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SHOULD I TRAIN BJJ WHEN I'M INJURED?
Brazilian JiuJitsu is a physically demanding martial art where everyone who trains on a regular basis understands injuries are bound to happen. Being injured at the white belt level is more common because of the JiuJitsu learning curve and the panic that sets in when a white belt "rolls, or spars" for the first few times.
As a white belt, injuries can be a big discouragement and often times these injuries cause people to quit Brazilian JiuJitsu after only a few months of training.
So what are your options if faced with an injury while training JiuJitsu? There are only two choices in my opinion.
1. Quit training Brazilian JiuJitsu.
2. Keep training, but modify your training experience while recovering from injury by doing a few of the following:
Positional spar/drill- Your injury prevents you from rolling at full strength, so drill a specific technique or position that does not put stress on the injured area of your body. This strategy will allow you to continue to recover from injury while focusing on an area of your game that you may not have spent much time on drilling in the past.
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Go to class and watch: Going to class when you are injured helps you keep the routine of being in the academy on the days you have committed to yourself to train. Watching class also gives you a unique perspective from the sidelines where you may see techniques and positions in a different light. Watching techniques and writing them down may help you retain a technique or position better than actually performing the technique a few times, then moving on to the next. Also, you may find strength in the encouragement of your teammates while recovering
Watch techniques at home. We live in the digital world, which means techniques from the top JiuJitu players in the world are at our finger tips. I have personally learned hundreds of techniques and concepts by watching top JiuJitsu practitioners. If you used to train 8 hours a week on the mat, then you might be surprised at what studying the art on your computer for just 3 hours a week might accomplish.
Stay in shape. Your road back to the mats will be much longer if you come back to the academy out of shape and 30 lbs overweight. I’ve known many athletic BJJ practitioners respond to an injury by becoming depressed couch potatoes. Maybe they were clinically depressed, or maybe it was simply because they were no longer burning off the excess calories through training BJJ. Either way, the extra weight they gained made the road back to the mats much tougher.
If your injury prevents you from running, then start swimming or doing another form of cardio. Modify your strength and conditioning training around your injury. In 2018 there are hundreds of different machines and exercises that allow one to get a great strength and conditioning workout while working around an injury.
Remember, doing something is always better than doing nothing.
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