Health and Nutrition

Injury Prevention.

Good morning my fellow fighters, I tought it was appropriate since I am stuck with the flu today to talk about injury prevention.

I’ve been seeing lately in the gym a couple of people who had some injuries, which is a common thing in jiu jitsu. And there’s several factors that come in the equation, I my self have a couple of injuries that constantly need to take care of.  And as we get older in the MMA world we grow more conscious about taking care of our selves, we start doing things to be able to prolong our time in the sport we love. With a lot of help from professionals and the internet, I bring you a compilation of tips and tricks on how to avoid common injuries, to protect yourself and your sparring buddies.


Basic Tips.

Do the techniques correctly – injuries are very commonly the result of poor training. And remember practice makes perfect. the more you train, and drill, the less susceptible you are to injuries while sparring.

  1. Warm up and stretch prior to hard training.
  2. Tap as soon as you feel that a submission hold is properly applied.
  3. Use control during all of your practice sessions and sparring matches.
  4. Be cautious when partnering up with new students, as they may lack the control of more experienced BJJ practitioners.

Protection – . Use equipment such as:

  1. Mouthguard
  2. Men – Groin protection cup
  3. Earguards
  4. Wraps –  In boxing drills, wrap your hands to protect your hand bones. Wraps are cheap and make a big difference.

Hygiene – This will help you not only prevent rash or infection but will help keep our gym free of contamination. this is literally a team effort thing. As a girl its normal to keep your feet polished, I see fellow female fighters that you can tell take care of their feet since your exposed to fungus and some other infections. However in the guys… it’s not always like that, still its a very important part of hygiene.

Risk of infection comes from two sources: untreated scratches and microbes introduced into the training area. Microbes can cause infections and skin conditions like ringworm. The best prevention is cleanliness. Here are some tips:

  1. Keep your nails short and clean
  2. Wash your hands and face before class
  3. Only wear clean clothes to class.
  4. Always leave your shoes outside the mats. Lots of nasty microbes are on the bottoms of your shoes. If they get on the mats, they can cause problems!
  5. Shower immediately after class
  6. Do not come to class if you have any kind of infection (skin rash, common cold, etc.)
  7. If you see a rash, blister, or sores on your training partner, don’t train with them
  8. Use skin protectant, antifungal creams or powder on feet, take care of foot callous and infected nails.

The RICE method (not the carb)

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation – If you are very sore, rest. Don’t overdo it! Ice your injuries. Keep them wrapped well. Elevate them to reduce swelling.

Set Limits with Your Training Partners – If you are nervous about sparring with someone much bigger, stronger, or more capable than you, tell them so. Ask them to be careful and always quit the match if you sense danger. The beauty of BJJ is that you can always “tap out” and stop immediately. Most advanced students know how to “throttle down” so this is more commonly an issue with beginners.

As a beginner be more conscious about your body, I have noticed (and I believe we are all like that at the beginning) that the new comers are a little slow to undo a lock or let go when another tap’s out, and I have been in a situation with unfriendly partners when you take and you can see it takes them a while to let go… Im not going to say on purpose but… sadly it is that way. Be a good sport and respect your partners.

Don’t be a hero. Tap if it hurts, if you are dizzy, or have any reason to suspect you can’t continue the match.

See a Doctor – If you think you have an injury, see a doctor. Take responsibility for your training and your healthcare. It’s your body!


Don’t be the source of injuries at your gym – Most gyms have a couple of guys who are a bit dangerous. They are usually beginners and don’t know how to safely take someone down or apply technically correct submissions. If your favorite submission is a neck crank, you’re probably not making many friends at your gym. Be considerate of your training partners and their skill and fitness levels.

The daily basis.

  1. Bruises – These are most commonly from people grabbing your arms or legs. Most BJJ students will carry their bruises like a badge of honor. The only interesting perspective I can lend to this is that the longer I’ve trained the less I see bruises. I have no idea if that is an indication of my capillaries changing or me just getting harder to grab on to!
  2. Scratches – If you keep your finger and toenails short, you’ll help reduce the scratches.

Less common injuries.

Bloody lip – If you don’t wear a mouthpiece, a bump against someone’s knee, head, or elbow will bloody the inside of your mouth. A mouthpiece will reduce the chances of this significantly.

Torn ligaments – I’ve never heard of any torn ligaments that required surgery, but plenty of tears occur that require recuperation time.

Rare injuries.

Cauliflower Ear – Over time, ear injuries can cause cauliflower ear to wrestlers and boxers. I recommend all students buy and wear ear guards during wrestling and any drills which put pressure on the ears.

Breaks – The most common bone break I’ve seen is a pinky toe break.

Dislocations – Rarely but they do happen.

Joint hyper extension. This occurs when a joint, usually an elbow, knee, ankle, fingers, Etc… is push beyond its normal range of motion. Since one of the key principles in jujitsu is to attack the weak points in the body, this joint usually receives a lot of attention in practice.

uncomfortable situations. Sometimes the most uncomfortable situations that arise on the mats are not related to injuries.

Choking out – Prevention: TAP OUT!

If you ever ask someone who got choked out in training, their story will sound a lot like this. I was getting choked and thought I could escape. I was wrong. The next thing I knew I was waking up on the mats with a very nervous student standing over me. I had a headache and was very disoriented. It felt like I woke up from a nap with a hangover. I was “out” for about 5 seconds. It took about a minute or so for me to get my bearings and be able to stand up. Within a few more minutes I was ready to start training again. Although, I was a bit embarrassed for not tapping out. Frankly, seeing someone pass out is far more stressful. A passed out person looks dead. Their eyes are often staring out into space.

Tossing your cookies – This is very easy to prevent. Don’t train with food in your tummy! 7  I won’t eat within 2 hours of training. I know others that won’t train for 4 hours.

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