2024 ADCC World Championships

ADCC Prep Week 2: The Grim Reality of Trying to Be Your Best

ADCC Prep Week 2: The Grim Reality of Trying to Be Your Best

ADCC invitee Chris Wojcik of the B-Team talks about the pitfalls of training hard on the lead up to a mega event. ADCC 2024 is just six weeks away.

Jul 7, 2024 by Chris Wojcik
ADCC Prep Week 2: The Grim Reality of Trying to Be Your Best

When I was a blue belt, I was training for one of my first-ever major IBJJF tournaments. I hurt my knee about 3 weeks away from the tournament.

I was super bummed that I wouldn’t be able to perform the way I wanted to. I was scared I would have to pull out of the tournament. I was frustrated that all of the hard work I had done over the last several years would go to waste because of a training accident that happened in a split second.

But my original Jiu-Jitsu coach, Jeff Serafin, told me something really helpful:

“No one shows up 100% healthy, and if they did they probably didn’t really train that hard.”

In hindsight, I think he was just trying to reassure me that being injured or burned out isn’t the end of the world, but there is an important lesson in this idea that has been helping me with my prep for ADCC – which is just 6 weeks away.

Training camp is not like summer camp

Training for a major ADCC rules tournament pushes your body.

It’s not like summer camp. I guess it’s fun, but it’s not really meant to be. There haven’t been any s’mores or campfires or anything yet. My fingers are crossed, though.

Instead, we have to wrestle every day, we have to work out of bad positions, we have to push our cardio, train leg locks, and we also have to be in excellent physical shape.

Okay – we don’t “have to,” but if we want to perform well come August, these things are requirements.

Our training volume right now is pushing my limit. It’s the phase of the camp where you’re not exactly supposed to feel awesome all the time. I am exhausted today. The nice thing is, I guess, that I’m sleeping like a baby.

A baby with back pain who probably needs to drink more electrolytes.

15-minute rounds pretty much every day. Intense positional sparring from wrestling positions.

Pretty much every round is with someone who’s competing in a massive tournament in August.

In the moment it feels like I’ve created my own Greek hell.

On the drive home from training, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

That’s what ADCC camp is really like.

It’s not summer camp, but it’s pretty fun.

This is the second edition of Chris' weekly ADCC lead-up blog. Read the first installment here.


Dealing with the bumps and bruises

Someone was trying to straight ankle lock me the other day, I wasn’t tapping because it wasn’t quite there, and I pulled my ankle out.

When I got out of the position, the pain lingered for a moment.

For a second, the thought hit me…

Maybe Jiu-Jitsu isn’t the healthiest. Maybe I should be walking or biking or jogging or something like that. Maybe this is why my body hurts.

Then, the thought passed, and I went back to passing the guard. By the time the round ended, any idea of not doing this anymore had completely left my mind. I was more thinking about improving my guard passing and learning that sweet inside trip that Jozef Chen used on Elijah Dorsey at the recent WNO.

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There’s a quote from Anthony Bourdain that I like when I think about the long-term effects that all this training and competing is going to have on my body:

“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride”

That’s really what the point is, I think.

If you want to get to the end of your career 100% healthy with no pain, no overuse injuries, and a body in perfect condition, you probably are going to also have regrets. You’re going to wonder “what if tried harder?”

So don’t push yourself. Take it easy. See where it gets you.

You know the funny thing?

You’re still gonna have those overuse injuries. Your body is still going to wear down. Most people have herniated discs.

“Don’t buy a nice car and just let it sit in your garage. Get it dirty. Push yourself.”

That’s what I tell myself whenever I’m going through these tough training camps.

Injuries are just stories and lessons.

At least, it’s more convenient for me to think about it that way for now.

Does that mean you’re supposed to compete injured and exhausted?

No.

I did that a lot when I was a lower belt.

I’d train my butt off every single day possible until like the Thursday before a tournament, and then I’d take a day off to cut weight and then I’d go compete. That was my life, and I wondered why I never “felt good” when I was competing.

Before I won an IBJJF no-gi world title back at purple belt, the week before the competition I slowed everything down and rested and drilled and trained really light. I had the best performance of my competitive career up until then.

This was the moment that I realized that the science of sports performance is a lot more complicated than I understood. It was also the moment when I realized that having a coach who can help you peak for a competition is important.

One thing that’s been helpful having Coach Dima at B-Team running our camp for the next few months is that bringing him in was designed for us to have a specific plan for the preparation for ADCC. He thought about how to peak for ADCC more than most BJJ athletes (and coaches, for that matter) ever will. The training volume is pretty high right now, but that’s going to change as we get closer and closer to ADCC.

Who is Dima Murovanni? Click here to learn more.

Or at least, I pray it is because the last few weeks have been tough.

I am not going to feel the way I do right now in 4-6 weeks. I’m going to be chomping at the bit to get on the mat to compete.

That’s how this whole thing works.

Final Thoughts

Over the weekend, I was traveling and training in San Diego.

I got to see my good friend and former Trials winner Keith Krikorian, got to get a training session with Justin Flores at Legion AJJ, and went to a local tournament put on by one of my sponsors.


Monday, it was back home for another week of training. For the 4th of July, we had a behind-closed-doors session and a few other hard sessions, and now that the week is over, it’s time to take a day and rest.

Next week, we have to do it all again.

Just 5 weeks to go before the big show.

Read more from Chris at TheGrapplersDiary.Substack.com 


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