Victor Bachmann

July 23, 2010

Some don’t get out alive

Filed under: Training — The Professor @ 12:34 pm

When battling evil, injuries can occur.

Last week I dislocated my shoulder. It happened the way it always does, at the end of practice doing one last round. I was tired and went in for a sloppy shot, opponent drops to a lazy sprawl and falls on my arm in a weird way. Pop! It didn’t actually make a sound, but it sure did hurt.

It’s easy to blame your training partners, opponents, coaches, etc., but every time you step out on to the mat, ring, gym you accept the risk that you are going to end up in the emergency room. You’re the one dumb enough to take part in combat sports. Of course, you are always trying to minimize the risk. You warm up properly, put submissions on slowing, never crank a submission to a training partner who won’t tap (if it’s in the cage, break it!), and always tap when you should.

As much as you minimize the risk someone will get hurt. It’s a risk you either accept or get out of the game. It’s a big risk. You might have to drop out of an upcoming fight. You might have to get reconstructive surgery, spend months in physiotherapy, and more months getting back to where you started.

Most fighters don’t have much money and physiotherapy is expensive. When I tore my ACL, I didn’t have any extended insurance. I have a few good friends who were willing to help me out, but they have to make a living as much as anyone else and can’t do that handing out freebies to every sob story. Without proper recovery an injury might not ever heal.

Not being able to fight or train is bad enough, but showing up to your job in a leg splint can cause even more problems. We have a few aspiring and current firefighters/paramedics who train with us at Hayabusa and an injury can cost them their job. Most of them stop serious training or taking fights when they first get hired on.

There’s a lot you can do to speed up recovery. In all my strength and conditioning sessions I work on joint stability, either as a warm up or as part of the workout. After an injury, being diligent with all your exercises, ice lots, rest lots. That doesn’t mean stop training. With the U of A wrestling team, you are expected to show up to every practice, injured or not. There’s always something you can do, even if it riding a stationary bike or doing the exercises your physio prescribed.

I’ve known a few athletes try to push through their injuries, with mixed results. At best they lengthen their recovery, but run a risk of much more damage. Going into competition days or weeks after surgery might mean repeating it. It might mean it can never be repaired again and walking with a limp, cane, or pain for the rest of their lives.

As for when I will get back, hopefully soon. I’m putting in the work I need to get it better and training where I can. I was planning to fight in September, but I might have to push that back a month or two. At least this time, I can get the best treatment I need and take the time to fully recover.

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July 13, 2010

The Worst Part of Fighting

Filed under: Fights,Training — The Professor @ 3:01 pm

More like postBONED!

This coming Friday was supposed to beMitch Clarke’s title shot against Curtis DeMarce. Two weeks before the show, the whole event was cancelled. Many of my teammates had spent the last 2 or 3 months putting in hours everyday to get ready for fights on the card. All of them are devastated.

This is a pain I know all too well. I have, more than once, gone a year training for fights that had fallen through. Some promoters would try harder to find replacement opponents. I would go through a laundry list of names before finding an opponent or giving up.

Training camps are hard on the body and injuries happen all the time. Rarely does a fighter go into a fight at 100%. A week before my second fight, I had torn a bunch of ligaments in my elbow and could barely move my arm. I spent most of the week with my arm taped up and the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep at night. The thought of dropping out of my fight never occurred to me. I’m not sure if I realized I could.

That fight was tough and my performance was terrible. I did manage a win, but in retrospect I’m not sure that it was worth the risk. Full function of your arm is important in a fight. The toll on my body was pretty bad, I spent the next week bed ridden with the flu and it took months for my elbow to fully recover.

Fighting is risking to begin with. You have got an athlete pretty intent on removing your head from your body and it’s important that you are able to defend yourself with everything you can. An injury can mean more than a loss. Pushing an injured body to it’s already stretched limits affects an athlete for the rest of their life. The injury won’t heal properly and will affect future fights. Not to mention that this is the same body that you will stick with for the rest of your life.

It’s hard to find a good promotion to fight for; one that has respect for their fighters, pays them fairly, is fun to fight for, and has their shit together. The last one is harder to find than you’d think. I was supposed to fight in KOTC: Terror on the Tundra and then KOTC: Battleground in Grand Prarie. Both cancelled. Many of my teammates were supposed to fight in TFC 11: Destiny. Cancelled.

A cancelled event can be more frustrating than a dropped opponent. Both fighters are wanting and able to fight, training camps have been set up or finished, and fighters have sold tickets to friends and family. Sometimes other promotions pick up fights, but most fighters are left scrambling to find an event to fight in.

There is little consolation to a fighter. They are trying to build a career. Most fighters I know are living paycheck to paycheck and if they miss a fight it might mean they have to miss the next fight because they are busy working to make ends meet. MMA is a fickle business and people forget your name quickly.

I have gotten used to the idea that when I am training for a fight that there is a good chance that the fight will get cancelled. I enjoy training for a fight, sparring with my teammates, and getting my body into shape. The challenges of training camp can satisfying, even if it seems pointless. Of course, it’s always pointless. Even if you win a fight, you’re back in the gym the next week. Right?

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