As I’ve mentioned earlier, one of the reasons I started this blog was to get me training again after coming back from a concussion. And overall, it’s been helpful. I’m training more regularly, and I’m feeling good about BJJ in a way I haven’t in a while. But it turns out, there’s still some residual concussion panic inside me.
A few days ago we were doing some self defense drills that involved a lot of judo-style takedowns, and I had a pretty bad time. I couldn’t make myself breakfall properly. I was getting the wind taken out of me every single time. I found myself tensing up as my training partner started to toss me, and kind of hugging my free arm, the arm I should be breakfalling with, around them as I went down. I actually hit the mat and bounced on a number of occasions.
Eventually I realized I was struggling so much because I was terrified I was going to get concussed again. Even though we weren’t training takedowns when I got hurt the first time. Even though I’ve done this before, and trained judo, and done a million other takedown drills, and been just fine.
I wish I could turn this into a numbered listicle post, but I can’t. I didn’t really come up with a solution other than let go of my “training partners ribcage and breakfall properly, even though every neuron in my brain is telling me not to.” I never really managed to get less tense. But I got through it. I didn’t get another concussion. I didn’t even really get hurt beyond a few bruises. Maybe the only way through this is to keep practising takedowns, keep not getting hurt, and eventually get over it?