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COMMON BJJ INJURIES
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COMMON BJJ INJURIES

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Learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu takes a lot of concentration, and dedication. The art involves having a strategic mindset, and a discipline to find a consistency within a student's training regimes. BJJ can be a physically demanding combat sport, as athletes will need to bulletproof their bodies to keep ahead of many of the injuries they may face during training, and competition. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known for its high intensity in transition, and for its extremely tight pressure that is applied during a control position. Training in a combat sport like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, athletes will find that injuries can become quite frequent, especially if they are not warming up properly, or becoming reckless within their game style. Students can train hard, but conservatively at the same time, and this is how they can best preserve their physical condition while still improving within the Brazilian art.

What this article covers:

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WHY DO INJURIES HAPPEN

Injuries are quite common in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and this is due to the highly intense nature of the grappling art. BJJ incorporates takedown techniques that are similar to Wrestling, and Judo, as two competitors will look to dynamically take each other down to the mat. There is always resistance when it comes to takedowns, and this can result in athletes injuring themself during the fall, as they are more focused on trying to gain back control rather than executing a proper break fall. With many different types of injuries athletes will need to comprehensively commit to their bjj recovery if they want to train for a long time in the sport. Quite often athletes will rush back after injuries because they miss training on the mats, and ultimately this can lead to recurrent injuries, or even more serious ones.

The best way to deal with BJJ injuries is to prevent them.  Use this program to help BULLETPROOF YOUR BJJ available from BJJFanatics.com.

most common bjj injuries

Not tapping to submissions is one of the biggest reasons why injuries happen in the sport. There is always a little bit of ego with most athletes, as nobody likes to be submitted in training, or especially in competition. This can lead to holding off from tapping for longer, and that is all an opponent needs to apply enough pressure to cause an injury to the neck, or to one of the limbs. Injuries toward the head, and neck region are extremely dangerous, and athlete's need to take extra precautions when it comes to defending chokes, or pressure grinding over their head. Often athletes will use heavy pressure in control positions, as they transition from side control to north south, which can lead to injuries like bjj cauliflower ear. Even though it can be quite a serious injury, most athletes are excited by this fact, as it has become somewhat of a badge of honour to dawn the mangled ears of war.

Another common way that injuries can happen is when athletes try to roll in a dangerous manner. This can mean two different things, as one is when they become too egotistical, and try to bully other members of their academy. This is a dangerous mentality to have, because it can end with all students suffering from different injuries. The second meaning to this term is when students roll recklessly within their own game style. It is one thing to learn how to invert, and berimbolo, but to constantly play the upside down game can leave an athlete in a precarious position. This can become quite dangerous for the athlete, as their opponent can easily apply pressure in the stacked position, which can inadvertently injure an athlete's neck. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is about longevity, and athletes need to realise that if they are going to last a long time in the sport then they need to make sure their game style is solid, and will stand through the test of time.

COMMON FINGER AND TOE INJURIES 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of those sports where an athlete needs to use their toes for footwork, and their fingers for grips. Beginners to the sport are the most common to injure their toes, and their fingers. A student that is not used to training on 40ml Jiu Jitsu mats can find they will suffer from mat burn across their toes, or even dislocate, and fracture their digits. Students will need to grab hold of the Gi fabric, which is one of the major contributing factors to finger injuries. This is due to the thickness of the lapels, as students will use lapel wraps, and other tricks to gain an advantage in a fight. It won't take long training in Jiu Jitsu before a student realises they need to learn how to tape fingers for bjj. Protecting a student's hands is crucial for their vitality, and their success within the sport. Even though finger, and toe injuries can be quite brutal, they are commonly seen as minor injuries. Athletes can usually train with these types of injuries, and will usually heal rather quickly. 

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NECK INJURIES 

Injuries to the neck area are quite common in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is an unfortunate statistic. Neck injuries can be really troublesome, and athletes most definitely want to avoid fracturing vertebrae, bulging discs, or worse. There is a higher likelihood of neck injuries in BJJ, and this is because the sport allows competitors to submit each other with choke holds. Some competitions even allow neck cranks, but they are illegal in the IBJJF system. Necks can also be injured during falls in the takedown game, or when an athlete grabs hold of a necktie to drag their opponent around. These types of injuries are unavoidable, and it pays for athletes to strengthen their necks as much as possible during their careers. 

One of the most important aspects for students training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is to warm up their necks before every single training session. This is quite easy, as all they have to do is lift their head up and down in a nodding motion, and sway their head from side to side. They can also rotate their head in a circular motion, as a way of activating all of their neck muscles, which will strengthen them too. Although this won't stop neck injuries from happening, it will however maximise an athletes chances of avoiding injuries. Athletes can also injure their necks after being stacked on to their head, and this can happen when an athlete is playing guard. An opponent will then grab hold of their ankles, pushing them towards their head, which then leaves the athlete in a bad position on their neck. This position is extremely dangerous so athletes need to take precautions in order to safely navigate these types of positions.

