The Gi-Smell Pull Up

As anyone who trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu knows, it is very hard to be away from the mats. Due to the bad knee injury I sustained last month, I have been unable to train jiu-jitsu for about 6 weeks, which is torture! So as you can imagine I am dying to do anything that reminds me of training again.

In a desperate attempt to recreate any of the sensations one gets when rolling, I decided I could throw my gi over the top of a jungle gym at a nearby park, lay under it, and grab the arms of the gi to pull myself off the ground. That way it feels as if I am pulling on a jiu-jitsu training partner, and I get to work my grips and some back muscles too.

The perversely gratifying side effect of this exercise is that when you’ve pulled yourself as high as possible, your face is right inside the gi, and it now smells like you’re back on the mats! (Yes, I do always wash my gi after training but there’s always just a little of gi smell that never seems to come out.)

Here’s an advanced technique for this exercise: turn your gi inside out before hanging it over the top of the jungle gym. The rust on the jungle gym tends to smudge onto your gi, leaving suspicious-looking dark brown stains that would take too long to explain to someone you’re about to roll with!

I don’t know if I will come up with any other ground-breaking exercise techniques for the injured jiu-jitsu person, but if I do, I will post them here. In the meantime, count yourself lucky that you are not injured and that you do not look like a weirdo in the park!

6 Replies to “The Gi-Smell Pull Up”

  1. When I separated my shoulder last year, I went back to class in less than two weeks. I was very limited but I did everything I could including one-armed push-ups. My instructor also rolled with me stating that I might someday need to defend myself with one arm injured.

    My question to you and the mighty 600,000 is whether they attend class when they’re injured to observe and/or instruct?

  2. Caleb you are not the only weirdo in the park looking silly, I am the weirdo doing shots up and down the track, because leg work is all I can do. The elbow is still not close to being better.

    As far as attending class while injured, I am there just as much as I am when I train. I sit on the side, pay attention to moves, and during live rolling sessions I coach and sometimes Heckle. I can’t help that, its the NY’er in me.

    Feel better Caleb.

  3. i also do pull ups with my gi threaded through my gymnastics rings. when i broke my toe i still attended class. i just put on my gi and sat in the corner and watched watched watched.

  4. Thanks for the ideas for how to pass the ‘down’ time. Knock on wood, in my 1 plus year of BJJ, worst injuries kept me out only a couple weeks (strained MCL), and I was too depressed to go to class. These ideas helped me see a better way for fighting the moody blues.

    But, Caleb, I have one question – how fast did the soccer moms at the park call the cops and try to get your name on the local sex offender registry? LOL

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