top of page
  • Writer's pictureBJJ Report | Matthew Tropp

Training BJJ if you are Hurt or Injured?

DISCLAIMER: This is not medical advice, and we are not medical professionals. Please consult with your doctor or a medical professional when performing any exercise if you feel hurt or injured in any way.

What to do if your injured in BJJ
What to do if your injured in BJJ


Let’s say you’re a BJJ addict. You train several times a week and are at least a blue belt. I am not discriminating when it comes to white belts however once you become a blue belt you have a true sense of dedication (unless you quit like most blue belts do anyway).

You have heard over and over again from countless people what a great opportunity it is to work on other areas of your game if you get injured or hurt and guess what, here is the perfect opportunity to make it happen!


Let’s first look at the difference between HURT and INJURED.

If your “hurt” your still functional. You may not have full mobility. You may experience discomfort (some pain) however you can operate a motor vehicle, still go to work and if your lucky sleep through the night. This is worse than being sore but better than being injured.

Examples of being hurt are as follows… strained shoulder (kimura or americana related), elbow strain (armbar related), neck strain (debatable), knee soreness from knee bars or heel hooks, wrist soreness from wristlocks and of course lower back pain from training in general...

If your “injured” you have a bigger problem and most likely have limited or no motor function, are experiencing more pain than usual (especially when moving around) and perhaps should not drive a car or work until this gets under control.

A few scenarios to take a look at…

1. You decide not to tap on a Peruvian necktie (a variation of a guillotine choke from closed guard) and strained your neck. However, you can still finish class or continue to free train (spar). You may be sore the next day however you still go to the gym and still hangout with your significant other.

2. You get caught by a lower belt in an arm bar and your ego gets in the way and you refuse to tap. You hear a pop, and the next day cannot extend your arm to change gears when you attempt to go to work.

3. You get caught in a heel hook by your opponent and decide you want to see how it feels to experience the “truth” about BJJ heel hooks. You end up feeling a pinching pain and the next day you’re walking with a limp. You even start icing it and have to wear a knee brace.

THE IDEA! ok… here is the general consensus from BJJ Professors. If your “hurt” you can still train. If your “injured” you should not train. If you don’t know the difference ask your professor or better yet speak to a medical professional. Here are some examples of being able to train when “hurt”.

A person with a hurt shoulder on the mat
Perhaps you can train if your hurt (not injured)


1. If you strain your elbow or shoulder, you may consider tucking your hurt arm in your belt when free training (sparring) to improve or focus on the side that is functional. Make sure to let your partner know you have an issue and your trying to work on other positions.

2. If you hurt your knee or leg, you may consider playing defense during your sparring to learn how to better defend against attacks. Make sure to wear a knee brace and let your partner know your issue.

3. If you hurt your neck perhaps play guard. This could prevent the pressure you require from your head when passing or if you establish side control. Make sure to let your partner know what’s going on with your neck

Remember to take it slow, be mindful of how you feel when training if your hurt and always let your partner know what’s going on so you can get the most out of your BJJ sparring.

Train Safe and Train Often,

Matthew Tropp | BJJ Report

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page