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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Tropp

Are injuries avoidable in BJJ?

Here is a good question!!

Ever talk to a person who has trained BJJ for years and says "i have never been injured"?

Neither have I. In fact if you count the amount spent on tape and braces for your knee, wrist, elbow and ankle it could pay for a small vacation.

10 reasons injuries may happen if you train BJJ?

1. The nature of the activity: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that involves ground fighting and grappling techniques which involve physical contact, making it more prone to injuries than other sports. Plus its competitive. When you decide to wait a little longer than you should to tap its a possibility you may acquire an injury. You are participating in a combat sport. Its highly probably at some point your going to get injured. Keep in mind we will likely fight similar to how we train. If the intensity of training is low, than you may have less or fewer incidents (injuries or issues).

2. Not warming up: Warm-up exercises are key in any sport or exercise regime to get your body ready for the strenuous movements involved in BJJ training. Failing to do so can increase the probability of strains and sprains due to increased stress on joints and muscles. You more likely to get injured if you dont warm up. So warm up!

3. Poor technique: Training with poor form can put excessive strain on your muscles, leading to potential overuse injury such as tendonitis and muscle tears. Proper instruction from an experienced BJJ instructor should be sought if you're not sure how to execute certain techniques correctly. Its also chaotic when implementing technique and there is no perfect technique. As you become better at BJJ your transitions and adjustments may (will) help reduce the likelihood of injury.

4. Too much too soon: Starting off with a heavy training load can put too much stress on your body and increase the risk of injury. Take time to build up your strength and conditioning gradually as you become more experienced in BJJ. Take time to learn in the beginning and remember that its your time to "survive" not "thrive". (unless of course your a D1 wrestler or Judo Blackbelt).

5. Inadequate rest: Resting between sparring sessions is important for proper recovery, however fatigue can be a factor in careless technique execution, leading to injuries. Make sure to get enough sleep and take rests when needed so that your body is well rested during training sessions. It is important top be alert and be able to access your reflexes. This will help you avoid injury.

6. Poor equipment: Wearing ill-fitting gear or unsuitable clothing can be distracting and prevent your full attention that is needed when training combat sports. Its important to have good equipment.

7. Over-training: Training more than your body can handle will put potential strain on your muscles and joints, leading to strains and other injuries. It’s important to give yourself enough recovery time between sessions and listen to your body if it is telling you that something is wrong. If you have ever ran into the "person who trains every day" its likely he or she is always complaining about some issue related to their body. Recovery is IMPORTANT! (maybe someday I will take my own advice).

8. Poor nutrition: Eating the right foods can help reduce the risk of injury during training . Make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein and carbohydrates. Hydration is also important for optimal performance. Proper fuel for the body will allow it to perform optimally. A poor diet will also slow down recovery. If you cannot eat a well balanced meal there are a wide variety of supplements you can take. Remember do your research and maybe talk to a licensed nutritionist.

9. Neglecting strength and flexibility: Strength training, conditioning and stretching exercises should be incorporated into your routine to increase your power, speed, endurance, balance and flexibility which will help reduce the risk of injury during BJJ practice. Going to the gym and doing some type of cardio is known help prevent injury could improve recovery from injuries. (or even reduce the impact of a potential injury)

10. Unsafe mats: Training on a poorly maintained mat can increase the risk of cuts and scrapes, as well as fungal infections caused by bacteria. Make sure to check the integrity of your training mats regularly and replace them if necessary. We should be able to focus on our training and not have to worry about where we train. Worrying about what we train on can be distracting and make your environment injury prone.

When it comes to BJJ injuries are almost certain, but with proper care and attention they can be minimized or avoided. It’s important to be aware of the risks and implement safe practices in order to minimize them. With the right precautions, you can train safely and happily for many years to come.

Train Safe,

Matthew Tropp | BJJ Report

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