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Old 08-09-2007, 07:48 AM   #1
Will Blankenship
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I've been lingering here for a while, but I've just started joining in on conversations.

Here's a quick break down... sorry so long:

I've been training and fighting in MMA since 1999... before it was really refered to as MMA. I started with boxing and Japanese Ju-Jitsu. Now I train in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kodokan Judo and Jun Fan JKD.

I WAS a bouncer at a club owned by my family. Back in November there was a huge fight involving roughly 16-20 people. After it was broken up and calm again, a guy came from behind me and hit me in the jaw, which dropped me to a knee. He took off running, I caught him across the street and proceeded to beat the soul out of him... and, in the process, broke my hand for the 2nd time. I stood up, spit out a mouth full of blood and went straight to the hospital. My jaw was severely broken. I ended up having 2 surgeries, 6 screws and 2 plates.

July 21st was my "comeback" fight. It looks like I didn't give the jaw long enough to heal. At the end of the first round, my opponent was in my guard, I shot for an armbar and didn't get it. Before I could recompose, I took a shot to the chin... I felt my jaw snap right away. Regularly it would have been one of those that you shake off and keep working, but not this time. I covered up, reached out and tapped. It broke in the same place as last time. I jumped in the car and made the 5 hour trip back home so that my Dr. could fix me up... choking on my blood the whole time. I ended up having surgery the next morning and now I have 2 new plates to add to my collection.

My Dr. told me that I was right on the borderline as far as being ready or not ready to have been fighting again. He told me that if I give it enough time to heal properly, there should be no reason that I can't fight again. My coach disagrees. He says I'm done.

To give you a little perspective... I have had more broken bones and injuries then most people will encounter. I've been hospitalized more times than I can remember for various injuries. I've had more stitches than can ever be counted, I've had 17 broken bones, 3 concussions, 8 surgeries, etc. etc. etc. My point is that breaking my body is not going to stop me. Martial arts is my life.

I would like to hear opinions about my jaw. I evidently didn't give it enough time to heal this time, but assuming I give myself a year before I step back in the cage. Will I be more susceptible to having it broken again?

Initially my thoughts were that a jaw is like any other bone and it will heal back stronger, but now I'm questioning that... I'm just not sure.

We had planned to have 3 more fights before the end of the year, then we were going to start pushing towards bigger shows. I just don't want to accept that I'm going to have to give that up because of a broken jaw.

All thoughts, advice, comments are appreciated.

(Message edited by will84 on August 09, 2007)

(Message edited by will84 on August 09, 2007)
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
Matthew Nielsen
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I cut my achilles tendon last year. The doc told me I wouldn't be doing Muay Thai ever again. I just got back from a month of training in Thailand and I am in the best shape of my life.

If you have the will to fight again, then I'm sure you will...
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
Will Blankenship
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Where in Thailand did you train? We're sponsored by Fairtex. My coach was trained by Apidej.

I've been laying low the last couple of weeks because of my injury. Yesterday I stopped by the gym and talked to my coach. I started talking about how it's no big deal, I will heal, etc. etc. He still says that I'm done. He want's me to start teaching the MMA classes to help take some of the pressure off of him, but I'm not ready for that. I still want to fight. I have the will... that will never be broken. I just want something to ease my mind about my jaw. I want to fight... I can't imagine my life without it, but I don't want to be plagued with a glass jaw from now on. Two broken jaws in 9 months has really made me worried about my future as a fighter. I mean... I'll never quit training, but I can't imagine not competing.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:40 PM   #4
Matthew Nielsen
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I went to Kaewsamrit and Sor.Vorapin in Bangkok. Then I went to Fairtex Pattaya. Finally I went to Sinbi Gym in Phuket.
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:20 AM   #5
Jonathan Thomas Powers
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A jaw and a Achilles tendon are two different beast. I think time will tell. Let it heal completely this time then see how it fairs in sparring etc. It couldn't hurt to get a second opinion either. Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:38 AM   #6
Craig Brown
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Will-

Consider it a good time to develop a very serious jujitsu game. Let it heal longer than you think you need to. I'd also find a good doc that deals with fighters (this might take some work) to check you out...again, after you give it MORE than enough time to harden up. If you are going to be able to full-on fight again, it's going to take patience on your part to make it happen.

Also make sure your diet is rock-solid in those things that will help your bones knit properly. lastly, sometimes the thing that will let you get where you want to go- in your case back in the ring- is letting that go for a little while. I would keep up my training, take up your Coach's offer to help train- if nothing else you will get a better understanding of the game that you can take into the ring later.

Best-

Craig
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:01 PM   #7
Ellen Stenard
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I agree, take time and let it heal, then make the decision. Plenty of guys have gone on to fight after doctors and coaches told them they were done. My friend Nate (Quarry) is returning to the octagon after a spinal fusion.
Sorry to hear about your injury, heal up soon and keep us posted!
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:53 AM   #8
Will Blankenship
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Re: Broken Jaw... Am I done?

My Dr. is an old school Judoka so he's fairly familiar with the injuries that I have faced and will face in the future. He's already told me that if I do decide to fight again, we'll need to go in and take out the plates and screws.

Like I said before, I've been training for many years, but I've never really developed my takedowns to the level that I want. We've got a few awesome division 1 wrestlers at the gym, so I believe I'm going to try to work with those guys to get my takedowns ironed out. My coach and I have already been talking about different things that I need to work on while I'm out of competition. Luckily we've got great connections so I believe I'm gonna do some traveling over the next year and get some exposure to different areas of the game.

Thanks for the comments guys!
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
Matthew Nielsen
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Re: Broken Jaw... Am I done?

Just remind the wresters to lay off the cross faces
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:20 AM   #10
Will Blankenship
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Re: Broken Jaw... Am I done?

lol... exactly!
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