Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts are two dynamic disciplines where opponents face off and use sheer skill, quick reflexes, technique, and leverages to win.
In most cases, BJJ and MMA bouts result in nothing more than a few bruises and bumps. But, as with every other sport, there is some small risk of getting injured.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the most common injuries one might get from MMA and BJJ and how to reduce your risk. Let’s dive in.
The Four Most Common MMA And BJJ-Related Injuries
1. Shoulder Injury
Common causes: armlock, landing on your shoulder, and explosive movements
The shoulder is an incredibly mobile joint, but that also makes it prone to injuries. Unlike other injuries, the shoulder can get damaged in more ways, making it a bit more difficult to keep safe.
The best way to prevent shoulder injuries is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the area - your deltoids and rotator cuff. It’s also essential to learn how to break your falls effectively.
2. Knee Injury
Common causes: an external force causing your knee to bend or twist too much
Unlike the shoulder, our knees are not made for mobility. Instead, their job is stability, which naturally limits their range of motion. Pushing the joint too far outside its limits can result in strain, bursitis, or even a meniscus tear.
One of the best things you can do to prevent knee injuries is to strengthen your legs. This means working your quadriceps, adductors, hamstrings, glutes, and calves with strength exercises.
3. Neck Injury
Common causes: trying to break free from a headlock and posting with your head
Neck injuries also tend to be shared among BJJ and MMA practitioners. Typically, strains occur from trying to break free from a headlock. Other acute injuries can occur from posting with your head, which is the act of using your head to apply pressure at a crucial moment and complete a pass.
The best ways to avoid a neck strain are to learn how to tap early and often and avoid posting too hard with your head. While sometimes advantageous, a quick win can come at a high cost.
4. Lower Back Injury
Common causes: muscle strains due to hyperextensions, muscle imbalances, and poor posture
Lower back injuries are common in martial arts and typically occur because the trainee doesn’t maintain good posture or hyperextends their back during positions like a back mount.
Maintaining good posture, strengthening your back, and avoiding hyperextensions are your best options for preventing lower back issues.
Injuries are a part of the game. Most heal quickly and rarely affect our daily lives. But, they can still be disheartening and even intimidating, especially if you’ve never hard one before.
In any case, injury prevention begins with the mindset you carry. The more focused you are on leaving your ego at the door, the smaller your risk of getting injured.
If you’re interested in learning how to be more disciplined and responsible for yourself and others, come down to Dream Martial Arts and Fitness, where we offer much more than fighting techniques.