Those that know me are aware I broke my arm in a karate tournament a month ago. It could not have happened at a worse time. Two months ago I made my final payment for my January trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to train with Royler Gracie, one of the top Brazilian Jiu-jitsu experts in the world. When the arm was fractured in three places and the doctor said it would require surgery, I just assumed the trip would be an impossibility. I had a plate inserted in my arm with seven pins holding the bones together.
Luckily, the accident also could not have happened at a better time. You see, I was in the best shape since my university days when it happened, thanks to training in BJJ, MMA, and teaching our kids karate classes. The doctor said he had every reason to believe that with the proper rehabilitation of my arm, I could still go to the camp. I was ecstatic. He said that due to my fitness I should heal quickly and be ready to go, even if I am unable to do everything at the camp.
My main goal in the next month is to keep myself grappling fit so that when the arm is ready, the rest of the body can cope when I get back on the mat. I Googled and You Tubed all variations of the theme “training with one arm” or “training with a broken arm in BJJ”, but nothing really came up. So I decided to build a program for myself or someone else who has had the misfortune of being able to use only one arm in their training. Here is what I came up with.
So far the exercises have kept me in pretty good shape, even though I am not ready to roll.
Below is a list of exercises in order of their appearance in the video.
BJJ Functional Drills
Bridging (static yoga pose)
Bridge (opposing arm touches ground)
Bridge to hip escape (above, plus hip escape at the end)
Stationary hip escapes (to side only)
Moving hip escapes (down the mat)
Reverse hip escapes (down the mat backwards)
Wrestler Sit-outs (one side only)
Technical lift (one side only)
Hip bump (one side only)
Two points movement (only two points)
Sitting thrusts (one leg curled hands in front, push off onto the knee)
Triangle Choke (up on shoulders and neck, triangle)
Same, but sit forward like wrestler’s takedown
Leg circles on back (hips off ground)
Bridge to knees (under and over)
BJJ Conditioning Drills
Alternating toe touch (feet off the ground)
One-armed plank (two variations)
Crunches on sides
Sit on feet for low guard posture
Does anyone else have good exercises for a one-armed BJJ student who can’t wait to get back to full fitness on the mat?
Since I wrote this post, Dirty White Gi has given me many good ideas for exercises with one arm. Check them out at http://dirtywhitegi.com/2011/12/15/training-bjj-mma-with-one-arm/. An excellent BJJ blog as well.