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четверг, 6 августа 2009 г.

BJJ and Judo Injuries

Many people say that BJJ and Judo result in fewer injuries than traditional sports such as Tennis and Basketball. While I do not disagree with this statement, clearly regular training in these martial arts results in a lot of injuries which can be broadly categorized between minor injuries and major ones.

Minor injuries I think are very common in most sports. They are blisters from golf, bruises from basketball and sore muscles from too much tennis. In grappling martial arts I would say the most common are mat burns and bruises.

Mat burns occur mainly on the feet of the fighter and result from constant friction with the mats. Bruises are extremely common and you often won't really notice these since you would get so many as a result of free sparring.

Other sport-specific minor injuries are neck sprains, minor back pain as a result of intensive training, finger and hand pain causes by excessive grabbing with the Gi.

Minor injuries list:

1. Bruises
2. Neck sprain - mainly avoidable with a good warm up
3. Blisters and mat burns
4. Finger pain - due to excessive holding of the kimono
5. Black eye - you can get this too!

There are others of course, but these are just a few I had. Most guys don't notice these, but they are common and at any time you will see people that have these. Intensive training also results in swollen finger joints and what I would call "rubbed of" fingers where the part just above the nail looks not normal after constant friction with the gi.


When I mention major injuries, I will only cover the common ones and by saying "major injury", I mean that it keeps you away from training. I don't mean things like broken arms and legs, something that is also possible but pretty avoidable if you practice grappling sensibly.

Photo by Trevor Haldenby

My list is the following:

1. Cauliflower Ear - while this barely qualifies as something a fighter takes time off for, if you do suddenly have swollen ears and have not bought an ear guard, you may want to take some time off and visit the ear doctor. Cauliflower ear is completely avoidable if you wear your ear guard or head guard, but an injury that many are not entirely aware of until they get it.

2. Knees - your knees are such a weak part of your body that they almost certainly suffer. They are prone to bruising when you train and I recommend wearing knee pads. They won't do anything to stop a heel hook going wrong, but they will save your knees for the next session and keep them away from bruises and mat burns.

3. Shoulders - some may not be aware but this is an injury that can take you from the mats for months if not longer. Shoulder injuries are common in many sports and they are perhaps even more common in grappling. A vicious omoplata (shoulder lock) can be the start of an injury that can develop gradually over time and then culminating in severe pain and the fighter not being to lift his arm entirely.

Treatment is a long and sometimes painful process with the treatments ranging from physiotherapy (unlikely to work most cases as the injury may be too developed) to injections and surgery.

Pain here is normally caused by muscle or joint inflammation leading to friction with the shoulder bones and resulting recurring pain.

4. Teeth - like the cauliflower ear, this one is entirely preventable. Just wear a mouth guard if you want to keep your teeth. Chipped teeth is the most common thing that can happen but anything more serious can set you back a lot of money with your dentist.

5. Nose - if you do Judo, this is very possible. Breakfall

6. Concussion. Techniques like the drop-seonage performed poorly can lead to injury. If you are practicing with a beginner, be mindful of this.

These are just some of the injuries you can get. I have had all of these injuries over the course of my training and more, so do your warm-up and take care.

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