Getting injured in BJJ is not a maybe, it’s a 100% yes definitely type of deal


So how do we manage it when the inevitable comes?


Firstly, I think it’s super important to be able to recognise when you have a strain or a niggle have a legitimate injury


For the average BJJ athlete who’s doing 3 sessions a week 60 to 90 minutes in duration while also holding down a full time job and a life outside of the mat, it’s not really feasible to be suffering catastrophic injuries


I’m talking stuff like torn ligaments, slipped discs, joint reconstructions and the like…


Straight off the bat, if you’re in this category and you’re finding yourself with recurring injuries like this you should step back and take a good look at where your body is at, how you’re training, and if there is ANYTHING you could be doing to reduce your chances of these mishaps 


This reminds me of the guy i trained with a while back – dude had a killer open guard game – Really aggressive, very dynamic, twisting and inverting all over the place. At the ripe old age of 28 or so he had had more knee reconstructions than i can count on one hand, plus he was of the opinion that lifting weights ‘doesn’t really help in my opinion’


This fucking guy… I wanted to berimbolo his ass right there and then


Did he not see the connection between his BJJ game, and his persistent, catastrophic knee injuries??


Getting back on track –


The other types of injuries, besides the catastrophic ones, are the strains and niggles that are ever present in a jits players life. These are the smaller things that don’t necessarily keep you off the mats, they just bug you. Minor ligament tears, intermittent lower back pain, wrists that always feel a little tight and sore…


These are often a sign from the universe telling you that “you need to fucking work on

something, otherwise i’m gonna make you pay, sucker” …


The key here is to not put up with these. Rather, you need to address them. Ask yourself –


“Why does my lower back hurt after I play a lot of open guard with heavy dudes?”

“Why does my left knee often ache?”

“Is it normal to have pins and needles in my hands in the middle of the night?”


The niggles are a part of the sport, but we want to mitigate them as much as possible. How we do that is by constantly working on our strength and mobility, while keeping an eye on how the body is feeling. I consider the Bulletproof program like an insurance policy for BJJ athletes –


Injury will always be a part of the sport, that we cannot change. But we can greatly reduce our chances of injury, and stack more chips in favour of us being able to enjoy BJJ for a long, long time…


The Ultimate Therapist


An absolute essential for any grappling athlete is to have a high-quality therapist of some kind that you can see in times of need. They need to be someone who both understands the rigors of your sport while also understanding your body


Physio, Chiro, Osteo, ART practitioner, i don’t really care. Just get one that understands what BJJ actually is, and that has your best interests at heart


(Can’t tell you how many therapists i have seen over the years who have exactly ZERO fucking idea what BJJ, or even bodyweight strength and mobility training is. It’s not their fault, it’s my fault for not doing my due diligence and seeking out someone worth spending my money on)


Have A Detection System


You need to have your own detection system for knowing when something is injured too… 


Like when you got that small elbow injury because you didn’t tap to the Kimura as early as you should have. Thankfully, you’re a thoughtful and aware athlete, so in the days following you noticed during your pre-class joint warm-up that your elbow was feeling kinda jacked. Luckily for that, you allowed 5mins before and after class to do some elbow nourishing work (like joint rotations, wrist curls, overhand bicep curls etc) –


If you didn’t notice that, and instead just kept training through, only to realise a month down the track that you have this seriously painful, ongoing elbow pain – then you’re a knucklehead


You have to be aware of your body. If not, you’re in trouble


Know What To Do


Do the work and find out what needs to be done when you realise you have something that needs fixing. Join the Bulletproof Program, find some free material on our instagram page, ask a friend, see a therapist, read a book – whatever suits you best. Just get onto educating yourself about what your injury is and how you can fix it 


I could talk all day on this, but I’ll leave some in the tank for a part 2