Injuries are a part of the sport, in jiu-jitsu perhaps more than in others. Still accidents happen and it’s not always easy to deal with them especially those that can have permanent consequences on someone’s life.
Accidentally harming a training partner can be one of the most distressing experiences in life. The consequences can wary from emotional to cognitive difficulties.
This kind of thing may cause you to have fears, including some irrational ones. Occasionally freak accidents happen and there’s nothing that can be done to prevent them. These feelings may cause you to avoid places, settings, training or even jiu-jitsu all together. It’s important to cope and come to terms with what happened in order to keep being functional.
So what can you do in these situations to make sure both you and the injured party have as little consequences as possible?
This is a good start:
Beyond that it’s important to be kind to yourself. Avoid overly blaming any one thing or yourself. The discomfort you may be going through is just an evidence of your humanity and not a reason for concearn.
Keep in mind that this too will pass, for the injured person and for you. As long as you followed rules of training and let go as soon as a tap was in place everything will be fine.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Perhaps not the person who you injured but your coach, counselor or a friend for some advice.
We all make mistakes. Oftentimes, through our actions, somebody gets hurt.
Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. It could’ve happened to anybody.
This in no way makes you a bad person or a training partner – again as long as you follow the rules everybody else does there’s an agreement between you and your sparring partner.
What are some actual steps you can take to make sure you bjj well into your 70s?
Leave your ego at the door
While this might seem fairly self-explanatory, you’d be surprised with how many people have an issue with this. Nobody’s keeping score, so why are you? Give up positions, let others submit you – you will learn a tremendous amount about them and about yourself in the process. Losing is healthy for you, it would suit you well to learn how to persevere in spite of failing because real life is a decidedly less pleasant experience than Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Focus on technique over strength
There’s a misguided belief that if the technique’s not working, you’re not using enough strength. Truth be told, most of the time- it’s you. There’s no way around it. So just, try to adapt. Lever isn’t supposed to work because of strength– it’s plain physics! Research videos at home, different instructors show different details and one of them might make the entire position “click” for you.
Feel the Flow
Flow is that feeling you get when everything else lapses from your mind, time slows down for that split second and you fully enjoy what you’re doing. Now this might be a cheatie, it can’t be thought but if I were to bet, I’d say people who never experience this doing jiu-jitsu – certainly won’t be doing it in 10 years.
Truth of the matter is- your Brazilian jiu-jitsu journey is yours and there’s no other like it. Accidents do happen but for the most part, you’re in control of your destiny. Don’t treat others the way you wouldn’t want to be treated and you’ll be just fine. The more in control you are of your body and your mind the better you’ll do both success and injury wise.
Choosing a bjj lifestyle can be extremely satisfactory even if you have no chance or will to ever compete at the professional level. It might be a blessing in disguise bringing your life into balance. Legends wouldn’t be legends if they weren’t extremely competitive to the point of extreme pain and permanent injury. Enjoy your time on the mats, have plenty of fun and leave the idea of perfect scores behind!