#69 Cauliflower Ears: What to do when you get them, how to manage them and understanding the injury.
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Have you ever had a Cauliflower ear? Ear puffed up and super sore? This injury is a part of BJJ culture but very few people understand how to deal with this predicament- including medical doctors. Both JT & Joey have had their own experience with Cauliflower ears and have been frustrated with the lack of information on what to do. This is their own account but should not be taken as medical advice.
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Hey, it’s JT and I’m excited because I’ve just booked my flights and I’m coming to a city near you . I will be in Poland and Germany in July. Then I’ll be in the UK and Scotland in August. Then I’ll be making the trip over to United States and Canada for September. If you would like a Bulletproof of BJ J seminar, contact us, email JT, Bulletproof for bjj.com and book your seminar today
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Better listen. Very careful.
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A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready,
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Essentially at this point, the fight is over .
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So you pretty much flow with the goal
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Who is worthy to be trusted with the secret to limit this power.
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another Bulletproof for BJJ podcasts. I’m JT. Hey guys. I’m Joey. Hey to know , and today we are discussing cauliflower ears. How to treat them management. You know what happens when you get a cauliflower ear? What are you gonna do about it? The encyclopedia of cauliflower is basically right here right now. Yeah, we got it. We , this came through Instagram. It did guys like you guys done an episode on cauliflower ears , cuz man , I’m having trouble finding a GP that knows what to do with them . I couldn’t see anything on your podcast. I was like, how have we not spoken about cauliflowers ? It’s interesting because if you’ve been in the game long enough, you’ve had some experience of it. Yeah. You’ve either had a little bit or currently right now you’ve got those big bangers hanging off the side of your head. Now, depending on the style of game you’ve played, there’s plenty of people who’ve been introduced to a long time. They don’t have cauli areas, but if you’ve had your head mashed into hips and wrestled, or even if you’ve done some striking, you’ve been hit in the ears, you’ve played a bit of footy. They get mashed up, they get swollen. We’re gonna talk about our own personal experience. And then we’re gonna get into more of exactly what is going on with your ears and then what we can do about it. You know, saying that makes me think that probably the newer school style of jujitsu leads to less cauli flowering . Yes. Think of like bolos inversions, that sort of, you’re not using your head as a control item as much. No, but I remember back in the day for us, it was all about double legs. Yep . Pressure . And it was all about like yeah. Heavy pressure head to hip. Yes. And it was just like, is blown up. My , I got my first cauliflower at three months in the game. Right? For me. Yes. It was probably closer to a year, but it was as a , like a frosty white belt just going mental and a particular weekend that set it off real bad. How’d it go down. So I went out to a , an internal clump at a T train elite team run by Ninos . Damos respect an Ninos and all the a T crew much love. They’re very good at triangles. Ninos has a great triangle game and it’s all a right leg over triangle. And so that’s my left ear. And my main defense for triangles at that time was just rip my head out of triangles. <laugh> I didn’t have a real technical defense. You snapped me up in a triangle. I was just gonna pull my head out. And I think I beat four or five guys that day all trying to triangle me. Anyway. I ended up losing the final to like the , one of their very tough guys. I think he choked me , um , not a triangle, by the way. It doesn’t matter. But my ear blew up. Like I kept getting my ear snapped down. So the cartilage broke and my ear just puffed right out. And people were like, man , you’re a white belt. Yes . A bad cauliflower. There was a comp the next day, like gimme a blue belt. Then I was like, I graduate me. And then it was cool. It was like, I became really tight friends with all those guys. But then the next day there was a comp at hanger four, which is in a similar area, kind of Preston, not far from tine and Ninos was there the next day. He’s like, you’re competing two days in a row. I was like, yeah, man. I’m like , I’m here. I’m I’m good. Let’s go. And I was getting guillotine . Like I did pretty well at comp and I end up getting second in the absolute, I lost my category to Cal Potter actually as a superstar, white belt , uh , Cal Potter , UFC shouted out to Cal , but my ear was getting fatter and fatter and fatter. And it looked like a grotesque fetus hanging off the side of my head. Ooh . It was horrible. It was like Shreks ear. But like , you know, you know what , like