Jiu Jitsu and injuries… they seem to go hand in hand right??? From the minor bumps and bruises to the more serious breaks and tears as we train most of us accept as part of the process. I know I did and I had a laundry list of injuries to show it was true. However, as I cross trained and engaged in conversation with various professors, students and competitors I began to recognize that maybe there is a better way. Maybe injuries don’t have to be such a consistent part of the journey.
After almost three years of training and seeming to have one injury after another throughout those years I finally sat and thought about what needed to change if I wanted to continue training. I love Jiu Jitsu but at the end of the day it is a hobby. I can’t have one hobby effecting my family, my job, my finances and my other hobbies so heavily. I had to acknowledge that yes while there is always an opportunity for an injury to occur and yes if you train they are going to happen however, we can mitigate those risk. I recognized that the only person who can truly watch out for me is me. I needed to take some of the control and ownership over what my body was being exposed to every time I step on those mats.
I began picking and choosing my rolling partners very carefully. I choose the level of intensity I wanted my training to be at and avoided anyone that didn’t respect those boundaries. While I still do live rounds essentially every day I roll I find that by limiting myself to rolling with others who are focused on using technique to address roadblocks vs. those who are still limiting themselves to using strength and force I get to stay whole and on the mat pursuing what I am so passionate about. I’ve found the balance and style of training that is allowing me to reach my goals on a little smoother road! I think we can all be good teammates and training partners by simply respecting he art we are choosing to train for what it truly is; structure over strength–timing over speed! This is the place I think we as athletes can truly grow and will see the gains in our game we are seeking!