BJJ and Injuries: Picking and Choosing Your Battles

Let’s be honest- as much as you try to be careful, as gentle (for the most part) jiu jitsu can be on the joints, sometimes you sustain little injuries. A jammed finger here, a tweaked knee there. Nothing too serious, but if not taken care of properly, or ignored, they can amount to bigger problems down the road. For an example, please refer to my perpetually dislocated left pinky toe.

We all know that you should take care of you injuries, however jiu jitsu players are a pretty hardheaded, stubborn breed. On the one hand, it’s tremendously useful when working on getting out of tight spots and digging deep to get that sweep, submission, etc. On the other hand it also makes us all very prone to “working through the pain” and end up making the situation worse.

This is when you need to take a step back and weigh your options: is this training session/tournament/whatever important enough to exacerbate an existing injury? Sometimes that answer is yes, other times as much as we don’t like to admit it, that answer can be no. When you are injured, there are times when you really have to pick and choose your battles, so you can get up and fight another day.

Have any of you been in that situation recently? Have you had to step back from a training session or tournament because you realize you had an injury, and as much as you didn’t like it, you decided to not participate? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “BJJ and Injuries: Picking and Choosing Your Battles

  1. Ambroise Bachot

    Yeah. Knee problem (from o-lifting, not BJJ). I didn’t really want to completely step off the mats but I had to put some controls in place: no o-soto, no standup randori, no closed guard, half-arsed — yet intelligent — warmups, and starting every roll from bottom half. Wisdom has its price. You have to set your own pace for recovery. I felt like I was dogging it but my training partners were all very understanding.

  2. MajaEL95

    knee problem here too. I don’t do bjj (yet), but I do shotokan karate. it’s known for very deep stances and that’s definitely a problem right now.
    it’s hard to remind myself not to push through it, but my instructors really help. when I told them about (or they found out) about my knees they all made a point out of me being careful and taking care of myself. sometimes when I can’t do what we’re supposed to do sensei will see that I’m not doing it and loudly say something along the lines of “yeah, you be careful with you’re knees and take care of your injury. just do what you can and find alternatives”. it really helps, cause otherwise I might be too proud/stubborn and try to push through the pain

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