural hematoma” for when I called my doctor’s office.

Yes, everyone at work thinks I’m crazy.

I kept imagining that I could feel my ear filling up like someone blowing up a balloon, and so frantically checked it all day. Despite what I was certain I could feel, inspection of the area revealed no sprouting vegetables in my ear. (And then I started worrying that checking it too much — especially poking to see if it was filling up — might actually cause the very thing I was trying to prevent. Fail!)

By last night it had stopped hurting. And though there’s still a small place that might not have been there before class on Monday, there seems to be no signs of trauma to the ear. However, I slept on the other side just in case and barricaded myself there with pillows.

In three and a half years of BJJ, I haven’t had any cauliflower ear, and I intend to keep it that way. I have noticed that my ears have gotten overall thicker — and the right is thicker than the left, which I think is because most things happen on that side — and have had a few days where one or the other felt a little sore. I’ve had times where I’ve been certain (and horrified) that the movement that just occurred in a roll was going to give me cauliflower, but thankfully nothing came of those.

I’m still nervous about this one, though, because it hurt all day yesterday. So I’m gonna break out the Cliff Keen Twister headgear that I got from MMA Outlet quite a while back (for “just in case” scenarios) and give it a good run and maybe a review. 😛

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

When we got there tonight, there were a couple of guys installing a heater (?) in the building. Not really sure, but okay… Tim had to stay over with them, so he had Buddy lead the class.

Seriously, purple belts, you gotta learn how to lead the warmup properly, lol.

One roll as part of the warmup. “Nice and easy,” we’re told, of course, but I get the one guy in the room who doesn’t know what that means. Well, he pretends to know, and will be all limp and aimless until the moment he thinks he spies a submission or pass, and then he pounces and tries to rip things off. Elbows to face, too; not my favorite.

Drilling was armbar from mount. Same partner. More elbows to face. Seriously?


The heater guys had left, so Tim moved on to cleaning up the mess they’d left. Lots of dust on the mats, so he mopped one side while we drilled over on the other. Then mopped the other while we started rolling on the first.

Just rolling. With Big Jon, Guillaume, Buddy, Tyler. Then sat one round. Then Guillaume again.

Lol, since Big Jon’s been out for so long, I’ve gotten complacent about going to turtle. That is not something you do against Big Jon, and after he’d choked me quickly from there twice I finally remembered. Do not try to outwrestle the wrestler. Does not work.

I’ve been giving Buddy problems when he’s gotten to my back recently, by being sneaky about letting him think he’s got the right grips but really I’ve managed to make him have double-unders so that I can mitigate the choke attempts both with my arms and by bridging backwards and sliding around. I’ve been meaning to tell him for the last week or so, but always seem to forget while I’m in class. Tonight the same thing occurred; then between rounds and he asked what he was doing wrong, so I finally remembered to it point out. Now I’ll have to really defend my neck, though, as he’ll be fighting to get one arm over my arm.

Guillaume managed in the second roll to get my back up against one of the posts along the front of the mat. I knew we were close, but didn’t realize how close. When I started getting grips for a bow-and-arrow choke, he joked about being aware of your surroundings. Then when I went to finish, my back landed right by the pole. Could not get any more movement in that direction. What the–? He laughed at me and the look on my face, then said, “And now she kills me.” Didya know there’s a loop choke if you fall on your side toward their head (aka, the only direction I could go at that point)? Heh. 😛

So, seems I just can’t get myself to bed on time this week. I got myself off the video games early enough Monday night, but then stayed up until midnight reading (since I can read again, now that NaNoWriMo is over).

Then last night I decided to cook (good choice, because otherwise I would have had nothing to eat): made back ribs (inspired by this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple and this recipe on Fit Daffy [also, I made the actual oxtail stew over the weekend]. But no tomatoes. I don’t know why, but I don’t like cooked tomatoes. And I had white wine and chicken broth instead of red and beef, but oh well. It still turned out really good.) and also these pumpkin-coconut-maple custard cups (pumpkin pie in a cup, omg! [literally, in my case, as I don’t have ramekins so used small coffee cups instead.] Though no coconut on top because I don’t like the texture. And had to bake closer to an hour.)

(In other news, the previous sentence should win an award for parenthesis use. 😉 )

So I also settled down to reading last night since I could do that while everything cooked, and then after cleaning up there wasn’t enough time to do much else, but again stayed up reading until midnight.

*le sigh*

… … What I really need is a longer day. Or night.


11 responses to “Scary vegetables

  1. leslie says:

    So WordPress just informed me that this is my 1,000th post. Wow, really?

    Though the pop-out sidebar to commemorate this was a little depressing, as it contained a quote from Truman Capote: That isn’t writing at all, it’s typing.

    Well, thanks… I think.

  2. leslie says:

    Also (I’m getting punchy and forgetful this week. Need sleep. But probably going to stay up & read anyway) — did wear the headgear tonight. A little hard to hear, as everything seemed like it was being said in a tunnel, but overall not too bad. During warmups, I was sure that I’d have to rip the thing off soon, but by the end of class I’d almost forgotten that I was wearing it.

  3. I’ve noticed my right ear has gotten thicker at the top. Hopefully I don’t get any cauliflower, because it absolutely grosses my wife out. I’ve read several places that you can easily get it depending on the shape of your ear and how far out your ear sticks from your head. Oh, and I didn’t know Big Jon was a wrestler. No wonder his base was so good when I was trying to sweep him. Nice rolling with you last night. Congratulations on your 1,000th post. That’s amazing!

    • leslie says:

      You can also drain it before it hardens, so that it doesn’t stay that way.

      Yeah, Jon wrestled for Christiansburg under Coach Dresser. He is a very good wrestler, and he’s very good about fitting it in with his jiu-jitsu. Many wrestlers who come in can only switch between the two, wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Jon combines them to devastating effect. Thankfully, he’s a really great guy and has excellent control, else there would be a lot of broken people. 😛

  4. I train in TKD, not BJJ, so this may be obvious to most people … But how does BJJ make your ear thicker? I didn’t know that ears could even GET thicker…

    • leslie says:

      I didn’t know that they could, either, and of course it could just be my imagination. But the top third of my right ear feels thicker than the same on my left. (Although, I have no way of knowing if it was actually like that before I started BJJ.) My non-medical assumption is that all the friction triggers your body to increase the cartilage in the affected areas. *shrug*

    • I started BJJ six months ago and I’ve noticed my right ear getting thicker. As Leslie said, it’s most likely that your body increases the cartilage in the affected areas from friction being applied to your ear. My left ear is normal, since I’m right handed and usually do things on my strong side it has affected my right ear more. You can’t tell it’s thicker by just looking at it, but you can definitely feel it if you touch it.

  5. Huh … well, the reasoning makes sense to me! Does it get tougher, like a callus, or just thicker?

  6. purplekettle says:

    It’s so weird, I think some people must just be prone to cauliflower ear, because I’ve trained since I was 12 and I’ve never gotten it. Some of my friends though… you even LOOK at their ears and they’re in the bathroom with a syringe for horses (you can buy anything in Asia) draining the gunk out of their ears.

    Of course now that I said that my ears are going to swell up like balloons.


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