Three Ways To Train Jiu Jitsu When You’re Hurt
We’ve all been there; banged up, laid out, on the sidelines. Injuries in jiu jitsu are practically inevitable. Yes, the gentle art can be quite tough on your body, so how do you progress when you’re out with an injury?
I think it goes without saying that you don’t want to put yourself in a position that could potentially make an injury worse, or create another setback for yourself. However, if you want to get better at jiu jitsu, you have to train, and sometimes that means training when you may not be at your best.
So how can you “train” with an injury without making it worse? Let’s rethink how we evaluate an injury and look at a few possibilities.
#1 Drill techniques if you’re able
One of the greatest errors I see competitors make is their absence from the mat when they only have a slightly limiting injury. Now, before everyone accuses me of being too hard on folks let me explain myself. Often times, a student will hurt themselves in a way that will prevent them from rolling; however it may not prevent them from practicing techniques or drilling.
By only abandoning the mats every time you can’t physically roll you do yourself a massive disservice. This is prime time to focus on your technique and reflect on your strategies. If you can positionally spar from certain positions, this is great; however it’s not necessary.
#2 Study film
When I’m injured I badly miss my time on the mat. This absence makes my heart grow fonder, and I often find myself watching tons of jiu jitsu matches online. I’ve anecdotally noticed that my mind is often clearer and more creative when I return from my injury; due to this diligent study.
When you’re injury is very limiting watching and observing jiu jitsu is an essential way to keep your mind progressing. Make mental notes. It’s been scientifically proven that your brain activates the muscles in your body that it associates with certain movements it visually recognizes.
#3 Help Others
How is helping others training? The best instructors I’ve worked with have always shared with me that they feel that teaching improves their technique. You can apply this magical principle to your training when injured.
If you have something to offer friends or training partners, find a way to help. If you’re a lower belt, or don’t have opportunities to teach, ask questions. Take control of your learning experience. Ask higher belts why they do things a certain way and collect information that could make you a better teacher in the future.
Hopefully this tips will help next time you get banged up.