Don’t mess with the raging arthritis, it can get nasty.

So I went to the Hospital this week to see the Doctor about the surgery on my right shoulder.  I had surgery last year on my left shoulder to repair damage from my youth and I have been waiting for the same operation on the right.  So I was told that I have raging osteoarthritis in my shoulders. AWESOME!

Then when the doctor asked me my age  and come out with the reply “I thought my shoulders were in bad shape” that really made me feel good.  So I can’t deny my age but the news about my shoulders was a bit of a shock.  I knew I could not get my arms into some positions, like an americana but I just thought that due to the capsule issue as my left shoulder has much improved flexibility since the operation.  But apparently not, it is the arthritis that is stopping my arms achieving these positions.

So I took the news a little negatively as the first thing that crossed my mind was “well thats the end on my BJJ training, when its only just started!!”.  I was not happy as I was looking forward to my training. So I wallowed in this for a few hours at work.  Then on the drive home I started to think out of all the people in the world I can’t be the only one that has this problem.  So got home and hit Google to try and see how other people handle it.  I managed to find a couple of blogs from people that have rheumatoid arthritis, which is far worse than what I have. It was inspiring to see how they were handling their condition together with their BJJ, but also the fact that they simply adjusted their game to cater for their limitations.  I also saw the comment on the 10th Planet Forum regarding Training Over 40.

Thats when it struck me, my issues are bad but not bad enough to make me stop doing something I enjoy.  I’ll just have to make some adjustments to my game.  I am also going to go to an osteopath after the initial physiotherapy and strengthening work, to maximise what flexibility I have in both shoulders.  I know unfortunately there are no specific supplements that can repair the damage that has been done, but I can look at stuff to help with inflamation to increase longevity. I’ll keep you updated following the operation about things I do to heal and beat the doctors estimations of my busted body.

So stuff the doctors what to they know. I may have found BJJ late in my life, but I’m not going to stop till I drop.  If Helio can keep going until he was 95 I’m going to try my hardest to match to match him on that. (Probably the only thing I stand a chance on matching the master on)

Just incase you are interest here are the blogs I found that got me thinking:-

BJJ with Arthritis

Old Man Jiu Jitsu

10th Planet – Training Over 40



  1. That’s the spirit! Keep on training.

    I have some older students and one of them has especially bad shoulders. He can’t do a full push up, or bear crawls during warm ups. He also can’t be Americana’ed or take any twisting stuff on his bad shoulders. With all this said, he still whoops up on some if the young guys just fine and trains hard. I give him things he CAN work on when we are going over something he cannot do.

    Just be positive and focus on why you can do and have fun training.

    1. Thanks for the support Chewy, its nice to know there are others that manage to enjoy/excel with BJJ, even when then have some physical restrictions. I will definitely keep on training!

  2. Oh man – what a timely post. I just got onto your blog after you left the comment on my article. Today I chose to abstain from doing some of the warmups because my shoulder is acting up. It is bad enough that I asked my teammates what the names of the doctors are in Korean so I might go see one about my shoulder pain. It’s not terribly severe, but enough that I realize something isn’t quite right.

    How long were you off the mats with your surgery? I was out for 6 months after getting a shot for my herniated disc in my back. It suuuucked. I ended up going around as many times as I would have if I hadn’t been injured, but just sat and took notes during class.

    1. In total I was off the mats for about 3 months. I had just got my blue belt as well, which was even more painful. When I went back I was on privates for about 6 weeks or so. I’d saved some money up and I didn’t was to risk injury in general class. The other problem was and is that I’m not allowed to drive for 2 months. So no watching for me. I do however have a lot of videos that I watched that helped my technique understanding.
      I would definitely get to the doctor, as you don’t want a niggle to turn into a problem. That’s what happened to me. You have to look after yourself, take that from someone who has been battered around.

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