I had to stop sparring this past week, because I have a lower back injury. I'm one of those stupid guys that trains even when they are hurt or injured. This injury though was way too painful, though. I couldn't even sit comfortably or bend over without being in intense pain.
I tore my MCL this summer. Then I lost all the strength in my right arm followed by the strength in my left arm (due to a neck injury). Now, my back is messed up (from rolling with huge guys). Man, I don't want to stop sparring with big people, because I get a lot out of it, but unfortunately that's where most of my injuries are coming from. I think all of us who train BJJ have to pretty much accept the fact that something is always going to be hurt or messed up.
Monday night was my first night back sparring in a little over a week and a half. I tried to stick to guys my own size, and, if I sparred anyone bigger, I asked if I could play top only.
I love Monday nights. Usually, there are tons of guys at the gym, and on Mondays my friend Choi teaches class. He is a life long Judoka (and a four year purple belt-very knowledgable) and has a very interesting style that is heavily Judo oriented.
Monday night class
Tuesday morning I woke up and my body felt like a wreck. My lower back wasn't too bad, but I could hardly move my neck and my upper back was really sore. For some reson my quads hurt, too. Geez, I only took a break for a week and a half.
I like to alternate between scalding hot water and freezing cold water. I've read that his helps promote blood flow to your muscles. I'm not sure if that is true, but it really helps my body to feel a whole lot better.
Being somewhat of a bathhouse connoisseur, I'd like to touch briefly on a few differences between Korean bathhouses and Japanese onsen.
1. Koreans strut around in the buff. Japanese dudes do, too, but a lot of them hold a towel over their junk when they walk around. For some reason, Japanese guys like to put towels on their heads, too.
2. Lots of spitting and hocking up loogies in Korean bathhouses. Not so much in Japanese ones.
3. Koreans and Japanese both take showers before they enter the bath, but Koreans are really into exfoliating all the dead skin off of their bodies. In fact, you can pay someone to do it for you (about $15.00) at the bathhouse.
I've read that some Japanese onsen are shared sex baths. I've traveled around Japan extensively, and I still haven't seen this.
Also, one cool thing that I experienced only in Japan was the electric bath. They feed electricity into the water and it shocks your body. The closer you get to the output, the more intense it becomes. Crazy.