We get it. BJJ is supposed to be the gentle art. Yet many of us wake up in pain. Here are 5 layman suggestions (as in always consult your doctor first):
- Rest. Don’t train until you feel better again. Easier said than done, right? You have to spend time learning about your body and how you heal. You don’t want to be dealing with injuries the rest of your life. I commonly meet people with multiple back, knee and neck surgeries and they stop before they’re 45 years old. It doesn’t matter if you have a tournament in two weeks or if you really need to get your rolls in to stay in shape. Rest if you need it. If your car has a broken engine part it’s often going to get worse if you don’t get it fixed. It may take time to fix it. Trust me, BJJ will be there when you are done healing. Take care of you because you don’t get an extra body to replace yours.
- Don’t immediately start doing a yoga or weight routine to try and heal yourself if you can barely move. You likely will need to be fully healthy to do either (in most cases). Example, if you jacked your back up you don’t want to do heavy deadlifts to strengthen it the day after. In many cases you don’t want to be immediately doing yoga especially if you do not know the full scale of what is wrong with you. Rest it, ice it, you may want to keep a body part stiff according to some physicians. But going right back into a training program without understanding the complexity of your issue may set you up for more pain. Be patient and be smart.
- Do other things. Study and learn new techniques. Get caught up on normal life activities. Don’t just sit around depressed because you can’t train Jiu Jitsu. You have to look at the big picture. As long as you know you will be back than that’s all the matters – perspective. The “when” is the variable you need to be smart about – no rush.
- Re-evaluate your game. If you can’t move you may have to change things up. Are you leaning over when passing guard with bad posture? Are you inverting on big dudes and now your back and neck are paying the price? Ask yourself how you would roll when you are 80 years old and start trying to play that way now. Be safe, smart and technical.
- Tap and give up position. If you have to use all your power where it breaks your body down then don’t do it. Control your emotions and tap or let people have positions if it’s compromising your body. Your body will not let you off the hook. You will pay for overcompensating with power if you don’t have it. If you are struggling hard to get something just let it go and watch things happen, then try to understand it rather than go harder and have to be in bed the next five days. You feel me?
Be safe out there guys. It’s your journey and no one else, so protect it’s vehicle at all costs.