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Staying Injury Free For the Long Term. HOW?

I’m looking at my copy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements by Roy Dean.  As I ponder what Mr. Dean is teaching I found myself wondering how he has managed to stay injury free.  When I get to the level of a black belt I don’t want to be a physical wreck.  How do you achieve that level without being screwed up in some way?

Miles, one of my friends at BJJ posted on Facebook "The pain’s of being a grappler! Added a hyper-extended elbow to the list of nagging injury’s occurred during No Gi training!”.  I felt his pain.  I have my own list of “nagging injuries”.  I added to it the week before with a simple accident at class.  While doing a drill my class mate preformed a “Baiana” or double leg takedown on me but failed to lift me sufficiently before twisting to take me down.  With my legs still firmly rooted this put all the force against the side of my knee.  I heard a small pop and experienced a little pain.  Now I’m having sharp pains when I bend over to pick something up.  It was a accident.

How can you make a profession out of teaching BJJ, practice at least a short while once a day and not end up needing therapy or surgery after a while?

Here are some things I’ve been doing that have helped:

  1. Tap early.  Forget the pride!  You want to keep doing this for the long term.  If I feel its good I tap.  No need to risk injury.
  2. Give yourself rest.  If it means sitting out for a while then do it.
  3. Protect your joins.  I had stopped wearing a leg brace.  I’m going back to it.
  4. Learn healing methods that speed the process of recuperation.  The proper use of ice and heat are doing wonders for my back.

Please share with me any insights you have.  I want to be doing BJJ until I die like Heilo Gracie.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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2 Responses to “Staying Injury Free For the Long Term. HOW?”

  1. I think the overall approach of the instructor has a lot to do with it as well. I have been following Dean’s blog for a while and have seen videos of them grappling. That same calm, flowing style they use when demonstrating Blue, Purple and Brown Belt ‘tests’ is very similar to how they roll in class.

    I train with Gracie Barra and almost each practice our instructor admonishes everyone to be safe and to remember it’s a learning environment. But ultimately it lies with me. A few things I do to reduce chance of injury is to never let a new person gain top control and watch out for the revenge tap and avoid rough grapplers at all costs. I also realize that my body has limits. I can’t perform Rubber Guard, I can’t use the inverted guard, etc. So I don’t roll risky.

  2. Don’t train no-gi or wrestling.