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Waiting For Cauliflower Ear

Waiting For Cauliflower Ear


Ideas on this badge of honor...

Like a child waiting for Santa Claus, I keep waiting for my cauliflower ear to come.  My wife is thrilled that my ears are intact. They are spotless like someone who has never seen the inside of a Jiu Jitsu gym despite the endless hours on the mat.

Wikipedia describes cauliflower ears as, “Cauliflower ear is an irreversible condition that occurs when the external portion of the ear is hit and develops a blood clot or other collection of fluid under the perichondrium. This separates the cartilage from the overlying perichondrium that supplies its nutrients, causing it to die and resulting in the formation of fibrous tissue in the overlying skin. As a result, the outer ear becomes permanently swollen and deformed, resembling a cauliflower.”

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I never understood people who wear ear protection in Jiu Jitsu. Certainly, I understand what it is for but the protective equipment never made sense to me. I get mouth guards and groin protectors; especially as a white belt.  However, why would someone want to protect their ears from this badge of honor?

How do you explain the cauliflower ear culture to those who don’t train? Like Jiu Jitsu itself, you never really understand the pride of a colored belt or the disfigurement of ears unless you train. It is like describing the joy of swimming in the ocean to someone who has never seen water.

Belts stopped mattering to me a while ago. I am to the point now where I just want to learn more and get better. But I have not hit that level of maturity with a cauliflower ear. I keep hoping maybe this will be the year…

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