call it in Japan. Apparently what ? Za ear . Oh , the dumpling . I don’t like , that’s not how they , they say it in Japanese obviously, but yeah . Yeah . That’s awesome. Za ear , AEs <laugh> but uh , man, and everybody’s like, dude, you’re only a white belt. Your ear should look this bat people getting photos of me. They’re like, look at this, check this guy’s ear out. Like it wasn’t good. And I went to the doctor and doctor went, what ? Go to the hospital. No , I’m not touching that. I was like, man, you’re a doctor. Like, you don’t know how to deal with this. He’s like, we could cut it. And I’m like, surely that’s not a treatment. Like cutting it because that’s what some people will do. Literally. Like let’s get a scalp, we’ll cut. Had it push the liquid out and stitch it. Ugh , horrible. And some people do do that. Right. Anyway, I went to another , uh , doctor that had a nurse on site and the nurse had a needle that was too thick, a gauge . It was like a two or three mil . So it’s , it’s like this fat needle fat needle. And she tried to put it in. It just started, it just went blood. And she was like, ah , and I think a bit of blood got on her and she’s like, oh , I , I can’t , I can’t do this. And I was like, that was the start of world war. He <laugh> , what am I doing here? You guys can’t help me. So I literally went to the internet, checked it out, like how to drain a cauliflower ear . I was living in St . Kilder at the time. Now if you guys don’t know , some has had a heroin problem for a long time. Mm okay . So I was a rough looking human shaved head, whatever. I walked into the chemist and said, I want , uh , a pack of one mill diabetic needles. And they’re like, oh yeah, show us your diabetics card. I was like, bro, I don’t have diabetes. I have a fetus hanging off the side of my head. Look at this. I need to drain this. And they’re like, oh, you should go to the hospital. I’m like not gonna the hospital. It’s not that bad. Anyway, they ended up giving it to me, giving me these packs and I drained it myself. But the thing is I was pulling anywhere from two to five mil of blood outta my ear daily. And that was, which just kept filling back up. Yeah. We just fill back up and that , that’s the thing. I took a couple days off training, but here’s the thing it hurts, but it’s not so bad. You don’t have to like, if you just want to train, like you can, but it’s not gonna go away. That’s right. And that was the , you have to rest, you have to stop. Yeah . And I just, I just did it . Like I would continue to drain it and it did go down, but there was a point at which it wouldn’t go down and it healed that way. And you know, over the years it’s been aggravated. Now you have a masterpiece before you, oh God. You know, but I mean, it’s , it’s a good filter, right? Like , uh , you know, if it puts a woman off, if she looks at the ears, she don’t like the ears. I’m like, if you can’t handle me with color ears , you don’t do serve me without this . <laugh> . How about you, Joe , talk , talk to me about your experience. It just seemed like we were doing these all the time. It was my first few months of jujitsu . We would do that double leg where you, you shoot down onto the knee and then you wrap your back leg around their shin. Yep . And then you grab around the hips drive and yeah. You put your head to their hip and drive. Right . You know, it’s that really kind of efficient , um , simple, double leg variation. That was kind of classic of in BJJ. Yep . And , um, you would , you would put your head on the hip and so, and you would turn your head to the side and say your ear is on the hip bone . Yes . And I would hit it, which side? This side . Yeah . So I would hit it. I would, I would, it in , on my left leg, my right leg would come around and I’d go right here to the hip. Ah , okay. And it just started to hurt a bunch because in my right ear, after you know, doing this and all I remember was that like, it was, my ear was hurting a lot, but I just kept going to training anyway. And I didn’t ask my back. It’s like, whatever, it’s fine. And then eventually like, it just went boo and popped . And I don’t know , maybe it was after a few training sessions doing these double legs . And it was like, well , this big thing. I’m like, Jesus Christ. This really sore. So the guys at the gym, I remember there was , um , Ivan who was a purple belt at the time. And he was like, oh , you just drain it. And coach like , yeah , you just drain it, man . Yeah . Get a needle, put it in. He just drain it. And I was like, oh , okay. So this is a thing like , and then yeah . Yeah . It’s super normal . Just , just drain it and you’ll be fine. Come back to training. I think I , I walked down to the street and I’m like, I’m not gonna go buy needles and like stick it in my own ear. I’m like, this seems to be up. But I was like, I go to a GP. Sure. So I went to a GP over the road, Bondi , Russian GP. And he’s like, yes, how can we help? And I said, I go this COFA , I need you to drain it . And he’s like, oh, I’ve never seen that before. He said, there’s no way I’m putting a needle in your ear. He said , did you , did you say, are you sure you’re Russian ? Yeah . That’s , I’m like, I’m , I’m thinking this. Guy’s gotta know