Escaping Injury from the Gentle Art
Physically speaking, BJJ takes some getting used to……no lie. You are going to have regular bruising in places like your shins, unexplained massive headaches after training (dehydration for sure), an occasional Gi burn in the facial area, or maybe a toe or finger that bent in the wrong direction ( finger taping will become the norm) . Sounds awesome, right?
It’s inevitable……. you are going to get hurt from time to time. You are learning a martial art intended to suffocate or maim an opponent. Don’t let these temporary boo boos get inside your head and allow the enemy (Ego) to put you on the ledge. These temporary, small, normal side effects of being new to the sport will fade.
There are ways to minimize legitimate injuries though………because those can happen as well. There is no sense falling in love with a sport and having to look on from the sidelines. I promise that after 3 months of training you will be looking for a “fix” of rolling when you miss a couple days of putting in work. Being out for weeks for strained rib or knee injury would literally drive me insane……ask my wife.
- Be sure to warm up before rolling. You are going to be moving, twisting, and pushing your body in ways that are sometimes unnatural. If you are cold ……. risk of pulling something is elevated.
- Tape up you fingers. You never how important a pinky is until it is broken. Any sports tape will do. I recommend Monkey Tape. They give proceeds back to We Defy and Mission 22
- Technique over strength and explosion. The less use of explosive movements and learn to play a tight game. You can impose your will smashing your opponent with tight pressure. Not saying you shouldn’t train strength. Maintenance strength training has been proven to help reduce injury.
- Learn to tap. The tap gives you the chance to learn from your mistakes. It gives you an automatic do over to try again. No sense in risking serious injury in a situation that has a low chance of reward.
- Choose your Training Partners Well. Don’t feel like you must roll with that guy who is literally taking folks out and going a little extra hard on the submissions. Oh, and yeah………. don’t be that guy.
The truth is that the more you train……the less you are going to get hurt. You are going to improve your fitness and mental strength beyond measure. Don’t get discouraged WHEN you get dinged up. Pick yourself up and get back on the mat as soon as you can.