How do you improve in BJJ while you’re injured?

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I spend so much time plotting and planning on trying to get better in BJJ. So it is especially difficult to cope with injuries when they occur. I have been practicing BJJ since 2004 with no major hiccups and have never had to take more than a week off. This time is different. I’m not quite sure when I will return.

Over the years of reading BJJ blogs and especially in the last few months quite a few of us have been getting injured and have had to take time off from doing what we love. At the same time, I know that many of the injuries we have, no matter how long we will be side-lined does not affect our entire bodies.

I refuse to regress in skill, knowledge of techniques, etc. If I am not able to do certain types of moves due to injury then I want to return to the mats with another talent or set of skills. What have you guys done or are doing in order to improve (or maintain) your skill level in BJJ while injured?

My left knee is my injury so I have been doing the following:

Upperbody workouts (Lifting weights at a circuit pace to help maintain endurance/not even close to rolling though)

Stretching for Flexibility (that doesn’t hurt my knee)

30 reps a day (BJJ techniques that don’t require the use of my knee)

I am thinking about using visualization as a serious tool. I use it sparingly, but never had to use it because of an injury. But beyond these ideas, “I’ve got nothin!”  Most of my ideas for training stem from being at close to 100 percent.

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7 thoughts on “How do you improve in BJJ while you’re injured?

    supercrap said:
    April 4, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Definitely visualisation. Visualise sparring, moves coming at you, what you would do to counter.

    I would steer clear of tons of instructionals. For me anyway, they make me frustrated and overloaded.

    If you have any footage of yourself sparring or competing I would review that quite a lot.

    Other than that, just be patient man!

    Jiujitsu365 said:
    April 4, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I know, I know Supercrap (aka: martialfarts)…

    After reading your post, I realize that I may be a little too gung ho.

    You mentioned instructionals, but what has made me frustrated is watching grappling DVDs. I realized how lucky we are to be able to roll, period.

    Thanks for the tip!

    neijia said:
    April 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    man that’s a tough one because it’s your knee. lots of different drills are probably out. I’ve tried attending class to watch and that really helps with the visualization. Also, you can observe so much more than you normally can since you’re busy trying stuff. I am easing back into bjj and other training now.

    Jiujitsu365 said:
    April 5, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I appreciate it Neijia,

    I understand about watching classes. I learn a lot from watching my nephews in their class.

    I hope your transition back to training is going well!

    morgs said:
    May 1, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I do Judo and Bjj, competitivley, i dislocated my knee 6 months ago and i am three months along post knee recon OP. i find the best way to keep in touch with technique, is to watch training sessions and competition footage. i know how you feel bro? keep on going .

    jiujitsu365 said:
    May 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks Morgs,

    Continued success with your healing. My knee is feeling pretty good and I was actually able to attend a class last week.

    lasvegasbjj said:
    May 11, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Injuries are common in bjj. Pleased to hear that you are healing. In Robert Drysdale Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, I am also getting bjj training under Robert Drysdale, multiple time BJJ world Champion. Visit his official website, http://www.RobertDrysdale.Net to watch Bjj videos and to learn bjj techniques.

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