Gerbil: Why BJJ is worth the injuries

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Spazzmaster, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Spazzmaster

    Spazzmaster Purple Belt

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    One of the inevitable realities of training is that we will all be injured.

    Jeremy Arel (Gerbiljiujitsu) posted this on Facebook in response to a blue belt student's question: Is BJJ worth it?

    Credit to Reddit (specifically the BJJ subreddit)
     
  2. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

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    Real talk from the Gerbil.
     
  3. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

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    The most abusive relationship I've ever been in.
     
  4. Ishaq

    Ishaq Purple Belt

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    Are injuries that common? Apart from the odd cut, gash, bruise, swollen limb. I'm yet to see anyone get seriously injured at my school?

    What sort of injuries do you guys get at BJJ?
     
  5. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Torn ligaments and meniscuses in the knees and rotator cuffs/labrums in the shoulders are the main serious injuries I see people get in BJJ.

    The rib thing is not serious, it normally goes away in 2-3 weeks on its own.

    But not everyone gets these injuries, and I can think of other, riskier sports for them.

    Personally, I'm a huge advocate of barbell strength training for injury prevention. I used to sprain my knees in BJJ all the time. Haven't hurt my knees or shoulders in BJJ once since I started lifting. My joints are just so much stronger now.

    Now the only thing I get is the occasional black eye from a wild knee.

    Also, for me the worst "injury" would be being a fat, shapeless couch potato. So yes it's worth it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  6. fightme

    fightme Green Belt

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    In the end we all lose: Our teeth, hair, memories, loved ones and ultimately our own lives.

    I have several herniated discs in my neck but I do not blame BJJ. It has made me a better person so the juice is worth the squeeze.

    It is how you deal with that lost that defines the quality of ones life.
     
  7. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

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    For what it's worth, I've had plenty of ligament strains but no outright tears and at 32 years old I've known far more guys my age and younger who have had full blown ACL tears from recreational basketball than I've seen people needing surgery for grappling related injuries.


    But I also remember being 13 and knowing multiple 14 - 16 year old judoka with a "bad knee" that they needed a knee brace for all the time.



    Is it worth it? Totally.

    I enjoy it immensely, it keeps me strong, and if people want to play the self defense game as Gerbil mentioned the pure self confidence and swagger that you walk with knowing your capabilities and limits is invaluable.





    There's a homeless guy of questionable mental health who frequents the alley behind one of my workplaces. The guy has never said a word to me, stops talking when I pass, and at one point actually lowered his cigarette and saluted me (I responded "at ease" and he smiled and dropped the hand, we get a lot of homeless vets in Santa Monica).

    I have a coworker who is not tiny (6'2" ~ 160 lbs) but is thin, walks with terrible posture and head to the ground (classic slumped low self esteem posture), is fearful and skittish. The same homeless guy who's quiet and respectful to me at all times told him one night on the way out of work that he'd better keep walking or he (the homeless man) was going to drop my coworker and have his way with that pretty lil blond thing (his girlfriend walking with him). It shook him so badly that he asked not to be scheduled in that location.

    I've seen the same homeless guy 3-4 times since and he's 100% non confrontational with me, just looks down when I pass. It blew my coworkers mind when I explained that this man has frequented that alley for years, we have female employees close the location alone all the time and they've never had an issue with him, and that ultimately the weakness in his body language probably invited the verbal aggression.
     
  8. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    I've had some pretty terrible injuries, a surgery, some pubalgia will probably be with me until the end of my life and the cartilage of my fingers will never, ever be the same..

    But I would do it all again, without thinking about it for even a small second.
     
  9. Ishaq

    Ishaq Purple Belt

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    Okay, so out of interest sake, majority of these injuries occur during the takedowns or during submissions?

    Which part of BJJ is the most risky? A heads up would be cool, so I know where to take it easy. I've been training for quite a while now but never fathomed these type of injuries.

    I don't want an ACL tear or cartilage trouble that could haunt me forever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  10. faixabranca

    faixabranca Yellow Belt

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    Ah Gerbil, thank you for that. Lord knows I will never be exceptional, and probably never will be a black belt. There are plenty of times where I mentally quit but showed up later that week like he said. I have been so frustrated, so dissapointed that I was almost in tears. It's good to know I am not alone in that.
     
  11. DiscipleOfPog

    DiscipleOfPog Green Belt

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    Why don't you think you will ever become a black belt? 99% of instructors reward them based on personal improvement and (I hate to say it but it's true) attendance. Just be dedicated and don't worry about your performance in class and you can get a black belt for sure.
     
  12. LoopChoke

    LoopChoke Orange Belt

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    The gentle art is not so gentle
     
  13. Spazzmaster

    Spazzmaster Purple Belt

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    ^ Hey, at least the Gentle Art is gentler than the Gentle Way.
     
  14. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    I think its usually not submissions, but takedowns and sweeps where the person on the receiving end is resisting, falls funny and lands on something wrong.
     
  15. patrisyo69

    patrisyo69 White Belt

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    Instances in BJJ where I got injured:

    1. Spazzing noob opponent who heel kicked me in the eye socket ending in my retina getting scratched.

    2. Crushed inside the closed guard of a super strong legged guy. Popped my lower rib

    3. Sprained an ankle during a wild scramble to get up to my feet

    4. Sprained hip joint doing a half guard pass on top.
     
  16. KeepOnRollin

    KeepOnRollin White Belt

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    Rarely do I reply to a post simply to say "thank you!" for sharing, but... Thank you for sharing!

    I was toying with the idea of "taking it easy" and skipping out on jiu jitsu tonight, but since reading this post I have committed to catching not one but both classes this evening.

    Thank you for the motivation!
     
  17. Liquid Smoke

    Liquid Smoke Great artists steal™

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    Here's my experience on the knee thing.

    I started wrestling and BJJ this summer. I dealt with some rib pain early on. It was annoying but not a deal breaker. It was starting to get better as I got more flexible and used to the stress.

    Then in a wrestling class my opponent had a body lock from behind in a standing position. He hooked my right leg with his, I dug my foot into the mat, he pushed and we went down. My knee bent sideways and I felt something snap. I didn't realize it at the time but I tore my ACL completely. I also tore my meniscus, ruptured the MCL and suffered multiple bone bruises.

    Last week I had surgery to replace the ACL. They put in a graft from a cadaver. Alternatively they can take a piece of your hamstring or the patellar tendon. Dominick Cruz had the same procedure and his body rejected the graft, that's why he's been out so long. I asked the doctor about the likelihood of that and he said it's very rare.

    My post operative physical went well. The doctor told me to start working on bending it again. My range of motion has already improved quite a bit. You're supposed to be careful with it for about a month. Within 6 months the cells will divide and your ACL should be good as new. The risk of reinjury is about twice the risk of the initial tear but that's for the population at large. It's probably higher for people who participate in contact sports.

    At first I was on the fence about getting back on the mat, but now I'm leaning towards doing it after my rehab is done. Your results may vary.
     
  18. Hybrid_Killer

    Hybrid_Killer Orange Belt

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    I think most people who train BJJ will feel this to some degree at one point or another.
     
  19. TSD-Bulldog

    TSD-Bulldog BJJ Student

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    Insightful and the truth! Many thanks Gerbil. You bring it to this forum always!
     

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