BJJ

HFT / #AchievementUnlocked: Headstand!

12:00:00 AM

Here's the story behind it: One of our warm-up drills for jiu-jitsu is the bridge. To the unfamiliar, the bridge is a variation of the forward roll - the difference is that before you complete the roll forward, you have to stop halfway on a headstand. This drill activates your core before class/sparring.

I didn't know how to do it when I was new, and I was so paranoid about breaking my neck that it took me a while before I mustered the courage to even give it a try. And although I didn't break my neck, I hurt my back on my landing the first few times I attempted the move. What made it worse was our assembly-line type of warm-up - I felt pressured to keep the queue moving.

When I went on my first jiu-jitsu field trip to Tagaytay with some of the folks from Deftac Makati, I begged them to teach me how to do a proper bridge. Omai and Aris took me through the process step-by-step, and before the afternoon was over, I could already do it! My execution was far from perfect, but what's important is that I get to land properly so I don't hurt my back (I had just returned from injury at the time and I didn't want another).
Achievement unlocked!
(photo by Khaela de Leon)
The following Monday, I went to the gym early to practice. Yes, I'm that person! Haha! I really obsessed over it until I could really do it properly. I even did other exercises like sit-ups and planks to get stronger - to raise your legs over your head without putting strain on your neck and your arms, you really need to use your core. And now, it has become my favorite warm-up drill! :)

Let me take a page from my instructor Joel's book and share with you my takeaways from learning how to do a headstand. One is persistence - despite several awkward/awful landings, I kept trying to do it. I asked my teammates for help and I'm lucky that they were very accommodating. :)

Two is letting go of fear. There will always be that possibility that I might hurt myself in training, but I can't let that keep me from trying. Sometimes, this fear would even be the cause of injuries - in the split second that you hesitate, especially when you're already halfway through a move, is when you could get get injured. To do anything, you have to start with the mindset that you can do it.

Now that I've unlocked that achievement, I'm going to learn the handstand next. Wish me luck! :)

isawisay

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