what time it is . Right. Come on. And uh , he’s like, no, no. He said, I’m not putting anything in your ear. He said, you need to go and see an ear specialist. Oh . And I was like lost . I was like, the guys at the gym told me that all you gotta do is put a needle in there and just suck it out. And he’s like, he’s like, absolutely no way dangerous, you know, risk of infection. And he said , you need to see an ear specialist. And I was like, oh , okay, thanks. Anyway. So I left and I think I kind of BUMED around for a couple days trying to see D GPS. None of them could help me. Right . And this is what the person who came through on the Instagram was like, GP didn’t know what the was going on. Yep . And , uh , you guys can use that what the was going on <laugh> and so that’s technical terminology . And so I, I remember I was like, I saw the guy training, the guy’s like, you haven’t done your E yet. Like what’s. And I was like, oh , it’s really so, and I couldn’t, I was like, oh , I’m gonna sit the double eggs out tonight. It’s like every day, double eggs <laugh> . And um, they, they were like, man, just get some needles, bring ’em in. We’ll do it. So I went to the chemist. I said, I need some small needles. And I think I told him diabetes needles. Yep . Cuz someone had told me like, they’re the small ones. Yep . And uh , same thing. They’re like, what do you want? ’em for <laugh> . And I was like, I want ’em for these . And he’s like, man , you can’t be sticking. You know, it was the same conversation. And I’m like, look, just give ’em to me. The guys at the gym said, you know, come on. And I went to the gym and you know, and I haven’t drained it for me . Um, people, other people in the gym said, ah , draining, it helps, but then you gotta clamp it. Yes. Cause otherwise it’s just gonna swell back up. And I was like, oh , it feels pretty good right now. He just, it and just feels okay, let’s just push on. So basically I went around in circles for about a month. Yep . Red draining it, draining it again, not clamping it, clamping it a little bit. Just really not doing by the way the clamping. So at my they’re like just get a bulldog clip. Yeah . You know those black, yeah . You know the ones you hold together , horrible. A stack of papers. Yeah . It is. And they , the , the point of con of , of contact is right at the end. It’s not like a flat clamp. No, it’s like a pinch mate. Yeah. It’s not the right tool for the job . Not at , not at all. It’s so tough. So in any case, that was my first experience with it. And by the time it was over, cuz I , I ended up buying E guards . I was able to keep training and you know, so this Clarry on my right side, which I would say is the more misfigured or disfigured of the two. Cause it’s got a funny shape to it, which I’m totally cool with, by the way. I love it. That was a result of just how that, of like that first experience with it. Yeah. And it was like that acute one, one on my left side that had just slowly come up over the years. Never really . You had that big explosion. Yeah. I’m I’m similar. My other ear has just thickened over time. Except one time I did get punched directly in the ear. Like the knuckle landed in my ear and the cauliflower was more internal. Ooh . It wasn’t on the periphery. Right. And that’s why normal earphones don’t work for me on that ear, which is some , if , if you’re out there now you’ve got collies and you’re like, yeah, I can’t mess . JT has a strap of boombox to his head on that side. That’s why I gotta go with them. Them big Bo staties over the top. Um, making me more susceptible to attacks on the street some , so something to mention there, if you’re listening and you’re kind of new to jujitsu and this is the first time you’re hearing about co areas . I think it’s probably still the case that it’s very hard to find information on how to manage these. It is like the people that , you know, what I was being told by the guys at the gym was just part of the story. Like, yeah, you gotta drain it, but there’s more to it than that. Definitely. And then the doctors didn’t know what the was up. So it’s, you’re a little bit in the dark. So we don’t have to go into it now, but we’re gonna tell you how we think it’s best managed today. Yeah, definitely. So if we break down essentially what it is, guys, you’re getting a certain amount of damage or trauma to the cartilage of your ear , which is causing a hematoma or a blood clot. Now this can come from the cartilage breaking or just blunt force trauma to the ear, which happens with rugby players, boxes a blood clot or is it just fluid? That’s coming to , it is a blood clot technically, but over time it becomes more clear. So it’s more li yeah , than it is like. So this is just my personal experience of draining my ear multiple times. Bloody water. Yeah. Essentially when it starts, it’s just blood. But then the CLO concentration of red blood cells is less and less over time. Right? In the same way, if you guys have had a graze and the graze weeps, like initially if you just cut yourself, it’s deep enough, it’ll bleed. But if you just graze, you get that kind of weeping, which is, you know, essentially white blood cells , uh , lymph coming through. It’s just trying to heal. But as goo