Martial Arts/MMA/Sports Injuries – My Entire History (Part 2 of 3)By
Continued from Part 1…
Now I’m not sure if hernias are hereditary or not but I did end up getting one when in my early twenties. Maybe I had a weakness and would have got one regardless but I really think my hernia was caused because I used improper technique while bench pressing.
Initially I felt no pain from the injury and with the consent of a specialist–he said “keep training until it gets worse”– I continued training very hard. A year later, I began to feel a throbbing pain in my groin area after hard training so I opted to get the surgery to fix it. I went to the Shouldice Clinic in Thornhill, Ontario which is world renowned for their experience and methods (permanently cures hernia at a 99.5% rate I believe). Nearly fifteen years later I haven’t had a problem with the work that they did and I now lift weights properly of course J.
Damaged Rotator Cuff
Atlanta, Georgia was where this next injury happened. I was training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Romero “Jacare“ Cavalcanti`s –my instructor– Alliance Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu School. One day during my two week stay there, a few of the students were to test for their next belts. I think I was a white belt at the time I was asked by one of the guys testing to be his partner for the throwing portion of his belt exam.
I agreed, jumped to my feet and we gripped up with each other in the classical throwing position. Next thing I knew I was flying through the air at full force, my body moving at a very weird angle; a split second later as I smashed into the mats my shoulder burned immediately. I guess the guy who had thrown me, so pumped up because he was testing for his blue belt, overdid his movement and ended up losing his balance causing me to fall directly on my own arm. The fact that I didn’t expect him to throw me so intensely probably makes the injury occurrence somewhat my fault too. I should have been ready!
I got up and finished off the rest of my throwing dummy responsibilities but I had a lot of trouble using my left arm over the next month or so.
First off, I must say that I still miss my old nose. It was so much straighter than the one I have now.
When you have a facial feature for over twenty years and see it every day when you look in the mirror you get kind of use to it. Then one day when you look in the mirror and you’re face is just not the same, it`s a little traumatic. I’ll admit that after breaking my nose, I did feel like everyone around me was staring at it. At the mall, on the bus and anywhere else that I went, I`d have that same feeling.
It happened during an exhibition kickboxing match between me and a friend of mine. Sometime during the first round I took a full power cross to the face. Normally that wouldn’t have been much of a problem but the strike honestly his nothing but nose. Shortly after the impact, the round ended and I went back to my corner. I knew something was up when both my corner man were tilting their heads side to side while staring intently at my face.
“Was your nose always crooked?” one of them asked me in a serious tone.
“No” I replied as I felt a slight panic set in. I ran to the nearest mirror and saw the monstrosity that my nose had become. My nose was half way across my face! It didn’t hurt at all and didn’t bleed much at all which I thought was kind of strange.
A few days later, I was passed out on a table at the hospital while a plastic surgeon worked his magic and straightened my nose out. It looked pretty good again but I wasn’t supposed to do any jiu-jitsu or wrestling –and obviously kickboxing sparring– for the next six weeks. I just couldn`t wait it out. Two weeks later, I started grappling with a cage karate style helmet on that protected my face –but made me look like Hannibal Lector– because I just couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore.
Four week post-injury, thinking my nose was ready to take a bump or two, I took off the Darth Vaderish looking helmet to test it out. That was a big mistake! In the very next grappling round I took an accidental elbow directly to my nose and heard a crunching sound. Another sprint to the mirror revealed a slightly crooked nose. It was not nearly as terribly distorted as my original injured nose was. Not wanted to undergo cosmetic surgery again, I decided to leave it as it was and to this day my nose is a slightly different version of the one I used to have. I’ve gotten used to this one but still miss my old one!
Two Teeth Knocked Out
There’s a time when every fighter knows they`ve become a real warrior. Or maybe it’s a time when they realize that modelling is no longer an option for them.
My special moment was when I felt my two front teeth collapse inside my mouth guard during the first round of a fight against Jon Fitch. I was smashed by an illegal head butt –an accidental one in my opinion—that really shook me up and left me incisorly challenged for life. Good thing is that I managed to fight on despite getting dropped to the mat for a brief moment by that hit. To get your teeth knocked out and your ass TKO’ed? That’s embarrassing.
After that, we battled hard for the full three rounds and when they were announcing the decision my wife, who was ten rows back, somehow knew that I had lost my teeth. She was stressed!
It really didn’t hurt very much when it happened and after the fight I somehow managed to jam both of them back into my gums before the camera crew came to my dressing to interview me about a controversial moment in the fight. Throughout the interview I had to keep pushing one of my teeth upwards because I could feel it dropping down every time I spoke.
For a month or two, those two front teeth stayed in my mouth without much trouble –although they had become a bit crooked. Eventually I found out that root canals would be necessary to keep the teeth alive so I opted to have both the teeth removed and some fake ones put in their place. It made no sense to spend all that money to fix them when another solid shot could have knocked them out again even easier than the first time it happened.
Today, I’m still wearing the fake ones but eventually plan to get permanent implants put in. Well maybe not for a while because it’s been a bit of a blessing in disguise. My toothless grin recently helped me to better play a crazed forest dwelling psycho in the film “The Secret Cross” (You can see me with no teeth in the film trailer by CLICKING HERE). Maybe I can use my toothless grin to my advantage in other films as well. I just have to be careful to not become typecast as psychos, homeless guys and pro-hockey players.