I Am Injured And Can’t Train BJJ!

I had a conversation with a BJJ buddy who was very frustrated and down because he had a pulled groin muscle (yes, I made the appropriate jokes) and was not able to get on the mat.

He confided that he was afraid that his hard-earned skills would atrophy (look it up mat rat!) and he would drop back to being an unskilled white belt.

Unfortunately, training injuries are inherent in all combat sports. At some point, all of us are plagued by a training injury that can’t seem to heal fast enough. Sure, the injury itself is painful, but the tougher part is the mental battle! Your brain is telling you “Get back to training, you wussy!” and the other side is saying “Let it heal you fool!”.

You want to be on the mats with your friends, drilling your skills, rolling, relieving your stress from work, and learning. But as we find so easy to advise our training partners, you simply need to give the injury time to heal. There is no way around that truth. Professional athletes with access to the best sports physicians in the world and the cutting edge physical therapy are forced on the injury reserve as well.

Three things can help you endure through an injury period:

1) Remember that even the finest athletes like George St-Pierre, Dominic Cruz, and Braulio Estima have all come back from serious surgeries to once again perform at a world class level. Even the elite athletes have to deal with injuries.

A rehab specialist reminded me one time when I was depressed over a training injury: “You are fortunate, but you are not a professional athlete who depends on their body to earn their income. Now they have a BIG problem if they get injured!”

2) Keep your mind engaged by studying videos on different BJJ positions. I have a DVD set on the butter fly guard that I really want to see, but I need several hours of uninterrupted time to watch it. During that time when your body can not do it, use your mind to learn more about jiu-jitsu.

3) Show up to class with your notebook (or better yet your cell phone video camera) and continue to learn by watching class. In addition, you will stay in contact with your friends and the vibe of the BJJ academy. You will lessen your chances of losing contact with everyone and drifting away from BJJ.

It sucks to be injured, but it WILL pass and soon enough you will be back on the mats again.


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