go , yeah, that gooey crap. What happens over time is it starts to solidify and essentially it adheres to the cartilage trying to reinforce it and heal it. But then you’re getting this kind of disfiguration and this , uh , unevenness and roughness. And for some people they’ve let their ears puff up. They never drain them and it goes solid like that. And you’ve got this boiled egg hanging off the side of your head and that can happen. And just repeatedly over time, if you ignore it, it will build up. It’ll get worse. And it does affect your hearing over time. It does . What’s that what you say? No seriously guys. I , I think I’ve got like a 30% Joe . We like that one. <laugh> that’s a dad joke for you son. It is . You’ve got kids who can make excuses for your bad humor. Um, I got 30% hearing loss in my very cauliflower ear, at least. So I always make sure if my partner is talking to me about some , I don’t wanna hear, I just turn, turn the bad ear towards <laugh> sorry , what? I just , it is what it is. <affirmative> but in terms of actually treating it, here’s the thing, obviously, you know, if you pick a scab, it’s gonna keep bleeding, keep scabbing. And it just, it turns into scar tissue, which is essentially what you’re doing to your ear. But if your ear puffs up and it happens the first time, if you treat it properly, your ears can pretty much go back to normal. It’s as if you’re stubborn mothers like John myself, you know, you’re gonna grind those ears and it’s gonna be residual. I like that. We have that introduce that’s our thing. Yeah . You know , and that you have flares , it’s like an identifying characteristic. It is . Yeah . If you early on in the game, don’t feel like draining. It is gonna stop. Like you you’re still gonna have up ears by the time you get to purple belt. Yeah . Like you , you know, you’re still gonna wear that badge of honor . Sure. But if you can just reduce it, I mean, some people will be really badly affected by it. Yeah . Like you do see something . You’re like, man, your ears are. Yes . Like you can’t put earphones in it. No , you definitely can’t wear the lap brim with ears tucked in. No , that’s not a look that you can get down with. No. Some people are not affected by it. No, but I do think if you can manage it better, it just makes life a bit easier for you on the mat on Tinder, on Tinder. You’re gonna do better because it’s funny. I actually , but bounces will still respect you. You will always, when you enter the line always . Yeah . Oh , we MMA fighter here . Yeah. Always. I just don’t say anything. You just kind of nod. Yeah. You just say, yeah, I just didn’t hear, say MMA so right , man . I <laugh> . I got mistaken for Ross Pearson. Uh , when I was in Brazil <laugh> I had these kids asking for my autograph British guy. Yeah. <laugh> yeah . I mean, he’s a tough guy. You know, I really respected Ross. I think he lives out in Australia now. Okay. Uh , I , I, him training with , uh , VUL Kovski oh wow. Anyway, love Ross Pearson. I was in Brazil and someone was like asking my Brazilian friend, like, is that Ross Pearson? My friend was like, yeah, asked for my autograph. I was like, okay . He’s like, they think you’re Ross Pearson. Just sorry, Ross. I forced your signature. I did the same thing. They thought I was Matt Hughes. I took photos with a bunch of kids . Does Matt Hughes nest here . See ? Yeah man. Amazing. That’s great. <laugh> that’s a story for another day fam . Yeah, definitely. But let let’s think about it guys. What Joey was saying about definitely draining the ear , but the compression element is important and there is actually a product out there that is designed now. Excuse me. I did a bit of research. I couldn’t find it. There are these plastic molds that you use and you strap to your ear when you sleep. And it will be uncomfortable guys. Like I, I tried using the bulldog clip with like cotton wool and I could only stand it for like half an hour at a time. And it was just so uncomfortable. That’s the thing. When you get them, it’s so sensitive that really, it makes you go, oh ah , you don’t want to , ah , you don’t want to , they hurt. At first they really hurt. It’s so sensitive. And some of you out there may be more sensitive than others, but that said, if you do rest it, you drain it. And you get that compression and you’re able to reduce the swelling. The skin of your ear will adhere to the curtilage . The problem is if you don’t go through that process, it won’t. And for some of you out there , you may , yeah . The new fluid will just come back. Just keep coming back, coming back. And actually a tip that came from my friend is to wear a beanie. Like he would wear a beanie to hold like a tight beanie. Oh yeah. To hold the ears back. Cuz for some of you may have seen people really bad cauliflowers and they’re just, they’re just out there. They , the Elms ears nor more years to more like Shrek slash wing nut star . And , and that’s the thing, having a process for dealing with it. There’s not a lot of information out there unless you’re on like, like MMA forums or places where people do get cauliflowers . I remember when I tried to do the clamping thing, I , I tried so many different things, but one I did was you’re trying to clamp the