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:
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.
Give yourself rest. If it means sitting out for a while then do it.
Protect your joins. I had stopped wearing a leg brace. I’m going back to it.
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.
Even the best black belts get gi burns. The neck is the usual place to find them. A good cross choke always seems to leave me a beauty or two. They don’t cause a lot of pain, just discomfort. Especially because they aren’t confined to the neck. Lets just say you never know where you might end up with one after a intense roll. I have posted a story in BJJ Freak Injuries about my instructor getting one under his eye lid. You know how some times a paper cut can hurt worse then a deep cut? That is how gi burns bother me. I had to find a way to speed there healing. Especially the ones where clothing might rub, like the collar of your shirt. I experimented around, with different burns and over the counter creams. I had a ample supply of gi burns and tried a number of remedies for them over time. When all was said and done I found that Hydrocortisone worked the best for me. In most cases, when used the night before, I would wake up to find most of the redness gone and no discomfort when it was brushed or something came in contact with it. It has become my Gi-Burn-Be-Gone. I hope it helps you too.
I find it ironic that one of the reasons I go to Jiu-Jitsu twice each week is for mental well being but not physical it seems. What I mean by that is each week I find stress relief in class. Its like popping the mental pressure value. The aggression combined with the concentration on technique helps me. But most of the time I spend the week recovering physically from class. Yes, I get a good physical work out that helps me. And yes, we are all considerate and try not to hurt our training partners. Its just that every week there is something that has to heal on my body. This week it is a jammed finger (I never even felt it happen) and a huge bruise from a failed Ashi-Barai. I’m dotted all over with bruises in various stages of healing. Most of my injuries heal in one week or aren’t painful anymore in that time. I guess what I’m saying is I wish I would harden up a little or that I didn’t feel so old. I can’t stop doing Jiu-Jitsu. I know I’d miss it to much. I’m a addict. I guess the best course of action is to improve my technique and healing knowledge.
Last night I had a great time at class. I lost a lot of rolls but got in some good sweeps. It was the first time I did a Balloon Sweep. I ended up stopping about 15 minutes shy of the full hour and a half because of a injury. I don’t even know how I did it. All of the sudden I couldn’t raise my left leg into a 90 degree position without a huge amount of pain at the top of my thigh. I felt that I may have pulled it at the beginning of class but hadn’t noticed any pain until the end.
I love Jiu-Jitsu and I’ve decided I must love pain. I keep getting hurt and I keep going back for more. I try to heal fast enough to be ready for the next injury, be it a bruise, muscle pull, or sprain. But in most cases they stack up until I have to stop and rest.
I tried some Badger Balm last night to help my sore muscle and some ibuprofen. It didn’t do anything of significance. I avoid aspirin knowing it only makes bruises worse. What does the rest of the BJJ community use to help speed healing of muscle injuries? Please share with me. Any tips or tricks to help speed healing would be greatly appreciated.
As in any sport or rigorous activity injuries happen. With BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) it seems that they are the strangest, freakish, or weird. For example, while rolling I attempted to do a escape and some how caught my upper lip with my thumb. I scrapped my gum with my finger nail and had to struggle to untangle my hand from my mouth. My instructor told me of a time where he got his eye lid turned inside out and got a rug burn on it while grappling. Until it healed it hurt every time he blinked. You don’t know how often you blink until have a rug burn on you inner eye lid. The latest one I heard was from a friend. While rolling he arched or upa’d. Some how his pinky toe slipped into a mat seam and got caught. As he finished the move it broke his toe! Maybe it is just the nature of martial art made famous by the Gracie’s. I don’t know. In all the sports I’ve ever done I’ve never heard so many funny injuries. Regardless of the injuries I am addicted to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Viva la Jiu-Jitsu!
I’m a white belt. I’m new to Jiu-Jitsu. My guard is passed often as I learn while rolling. As a result I have bruises up and down my legs. The majority are from some one pinning my leg down as they pass. From my knees down I look like a leopard, black, blue, and yellow. I can’t heal as fast as I am getting new bruises. I had to find a way to stop accumulating new ones until my technique improves. I looked at the typical MMA shin guards but didn’t want something with the instep. I also wanted coverage on the knee and farther around the leg then just the shin. I was surprised to find that Softball Sliding Shin Guards (like these at Amazon.com) did the trick for me. They didn’t hamper my movement. I had to adjust them after each roll but the most important part is they gave my legs time to heal.
I picked up a few other kinds of shin guard that I am going to try in my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. I will review them as I try them out.