BJJ Injuries: The Silver Lining

A packed class at Ocean County BJJ--photo courtesy of Tom DeBlass

Unfortunately, most BJJ students will have to deal with injuries at some point in their training. When you feel like all of your hard won progress is being lost as you sit on the sidelines, it can be tough on your psyche.

There are, however, some “silver linings” to the injury cloud, as difficult as that might be to see at the time.

Some black belts have shared their perspectives with me on how to find positives during times of injury.

Here are some of those positives.

Small Injuries Have Time To Heal 

Unlike most sports, there is no off-season in BJJ. Practitioners lack that period of rest to restore both mind and body.

Training through all manner of minor aches and pains, the body only gets a chance to recover when a more significant injury forces them to be completely at rest.

You Get A Chance To Study Others

Black belt Shawn Williams told the story of how he had sustained a bad training injury and was forced out of training for several months. However, he used the time to study the others rolling at the academy and said that upon his return to training, his game really came together.

You can use the downtime to study instructionals and analyze a part of your game. Sometimes by stepping back and gaining a distant perspective, the jiu-jitsu picture can become more clear.

Adapting And Growing

Roberto “Gordo” Correa, who is largely credited for developing the modern half guard game, once suffered a serious knee injury that limited much of his training.

Gordo explained that he found that he could play half guard. He used that period to develop his half guard and create much of the half guard game that we see in modern BJJ.

Renewing Your Appreciation For Training

A forced time away from jiu-jitsu can make you realize how much you miss training. We all can get into a grind and start to feel like going to jiu-jitsu is an obligation.

When you want to but can’t train, you remind yourself that you get to train; you don’t have to train.

That said, safe training to you all (see below!)

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