year, but the year is contoured. Yes. So , you know, it’s obviously concave on outside of the year . So I remember I was like, right , how do I make a mold for this? And I strapped a couple of $2 coins onto , uh , like dollar coins and then like a 50 cent piece. Oh wow. And then I kind of plugged that into my ear after I drained it. And then, and then I taped around the ear and around the head. Oh wow. And I was like, oh , I’ll sleep with this. And I think I’ve ripped it off in the middle of the night. Cause it was so uncomfortable. Yeah. And then the other silly thing is that I just went back to training the next day. That’s right. This is the other part of it. Isn’t it? You, you have to drain, then you have to compress. Yes . And then you have to rest, rest it. Yeah. It’s one time you can’t go and FAS it up again. No, it’s an injury that people will see forever. Like if people could see the scar tissue in your knees, on the outside of your knees, you wouldn’t be so proud to be horrified. You know? Like , you know, cuz back in the day, when you had knee surgery, you got this big down the middle people had have seen scars, but now we have keyhole surgery. So it’s like, ah , you , someone has knee surgery. You don’t necessarily know. But the inside of their knees probably look terrible. Their meniscus are shreded right. But if that was on the outside and it was on your skin, people would feel a lot more self conscious about having really bad knees. Right. Not just complaining at them. So that’s the thing when you have this scar and especially if you’re a woman, I feel like as a guy, it’s much easier to get away with hu . I’m a tough guy. Look at my college ears. If you’re a woman, it’s, it’s a , it’s a hard deal, you know, potentially I’m sure some love it. No, no. And I’m not saying this. I’m not saying it’s any kind of sexist way. I know how superficial the world is. And, and all the judgements that gets thrown on women, which is unfair, right? That said, if you are doing this thing, which is a combat sport, you’re gonna cop a bit of wear and tear facial grazers, all the bits and pieces. You may not be comfortable with it. Some might, some might not. And this is true for men too. There’s plenty of men out there. They don’t, they don’t them ugly ears . But what I’d say is having been to Brazil and trained in Brazil, much more common thing. I saw way more guys with C flat ears in Brazil because they have a culture of more combat sports with delivery boxing. All of that. I didn’t feel like I stood out in Brazil other than being a gringo, the cauliflower ears thing. I saw a bunch of guys not in fighting circles, just a dude down the street cauliflower ears . Okay. That probably that guy gets into punch ons . He’s a tough guy. Well, you see it here. It’s usually the rugby community. Yes. But you can always tell those guys, cuz they’re wearing the collared shirt, blue and white stripes tucked into the, the jeans . They got the RM Williams , the pretty hair. You’re like, oh he’s not a jujitsu guy. No , he’s a prime at school boy . That’s right.
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Or that’s why people often to say to me, I’m sure you get too . They’re like rugby, rugby. I’m like, I’m too small. I’m too small for that jujitsu . I never say I’m too small for anything. <laugh> like , man, I saw a guy sitting on the tram. It looked like he had coral growing out, save hiss head. He looked like he was from baby Jones’s locker on, you know, pirates of the Caribbean. And he is like a big sold guy. And I said, oh mate, how’s it going on ? Do you train? He’s like, what do you mean? I said, do do you do martial arts? Nah , footy. I , I was like, okay, cool. Good to know. Not my people. No, no. I mean, whatever respect you were continue onward now for you guys you’re out there. You’ve you’ve copped a cauliflower ear is swollen up. What are you gonna do about it now? Obviously Joe and I are rough and ready humans, you know? Sure. I don’t care. Stick a needle in it . Let’s pull the blood out . We’ve gotta be pretty careful around this stuff. Because obviously too, when you start to mess around with needles and breaking the skin, you can get infections. Like I would say solidly, if you know somebody who’s a nurse. And then also if you have somebody who’s, you know, medically trained much better to have them help you than some random guy at the gym, you know, Ivan, Drago . Who’s Jess . I mean he , my name was Ivan <laugh> yeah , but say he’s drained a hundred years , right? The guy’s got a lot of experience. It doesn’t mean you couldn’t get no that’s right. A terrible infection in your ear, which is near your brain, which could be, you know, that could be a problem. Yeah. But the worst thing is going to someone who’s had 10 years of medical experience going. I’ve never seen this. Well , you’re a freaking idiot. You don’t hang out with grapples enough and waiting five hours in emergency at the hospital to try and get your ear drained is also not necessarily what you’re going. Yeah. It’s impractical very impractical back in the day. If, if you are in a war zone and your leg gets cut, you’re gonna have to stitch your own leg up with black cotton . You know, you gotta , you’re gonna have to do something