September 6th Update: A Leg Cramp! Time to find a fix.

I don’t cramp. It doesn’t happen. At least, it hasn’t happened in a long, long time. Typically, I cramp when I go really really hard. It’s when I turn my program from 100 to 180 — like I have been doing.

Now, I’m not necessarily surprised; as I said, I’m doing a new program, and that comes with little waves and storms forcing me to correct the course — leg cramps is one of those.

Today’s BJJ

Today’s session was a combination of a few things:

  • I learned sweeping (butterfly sweeps, single leg and double).
  • I reviewed some old techniques and nabbed a few new transitions (faked armbar to triangle, back to armbar).
  • I learned a new technique (the omoplata).

I have yet to note it all down, but regardless of that, I must say that I had a lot of fun. The omoplata is still something to get used to, but it’s a lot of fun doing the full flow from a faked armbar to a triangle attempt, another armbar and finally that omoplata. Just gotta remember to grip the gi to prevent that simple, safe counter (a side roll forwards, ukemi).

It was during the sweeps that I got my first cramp when sitting up in butterfly guard to start practicing what I had just observed. Then, my leg continued to cramp during triangle and omoplata attempts.

During rolling, I was able to mostly ignore it — but the sluggishness of eating lunch way too late (2:00 pm, due to work) and cramping up meant I was pretty much done for. I couldn’t focus, defend properly, or really do much of anything except react slightly amateurishly. Which is a bit of an ironic phrase to mutter, considering that I’m a white belt with nary a dozen classes behind me. But whatever, I have ridiculous expectations.

The Cramp Fix

A cramp is basically your muscle spazzing out and activating when it shouldn’t. This happens due to several reasons:

  • Not enough stretching.
  • Fatigue.
  • Deficiencies.
  • Dehydration.

If it were fatigue, I’d be getting other symptoms first. It could be a potassium deficiency, so just to be safe I’m going to be eating more bananas and taking some supplements (calcium, vitamin D, the works). Dehydration is most probable — and stretching comes a close second. To identify which is the worse culprit, I’ll be tracking my water intake carefully and checking to see if I run into the same problem on Thursday. If yes, then I need more stretching.

If all that fails, I need more recovery options. Either more yoga, ointments or a deep massage should do the trick.

Until next time!

Currently listening to: Eye of the Tiger — Survivor