No matter if you are a total beginner or a seasoned BJJ veteran, and no matter if you are in your early 20’s or in your late 50’s – the right time to get going with injury prevention is NOW.
And yes, of course, accidents happen and injuries can pop up at anytime, anywhere. But you don’t have to leave it all to chance! You should be taking active steps to prevent them from happening as much as you can.
Let’s take a look into three time-proven strategies that you can immediately utilize on your injury-freedom quest.
DON’T IGNORE THE SMALL INJURIES
Let’s not lie to ourselves. If you’ve been training for more than, let’s say, 6 months – then the chances are that you have already experienced a small injury or two. And while you might’ve been able to scoff off those particular injuries without them getting worse, it is never a good long-term strategy to simply ignore injuries and „train through them“.
Because, sure, you might be able to successfully train through a sprained ankle or a case of a slightly tweaked elbow… But you also might not be that successful, right? You could end up with torn tendons and now you have to rest for a far longer period than it would’ve been the case if you’ve just taken a bit of time off immediately.
Listen to your body. Don’t ignore the smaller injuries and the warning signs, but rest a bit instead. Your Jiu Jitsu longevity will thank you for it.
PLEASE, JUST WARM UP AND STRETCH
Ah yes, warming up and stretching… Basic advice? Yes! Always followed through? Well, umm…
Yes, we know it can get boring sometimes. And yes, we know that sometimes you just want to start rolling and/or just go home after an exhausting roll session and that you still have some office work that you need to attend to as soon as possible and… But, come on. It can take a total of 30 minutes for both the warm-up and stretching, so it really doesn’t take too much time off your schedule.
Warming up and stretching are *magical*. Likewise, consider stretching and doing yoga on the days you don’t train. It brings immense health advantages in and of itself, but it will also reap numerous benefits for your BJJ journey.
A TAP EVERYDAY KEEPS THE DOCTORS AWAY
Heed the words of this old grappling proverb and tap early both when drilling and rolling.
What does that mean? It means that you shouldn’t let your training partners apply too much pressure and/or straighten out your shoulder, your arm, your knee, your ankle… to the point where you have to tap.
The goal of training is not to submit people. It is to drill techniques in order to get used to executing them properly, and that can be done without finishing the submission hold. It is not to succumb to your ego, to try and escape out of the tightly applied, almost finished heelhook; but to tap immediately and to restart, so that you can keep on rolling and continue becoming a better jiujiteiro.
Communicate with your training partners and let them know that there’s no need to lock out the submissions fully and explosively, that you will tap when necessary. If you’re in the right BJJ school, they’ll understand.
If you love Jiu Jitsu, then you want to keep on training as the years fly by. So do yourself a favor and start preventing injuries immediately, right now.
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