about it. Otherwise you’re gonna get infection. You’re gonna die. Obviously this is not life or death. But I think for the best part, a lot of what we do in our day to day lives, we give responsibility for our health and our wellbeing over to other people and not the worst thing for you to be able to do it yourself. But if you think of it as an injury and as a wound, you want to be taking all your precautions with antiseptic, keeping things clean, also not injecting air bubbles into your bloodstream, which can potentially go to your heart and kill you. Yeah. We’re not giving any kind of advice here. All we’re doing is talking about what we’ve done and what, you know, if we were to do it again, this is how we’d approach it. Yeah . Of course. All the utmost cares be taken and seek the advice of a medical practitioner. Like before you do anything. Yeah . But yeah. Bit of antibacterial, like disinfectant wipe on the ear . Sure. Get in under the, you know, get in break that first layer of skin with the thing you’ll know when you hit it, you’ll hit. It sounds start to withdraw and then yeah. Just slow. Yeah . And it slow and steady. And it’s really interesting. You’re like how much blood can an ear hold, I’ll tell you. Like I think the , yeah, the most I pulled out one time was literally five mills of blood. Well , what’s in the , what’s in like a diabetes syringe. How much is in there? So technically within that it’s I think depending on which one you have, it might be a milliliter. A milliliter. Yeah. I mean like one mill , one mill depending. So yeah . So you might feel that and then you’ll like eject it into the sink or whatever. And then you’ll go again, go again, potentially go for multiple reps potential, but also sticking the needle on your ear can cause its own scar tissue. So you don’t want to have to be doing it multiple, multiple times. Yeah . That is not the ideal thing. But what I wanted to talk about relevant to this is you may get some , uh , MIS advice, which is, for example, people are like, oh you got cauliflowers just at ear guards bit late. It’s a bit , it’s a bit late in the , I’ll be honest. I tried that that’s a preventative measure or it it’s an intermediary once you’ve taken a couple weeks off jets after draining and all that. And then you’re like, I want to go back. Yeah. We guards for a little bit. Just so you’re reducing impact. Huh? It actually made it worse for me. When , when my cauli flat was swollen, I tried to wear ear guards. It made my ear rub more and it caused more inflammation. So I was like, oh these ear guards. It’s. It’s just the wrong time. Right. Tool , wrong job in , in that instance, like the wrong timing. So the other thing is too like rubbing anti inflammatory creams into your ear is not gonna help. Like having more turmeric people do that. Yeah. It doesn’t work. Oh man, it’s not topical creams. Aren’t helping you. And this is the challenge because not all of us know somebody who is a nurse or knows someone who’s a doctor or even knows somebody who is qualified to be able to perform this medical procedure on you. Even though for what it’s worth. It is a more or less simple thing. The thing that I would really speak against, which I’ve seen is cutting the ear to drain it. Ah , yeah. I saw a guy who does that , uh , crapless , like some people really ? Yeah. It just seems like that’s so is a cion . Yeah, because they , they cut, they literally cut it open, drain it and then stitch the ear . So you get this crazy. I think one of Craig’s ears like Craig Jones, he actually had this done back at purple belt and he had this crazy like stitch scar across his ear, his , uh , left ear, pretty Savage man. Like it looks rough if you don’t care about the looks or anything like that, maybe. But I , I would say that that’s dramatically worse. Yeah. And you gotta look at it like this way too. I , I think I remember somewhere along my journey in that initial period, I spoke to a doctor who was like, look, you know , um , you can drain it. I’m not gonna do it for you. But the other option would be to see a plastic surgeon. And he said, the plastic surgeon will go in there. They’ll open up the ear , they’ll remove all of the, the scar tissue. And then they’ll stitch it back down and you’ll have a normal looking ear . And I’ll , and I said, if I’m still playing the sport, should I do that? And he said, well, no, you should do that when you retire from the sport. Correct. You know, which I would think same kind of thing. It’s like, all right , if I’m outta the game and , and for some reason you don’t want ’em anymore, which I guarantee by the time you finish the game, you’re still gonna want ’em . Yeah. Um , but you know that, that might be an option to do it that way, but yeah, absolutely. Like, yeah, you don’t , you don’t wanna be cutting yourself. Yeah. My mum even said to me, oh, you poor little ears. Oh . I made these ears and you’ve broke them . Boo . She’s like, we’ll pay for surgery. Is she draining them for you? No, no, no. Not at all. She wouldn’t. No. I mean, she , she might, if I would ask them my , I got my mom to drain mine one . I I’m sure my mum loves that stuff. My mum , she said the same. She , she was doing it and she got all excited. Cuz she like put the , my dad was filming. She put the knee in . She’s like, oh we’re under good spot . She’s like extra . And she’s like, yeah. And then she injected it , vacuum into the sink, ES like this is fun. And then she was like, oh there your little ears Joey . And she started to tear up. I was like, oh ma yeah . You know, like it , yeah. It’s one of those things like, you know, she grew, you, you know, like it’s one of those things, I guess you don’t understand, like imagine your baby boy. Imagine him get , I mean, you’d be kind of proud <laugh> you ? But also I don’t think Meese would love draining fluid from his, well just swollen ears , getting cauliflower ears . I’m sure. Any, any responsible parent would be like , oh maybe. Yeah. Yeah. You know, but that said, my mum offered to pay for surgery on my ears. And I was like, it’s 15, if you elect to have like an ear reconstruction, which is actually very calm in Brazil, it’s 15 grand. Right. And it’s a simple procedure. They literally cut the skin, peel it back, scratch your out. Yeah. And then put it back. It’s so easy. It’s like payday for a plastic surgeon. And you’re like, man , to be honest, it’s one of those things. I refer to it as my jujitsu tattoo. I don’t have any tattoos. I’m not really into that. I , I like tattoo art, but I don’t really, really want any tattoos. This is body modification that I’ve done to myself. This is a symbol that I’m a stubborn. Who’s gonna grind my head into any surface possible to beat somebody at grappling. Like I don’t care. I’ll snap my own ears off. You know, I won’t necessarily cut ’em off, but you know, if you’re gating me and I wanna get out the only way out a half root my year off, I’ll do it because sacrificed the year that determined I don’t need it really. Um , and that might be symbolic for how I view the world. Cause I don’t wanna , I don’t wanna take any inputs. I only want outputs. I got two bits of practical advice on that because I think that for a lot of people, they might have experienced co but perhaps not to the where it’s obviously cauliflower. Right. And I know that Beck from jungle Bo , she had that where she’s like my ears really sore. Um , but I look at it, it kind of looks normal, but when I touch it, it’s sensitive and it was red and it was hot, you know? And , and she was putting up for it , with it for a little while what’s happening. There is generally from my experience a precursor to eat cauliflower and , and it’s kind of like a warning sign from the jujitsu gods that like, Hey, if you keep training hard for another couple weeks, this thing’s gonna blow up and then you’re gonna have, you know, something you got really gotta deal with. So I think at that stage you can take measures to stop it from going further. And that would be the first thing is like, yeah, a break from training does actually help obviously, because it just allows you to stop getting hit in that area. And then by the , you know, it will repair and then you come back and you’re good, but also you , you can ice it. Yes . Like any kind of inflammation injury, if you, if you ice it regularly, it is gonna help to re to reduce inflammation. And the other thing you can do at that point is ear guards. Yes. And I think that she did start wearing ear guards. Right. She did. And you know, and you can also be like an extra measure would be okay, maybe I’ll stop using my head for certain positions. So maybe that means you start playing more on the bottom different game . I’m gonna , you know , develop my guard or whatever it is, but stop using your head as, as a, you know, as a tool, which, you know , you should be using it as a tool in , in jujitsu. Yeah . Um , but you do that for whatever a couple of weeks and it settles down. That’s right. And I think that’s really handy for folks. I , I did speak with a , a girl once who was a , uh , a black belt and she was taught, it was when I had my first COFA and she’s like, oh , I’ve never had issues with them. And I asked her if she didn’t anything . And she said, yeah, often when I finish training , uh , sometimes I’ll feel my ears, a sore. She said, I will rub my ears, like massage them. Oh , interesting. That night. I don’t know if there’s any benefit to it, but she’s like that . I always felt that it worked for me. It just helped to like a massage, you know, bring more kind of repair to the area. Right . Um , you know , whatever, push them , I guess probably stimulates the lymphatic system, pushes a bit of stuff out. Yep . So, you know, there’s a couple of anecdotal pieces there. Yeah. And look, what I’d say is this it’s, it’s an injury. So we have to treat it as such if you injure your knee, because you value walking, you do what you can to help your knee fix up because we’re all like, whoa , we don’t wanna have bad knees, but is if you’re someone who’s not really worried about, you know, extraneous different things, initially it doesn’t affect you too badly over time. Yeah. It can affect your ability to hear and different things. But in truth, it’s never that bad that, sorry, it can feel so sore. You don’t wanna train, but then there’s a point at which it’s not as sore. And even if you do nothing to look after it, you could keep training. And that’s why people do end up with is