Is 50/50 guard dangerous for the knees?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by QingTian, May 22, 2014.

  1. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    I dropped in to BJJ the other day, and had my knee popped. I was passing guard but ended up in what looks like 50/50 guard. I was still standing and he figure foured my leg, then straightened his body to try to sweep. But in retrospect I think his legs were too close to my knee and not higher up to my hip.

    I felt no danger to be swept but my knee lightly popped with minor pain but no swelling. Rolled lightly for the rest of the class. I would have trouble walking afterwards and by the morning could barely put weight on it. Now, one more day after, I can hobble around and even stand on that one leg only, but it's still tight and a bit tender. A bit hard to straighten fully. I think it's a sprained LCL.

    Now here's the thing: we were rolling light and the guy was a purple belt smaller than me. I don't think he was going for a submission and I've had no previous knee problems. I wasn't warmed up though. It seems to me the 50/50 allows someone to put too much pressure on the knee accidentally.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Zankou

    Zankou Muscle and Hate Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    50/50 doesn't usually hurt the knee because there's tons of flexibility as the pressure opens it sideways, you normally don't get anywhere near the limits of that flex. My guess is that you might have fought the sweep too hard? Or maybe it was a reap and not actually 50/50?
     
  3. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    I didn't really fight the sweep other than keep balance. We were rolling light. What could have happened was that I straightened my leg for balance, and his angle was such that it then became a reap.

    It happened either when he bridged to sweep or maybe he fell back from the bridge onto my knee. I don't even remember if he was on the outside or inside of my knee. But the damage is on the outside.
     
  4. Calibur

    Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

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    One of my most serious knee injuries came from 50/50. My opponent wasn't attacking my leg or anything. I was just entangled and I tried to stack while in the middle of untangling my leg. I was a little too slow on it and my knee goes pow. Injury was to the inside of my knee.

    I'm extra extra careful with 50/50 now.
     
  5. Zankou

    Zankou Muscle and Hate Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Hmm, it's not usually considered a dangerous position but sometimes people will injure their LCLs, particularly if they aren't used to it. Sounds like you strained the LCL. You should've been warned that the proper response to 50/50 is to mildly scissor back and forth until it's time to change partners. Don't fight the sweep.
     
  6. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    If it popped then that's more than a strain. The pop is the tearing of tiny ligament fibers. It's a sprain, aka a slight or partial tear. If there's no instability in the joint then it wouldn't be a partial tear. But you should really see a doctor. I had a partial LCL tear and didn't let it heal properly, and it took 2 years before I had no pain in any situation on that knee. And I'll never regain full range of motion.
     
  7. Kalma

    Kalma Orange Belt

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    it's hard to say really..it's 50/50
     
  8. beeran1

    beeran1 Purple Belt

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    Zing!

    I have been a part of exactly one serious injury in my 5+ years of doing BJJ. 50/50 guard, opponent comes on top and is pressuring into my entangled leg, which didn't bother me so much, but I remember thinking that his knee looked like it might be in danger. We stayed like that for a minute or so, I couldn't sweep him off, so I just kind of shucked him to the side of his 50/50ing leg and POP! He was out of training for a few months. Felt horrible. I've avoided it ever since.
     
  9. HEAVY GRAPPLER

    HEAVY GRAPPLER Brown Belt

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    In my last match, I tried to kneebar and somehow we wound up in 50/50. Opponent tried to extrsct his leg and popped his own knee.

    This is the second time I have been party to this sort of injury from the position.
     
  10. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Purple Belt

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    I've popped a training partner's knee in 50/50 from the exact same situation, I was trying to turn out to sweep and he (a Judoka with really good base) was fighting hard to stay on top.
     

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