We have a student who broke his hand during the last NAGA. He still came into class, his gi on and everything, bowed in with us, and sat on the side while the other students drilled. Before class he was encouraged by our coach to stay on the mat and watch class there, and I essentially followed up that sentiment in the beginning of the class I co-teach by telling him “you’re still a part of the class and we do want you here.”
It can feel awkward to attend class when injured, fully aware that you can’t do much. You start to wonder what you are even doing there in the first place: you can’t drill, can’t train, you can just sit and watch as other students hone their techniques and skills.
But if you can, still go to class. Talk to your instructor, explain what’s up, and more often than not I would imagine they would be fine with you still getting into your gi and sitting on the mat, watching as a technique is taught with the rest of the class and observing others drill it. Will it be frustrating because you can’t drill like everyone else? Sure; I won’t lie and say that it won’t- but it sure as hell beats sitting at home watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (Is that still a thing? I don’t really know). Bring a notebook, write down the lessons you missed if you are unable to practice. Then, when you are at a point in your recovery when drilling is possible, you can go back over those moves with a fellow student. That way you can still stay “in the loop” and not have to essentially start from scratch when the technique is taught again, or a more advanced version of the same technique is taught in the future.
Also, it keeps you in the habit of getting into a gi and going to jiu jitsu class. Especially in the beginning it can be hard to maintain the commitment to attend, especially when so many other things can get in the way. By still making the effort to get into your gi and getting on the mat still reinforces that habit, even if you can only watch class.
So, if you are injured in some way, if it’s within reason, still try to make jiu jitsu class when you can.