the way they do. But if you think this is an injury, I have to take care of it, seek advice, get attention fingers crossed. There are more doc . I sure that you could Google a BJ J doctor <laugh> . You could find a doctor who’s done work with wrestlers, done work with jujitsu . Athletes has seen many, a C ear and actually has experience in being able to drain it, treat it, you know, and you’re not just doing DIY work, but some to it can come to that. But the idea is to be able to address it as an injury and stop repeating the action that’s causing the injury. Yeah. I think this day and age would probably be a lot easier to find a doctor at your gym. Yes. Or , you know, in the academy who, who knows what’s up. Yeah . I think back to our, you know, the early days for us and it was like, there wasn’t a lot of people doing jujitsu. It was all pretty niche. Finding a doctor that had had dealt with that sort of thing was kind of unheard of very rare. Hopefully now it’s much less of an issue. Yeah. And , and look guys, if you’re out there, you’ve never had a CLI flat . Yeah . You listen to this and go , what are they all talking about? Stop playing bolos, man . <laugh> do some real jujitsu , but it can just happen randomly. Like you could just, you could be playing your game and then maybe you , you go with a partner who’s a bit of an injury machine and they knee you in the head. You don’t even do anything yet need in the ear. And then suddenly there is fat and people be following and you knew yourself in the head <laugh> , in which case I’d say bad things happen to bad people. <laugh> karma karma . But no, I think , but that’s right. You could just cop an impact. And, and that’s the way it goes. And, and I think ultimately, like we always say with any of these things, it’s really kind of , uh , this is a , a user warning. When you start jujitsu on the waiver , it doesn’t, doesn’t say anything about cauliflowers . It doesn’t say, ah , fine print, by the way, you might completely wreck your ears and disfigure them. And that may hinder your dating prospects in the future. <laugh> so be warned if you haven’t got ’em, there is every chance you could <affirmative> and if you do seek treatment because ignoring it, it actually, it can get pretty wild. And if you, if you don’t know, you can look at Randy Kura , BJ, Penn , there’s some pretty famous, I saw a meme ages ago, which was like, pick these four ears and I could , I could pick , I could pick three of them. So suck Arava was one, Randy Kaur was another line and BJ Penn . Yeah . And it can look the worst. Well , yeah, it doesn’t have to though. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, you know, I think that at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with like, no, they don’t cause any issues. No, it’s just a look. And if it’s looked that you like, then let it happen. Totally. But if , if you’re like, it’s not quite something I want to go like super deep on right now. Yeah . Like maybe you’re a white belt and you’re like, I wouldn’t mind a bit of CloudFlare , but we’re still very early in this journey. I have a modeling career ahead of me do a little bit of treatment on ’em , you know, like look after them , take it off a couple weeks, drain compress. And then, you know, hopefully it just slows it down for , uh , but interestingly I’m much less prone to them these days. Yes . And I do find you kind of get to a point where they just stop being such an issue. And I think it’s, if you look at any other like hardening of the body that occurs, like think of callouses on the skin and you think of the unique callouses of jujitsu that you get on the , the ends of your fingers and your knuckles, it’s just a callousing of your ears, essentially . Like in a way it’s over time is different . It’s not thickening of the skin, but it’s the same idea. Your body’s just becoming more durable there. So, you know, badge of honor , whatever, there’s some practical advice for you . Definitely. And I think guys, if anything, if you got ’em have no shame in it, it’s unique. If you know, you know, you see someone else with CLI fire is it doesn’t matter what context you give. ’em the nod. That’s like the fight clubs like , yep . You’re a tough dude. I’m a tough dude. Or you’re a tough chick respect. It’s all respect. If I ever see someone else with a CLI ear and they see mine, it’s just like, <affirmative> , you don’t need to speak. It’s just like, you know? Mm . And so I think there is an intense value in that it’s like, as soon as, you know, someone does jujitsu, it’s like, eh , there’s a common understanding. And it’s it’s , I actually think it’s positive. Absolutely. We love you and your beautiful cauliflowers. Yes , exactly. But body proud guys. Thank you for listening. If you want help with your training, you can check out our program, Bulletproof for bjj.com. If you want more help or any advice, we’ve got a bunch of free stuff on YouTube. You can also go there. And if you do wanna support the show, we now are on Patreon. We’ve got a few different tiers there of support. You can simply buy us a coffee once a month, or you can even scale it up a little bit and buy us a bowl of us a to share. Nice. Thank you guys. We’ll see you next week. Thanks guys.