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A Guide to Injury Prevention for Jiu-Jitsu Practitioners

Some time ago, at a drop-in class in Carpe Diem Hiroo in Tokyo, Japan, Coach Shoya Ishiguro looked at his students and said: "Flexibility is important in Jiu-Jitsu." You'd think to take his words for granted until you realized you couldn't complete a berimbolo technique all because you couldn't bend forward enough for the roll-under to take your opponent's back. What's more, you strained your back in the process. (argh) 

Then, you would have also heard this comment being passed around frequently: "I accumulated my lifelong worth of injuries all thanks to Jiu-Jitsu." Your friends on the mats would all nod in agreement, and you'd find yourself bobbing your head with them. 

Despite that, you'd keep coming back for more Jiu-Jitsu. As passionate practitioners, we understand the exhilaration of stepping onto the mats, ready to embrace the challenges and victories that come with this dynamic martial art. You would have also realized by now that as much as you love the sport, it is still crucial to prevent injuries from happening. Because, face it, we're not young anymore. 

In this article, we'll explore some valuable tips to help you protect your body and enhance your overall well-being on and off the mats.

Tip 1: Prioritize Warm-Up and Stretching

Come 10-15 minutes early before class to change and warm up. Do some stretches for your back, shoulder, hips, and thighs. If you get into ankle locks a bit more frequently, rotate your ankles clockwise and anti-clockwise before class. (May or may not help you delay the tap so you can escape.) Dynamic stretches and joint mobilization exercises help increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of injuries. Dedicate 10-15 minutes to warming up your muscles, especially to areas commonly used in Jiu-Jitsu.

Tip 2: Technique Over Strength

Techniques CAN help with injury prevention. Imagine this:

> Your opponent tries to wrist lock you but you know how to escape.

> You prevented the wrist lock, and 

> Your wrist is not injured. (Yay!)

Focus on refining your skills and executing movements properly rather than relying solely on strength. It'll help enhance your overall performance and minimize the strain on your muscles and joints, reducing the likelihood of injuries.

Tip 3: Listen to Your Body

While training and rolling, keep in check the signals your body is trying to show you. If you experience persistent pain or discomfort, don't ignore it. Communicate with your training partners and instructors, and consider modifying your training style or seek professional advice if needed. Ignoring warning signs can lead to more severe injuries down the road.

(TL;DR: If your neck has been hurting for the past few days, stop using the berimbolo in your rolls and stay at home to rest. Or, see a doctor if the pain persists.)

Tip 4: Incorporate Strength and Conditioning

If you're an avid competitor training more than four times a week, a well-rounded strength and conditioning program is an excellent complement to your Jiu-Jitsu training. Focus on exercises that improve core strength, joint stability, and flexibility. Strengthening your supporting muscle groups can help you prevent injuries. 

Tip 5: Stay Hydrated and Maintain Proper Nutrition

Proper hydration and nutrition are fundamental aspects of injury prevention. Dehydration can impact your performance and increase the risk of cramps and injuries. Stay hydrated and fuel your body with the proper nutrients to support muscle recovery and overall well-being. 

Long story short: Take that water break when your coach gives you one. 

Tip 6: Get Sufficient Rest and Recovery

We cannot emphasize more that your body needs time to heal and rejuvenate. Ensure you get enough sleep, schedule rest days in your training schedule, and consider incorporating our excellent Recovery Services into your recovery routine. 

Our XL-sized infrared sauna and state-of-the-art cold plunge can provide deep muscle penetration, promoting relaxation and tension relief, and help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. These elements create a powerful contrast that stimulates blood circulation and accelerates your body's natural recovery. Our recovery services offer a comprehensive solution if you're seeking affordable and quick relief from post-training fatigue or aiming to maintain peak performance. 

At Carpe Diem BJJ Singapore, we believe in fostering a community of passionate and healthy Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Listen to your body's needs and enjoy a fulfilling journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You know yourself the best, so take time to take care of yourself when you need it. 

If you're interested in our recovery services, drop us a WhatsApp here, and we'd be happy to set you up. 


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