Monday, November 5, 2012

Concussion by VeVe's Fast Hands

As some of you know, last week here in New York City, we faced the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, the most devastating hurricane to hit our city in.... its history?

Our subways were shut down for days as they were flooded, later to be effortfully pumped and restored.  Despite the water damage and power outages, many of us in Brooklyn were not directly affected.  However, we were confined to our borough.

Since VeVe, the studio, and I were all in Brooklyn, we took a moment to play some hardball.  So, on last Wednesday evening, we met in the studio for some sparring.  We engaged in a light 20-minute technical submission grappling bout before pulling out the MMA gloves and getting to our feet.

We had a great little rumble that evening, working our Muay Thai, wrestling, and ground & pound games against each other for the first time.  We threw lighter punches at the face, but didn't hold back too much on body blows.  Despite the attempts at "lighter" face strikes, lips were smashed and teeth chipped slightly.  More specifically, VeVe walked away with a bruised lip and I somehow increased the size of the chip in one of my teeth.

So, when we met again the next evening, I opted for a mouth guard.

And I'm glad I did....

On Thursday, we racked up again for another bout.  This time, though, it seemed like there was a bit more blood hunger in the air.

We warmed up once more with light grappling, and then moved to don our gloves.  I briefly mentioned setting up the video camera on a tripod, but I dismissed the idea for fear of the camera falling over.

But maybe I should have taken the risk... and just secured the camera very tightly.  But no shoulda, woulda, coulda...

The fight was long and glorious and especially fierce.  And at times, tempers flared.  Ok, well, to be honest, VeVe's temper flared much more often than mine.

We worked kick boxing from the feet, with me looking to take the match to the ground as soon as possible. I had an undeniable reach advantage, which worked in my favor for striking both on the feet and on the ground.  On the feet, my kicks could keep her at bay, and when I was on top of guard, I could easily rain down blows while staying out of range of upward retaliation.

My takedowns were great, considering the confined space, and my endurance held well even after VeVe threw sneaky punches to my abdomen whenever she could (she really seems to like doing that!).  But after 30 minutes of fighting, fate took things into its own hands....

... when it took my face into VeVe's hand.

Well, more specifically, when it took my jaw into her fist.

While on the feet, I decided to change up my game a bit, and I stepped in with a body punch.  At the same moment, VeVe was launching a right hand punch my way.  Her right hand connected with my jaw while I was moving forward, and my head was rocked back, a la whiplash.  The pain in my neck was pretty jarring, and I saw a few bright circular shapes in my left eye.

I pulled back, cursing my over eagerness, and waiting for the shock to subside.  It wasn't a knockout blow, but I felt at that moment a glimpse of a punch-to-jaw knockout.  I walked the mat area, calmed myself, checked my neck.... and continued!  And I wasn't happy.

After a few more exchanges both on the feet and on the ground, I had to take a break as wavy lines started to appear in the corner of my left eye.  They were increasing in my vision, from the top far corner of my eye. I wrote it off to dehydration, since we'd been sparring and sweating for quite a while without stopping for water.

I took a short break, took some water, checked my pupils in the mirror, and the wavy lines subsided.  And, after a 10 minute rest, we went back for yet another round.

By the end of the evening, my lips were a mess and I had a tad bit of headache.  And VeVe?  She was happy as a clam!  And even though her lips were pretty battered as well, she loved the entire sweaty battle.

On later examination and inspection, I believe I suffered a mild concussion as my head jerked back from the jaw punch.  It was pretty minor, I should be fine after a week's rest, and the neck took more punishment than the brain, but there you have it:  concussion by VeVe's fast hands.

And I am kicking myself for not setting up that candid camera!