CAULIFLOWER EARS 

Cauliflower ears are one of the most common injuries that athletes will suffer during training sessions. A cauliflower ear is formed after an athlete suffers a severe impact to the ear region. This can happen as a result of a bad fall from a takedown, or during a submission attempt while students may apply pressure to their opponent's ear. It can also happen as an opponent transitions from one position to the next. It can be quite easy to unintentionally grind a shin over an opponent's ear, while moving from one position to another. The ear is made up of cartilage with a thin layer of skin over the top, meaning that any impact will cause a hematoma to form. The ears perichondrium will fill up with blood, or fluid, causing significant pain for an athlete, and forcing them to resort to remedies like having it drained through the use of a syringe. Students may often wonder how long does it take to get cauliflower ear from bjj. Suffering from a haematoma to the ear can be instantaneous after a severe impact, or it can take weeks of grinding over the ear before one will flare up. Some athletes will go their whole careers, and never ever get one.

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KNEE INJURIES 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an extremely agile, and dexterous Martial Art, meaning athletes will need to use flexibility in the hips, and their legs to be able to sweep opponents, escape positions, and utilise dynamic transitions. Because athletes are extremely reliant on their legs, their knees do cop a hammering overtime. Knee injuries can be a common occurrence in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, where athletes can strain, or tear different ligaments. The knee is made up of six different ligaments, the four major ones are the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, and the lateral collateral ligament. There are also two meniscus ligaments, the lateral, and the medial. All of these ligaments can be at risk of straining, or tearing during high intensity training sessions.

There are many reasons why an athlete can hurt their knees during training, as some may land awkwardly, while others can do it knee slicing. Some athletes also suffer from arthritis in their knees, which can happen overtime, and this usually happens to athletes over thirty years of age. In the modern era of grappling, one of the more popular positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the leg entanglement game. This is a position where a student will engage their opponent in a leg lock battle, as they look for submissions like heel hooks, toe holds, and knee bars. There are significant dangers with trying to execute submissions like heel hooks, especially with lower ranked students, as they can be reckless, and cause significant harm to their opponents. The knee is quite vulnerable, and can take a long time to recover, so athletes need to proceed cautiously, and make sure they learn to protect their knees for the long term of the sport.

SHOULDER INJURIES 

Shoulders can be the bane of all athletes' existence, as any student that has torn a rotator cuff will understand how infuriating it can be. Shoulders are extremely important in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as they are used for a lot of external rotation, and are needed for almost every movement there is. Having injury free shoulders will help athletes stay strong in their framing, and will help them neutralise their opponents with stronger, and better pressure. Tearing something in an athlete's shoulder can be a nightmare, because it is extremely hard to rehabilitate, and heal from any nagging shoulder injury. Even if the shoulder needs surgery, there is no guarantee that the injury will not reoccur. Athletes can suffer from inflamed bursitis, injuries to their rotator cuff, labral tears, and impingement syndromes. Having good joint health is important for BJJ athletes, especially in the shoulder joints, as athletes should be participating in mobility exercises. This will help keep a greater range of movement, which in turn will help them avoid injury.

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INJURY PREVENTION METHODS

There are many different ways to prevent injuries from happening in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The most common prevention method is for athletes to train smarter. This means not to do anything too risky like leaving their elbows out, or inverting too much on to their neck, especially against heavier opponents. Athletes must weigh up the risk versus the reward system, and this means if the risk is greater than the reward then it is not wise to proceed, but if the reward outweighs the risk then it might be worthwhile. Rolling smarter also means staying away from the super heavyweight athletes inside of their training academy. Rolling with heavier opponents can leave a student stuck under extreme amounts of pressure, which can result in injury from loaded up joints.   

Preventing injuries must become a concept that is planned, otherwise an athlete will spend too much time on the injury list. Learning how to avoid cauliflower ear bjj, or sprained toes, and fingers is crucial, and can be done with some support. Strapping injuries is extremely common in Jiu Jitsu, and many athletes will use tape on many different body parts like knees, ankles, ears, and wrists. Another good prevention method is to utilise protective guards, like knee braces, ankle braces, or ear guards. The only downside to wearing protective gear is it cannot be worn during Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. Athletes can also help their cause by staying hydrated, and eating the right nutrition. BJJ athletes need enough calories so they can keep up with the amount of energy they will burn, and this will ultimately help them to stay stronger, and healthier, and keep them further away from injury. 

Preventing BJJ injuries is the best approach to handle them. Use this application, which is available from BJJFanatics.com, to BULLETPROOF YOUR BJJ.

common jiu jitsu injuries

Staying humble is the best way to prevent an injury, and this is because an athlete who has no ego is more inclined to tap when they are stuck in a submission. There are the old traditional ways of Jiu Jitsu, where an athlete will just allow their bones to break in the midst of battle. This dates back to when Helio Gracie fought against the famous Masahiko Kimura, and Helio did not tap when Kimura broke his arm, and Helio's corner had to throw in the towel. Nowadays athletes need to be more logical with their training, and protect themselves so they can train longer in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The old mentality of let it break has no place in the modern era of grappling, and athletes need to show class, and humility by tapping out when they are in checkmate. Injuries will always plague an athlete, but if they make the right choices, and look after their bodies then they will achieve longevity in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

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