My old instructor (I didn't train full time with him, just whenever he was available) is an amazing guy. He was thrown on his head in 2002 nearly paralyzing himself. He took 13 months off only to return to active competition one more time, thereby disregarding doctor advice and predictions. The consequence? He won the World BJJ Championships.
Unfortunately, Irvin reaggravated his old injury last week. From an email newsletter, notable quote:
After seeing over a dozen different doctors I decided against having spinal fusion. But I was told that life as I knew it was over. Well I took off from training for 13 months before I decided to give it a try again.
I had to modify my entire game to protect my neck. To make a long story short it's been 5 years without having any serious problems until this past weeekend.
One of my black belts Jared Weiner was having a grand opening at his new school BJJ UNITED, if you live anywhere near philly I would highly recommend that you check it out at www.bjjunited.com
After the grand opening I was rolling with one of our up and coming killers Ken Berger, while training with him he bridged and I for the first time in 5 years decided to plant on my head (after my first injury I took planting on my head out of my game plan completely), the next thing you know I didn't have any control over my hands. Luckily this time I could move my legs but it's still a very scary thing not to be able to control your own body parts.
I ended up going to Jefferson hospital in Philly and they kept me over night.
And the verdict was that I need to have spinal surgery!!! Talk about getting some bad news!
Well just like last time I'm about to go on another mission visiting the top spinal doctors in the county.
The top two centers are #1. The Mayo clinic and #2. John Hopkins, so I'll be going there first.
But it looks like I'll be off the mat for awhile now, but we are so close to the World Championships and I take my job very seriously. So I've been popping the pain killers and coaching from the sidelines, then I go back and lay down in my office.
For those that are competing in the Worlds next week, I wish you the very best and I hope that you're training is going well.
Speedy recovery, coach. I know you'll be back before too long. Hopefully sooner rather than later.