Safe Football Program Integrates Jiu-Jitsu In Order To Lessen Concussions

Safe Football Program Integrates Jiu-Jitsu In Order To Lessen Concussions



Concussions are one major problem American Football is dealing with in the last couple of years. The increasing number of research materials focused on brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) shines a very unflattering light on football.

But trying to mitigate damage is jiu-jitsu disciple Scott Peters who is trying to save the Colts from unnecessary concussions. The first time Scott Peters got the idea for the program was when he was getting man handled by a man half his size and twice his age.

Peterson who is pretty hefty kept thinking:How is this possible?

Indeed Peterson is 6 feet 3 inches and around 300 pounds – he makes a living as an offensive lineman. After growing tired of stationary bikes while waiting for an injury to heal he took a chance and went to bjj!

“These guys were bankers, in their 50s!” Peters remembered, still in awe. “I’d never gotten worked over that bad before, not even by NFL defensive linemen.”

Next time, he brought a few teammates along. Same results. It got ugly.

“These 150-pound guys are just destroying these NFL players,” Peters said. “It was … really enlightening.”

Is what Paterrson told indystar.

BJJ changed everything for him. It changed the way he’d thought about the game he’d played his whole life, and shaped his next career. How had a bunch of average Joes — shorter, smaller, presumably weaker — generated enough force to knock him over, once, twice, a handful of times? What was their secret?


Soon after Peters first started infusing martial arts into football mechanics it became clear that there was something to it.  He’d stolen bits and pieces from jiujitsu, embedding its methodology into the players’ workouts, reshaping their movements almost from the ground up. The team unlearned one of the core football principles – leading with the helmets.

UW went on to have its best rushing season in program history. This one did: Not a single player on the roster, over the course of 13 games, suffered a concussion or a neck stinger. The trainers told him they’d never seen anything like it.

The leader of the Colts’ offensive line took a liking to Peters’ unconventional approach.

“It’s based on leverage, on generating power and using your hips, and it makes a lot of sense,” said left tackle Anthony Castonzo, a seven-year veteran. “The coolest part was that he had a reason for everything he was teaching us. It’s all based on evidence.”

“We’re not saying in theory this works; we’re saying we know it works,” Peters said after leaving the Colts’ practice facility, noting players “generate 90 percent more power” when leading with their hands as opposed to their heads. “We’re giving these players a competitive advantage.”