Grapple and Dunk

BJJ and swimming are radically different sports, but I realized this week that they are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, one can seriously mess with the other. I realized this as I struggled through a short morning swim on Wednesday. I kept trying to figure out why I felt so flat out rotten. My arms were tired, my balance and timing was off, I was riding low in the water, and I had no speed. 


Then I remembered. I rolled hard three times in short succession on Monday night, before going straight home, showering, and falling into bed. No cool down to loosen up and get the lactic acid out of my muscles. Probably still pretty dehydrated, in spite of my best efforts. But that was Monday – so why was it so awful for me on Wednesday morning? Well, I’m sure there are scientific explanations having to do with how your muscles recover from intense exercise, etc., etc… But in lazy person’s terms, you know how you get more sore the second day after a hard workout than the first day after? Yeah. That’s what it was.


Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel better by throwing BJJ under the bus and blaming it for  my poor swim, but it got me thinking about how the two sports interact when you’re trying to achieve goals in both. Here’s what I came up with:



  • F’s up your swimming muscles and fouls up your next workout
  • Yet in doing so, makes your swimming muscles stronger
  • Puts lots of pretty, blue and green bruises on your lily white arms and legs for the flowered swim cap ladies to eyeball suspiciously
  • Yet said bruises can discourage all but the most intrepid from asking to share your lane


  • F’s up your BJJ muscles and fouls up your next roll
  • Yet in doing so, improves your muscle endurance
  • Imparts a wonderful chlorine aroma when you start sweating in class
  • Yet the chlorine makes it less likely that you’ll pick up whatever nasty thing is on the mat you’re rolling on (or so I suspect)

All in all, I’d say it’s a wash…and since I love both sports, I’m just going to have to find a way to make them play nicely together. 

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3 Responses to Grapple and Dunk

  1. I have NO explanation for why my swim yesterday sucked, though I woke up this morning sore from ovulating (yay for being a girl) and with a mysteriously pinchy lower back. What gives?


  2. Elyse says:

    Pinchy lower back? Sounds like too much stress or too much upsidedown guard… or too much getting stacked.

    Grappledunk, That’s SWEET if chlorine is like a super layer of protection for your skin! I should start swimming then…


  3. grappledunk says:

    NerF, you may be holding your head too high – that can stress your back because it causes your body to sink lower ( your head and legs are at the surface, your middle section sags… Try to keep the water line at just about your hairline and focus on keeping your body on top of the water. Does that make sense?

    Elyse, I don’t know fur SURE that it does, but I do know that I get sick a lot less when I swim regularly. So it would follow that it would hold true for the skin ickies, right? It makes me feel better, anyway… 🙂


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