Either you’ve been there or probably going, down the injury lane. Jiu jitsu is an amazing sport in many aspects but as you increase the amount of training, putting yourself into more challenging situations or by accident there is a risk you will get injured. A few things to keep in mind while being injured is, don’t focus on what you can’t do, but focus on what you can do or even do better. 

A period of a reduction in the amount of training is not the end of the world. If you keep focusing on everything you can’t do two things will happen. First, you will lose motivation to train because you feel it is a waste of time because “I cannot train like I use to do”. Second, you will get out of routine; a point proven by many athletes and personal trainers is that routine is what helps you with progress. Don’t break the routine. Even if it means that you only spend one hour at the gym, only doing techniques, hip escapes or maybe just watch your friends train your brain will have the feeling that you’re still in the same routine and that will make it easier to come ack to regular training when the time is right.

How many times haven’t you seen friends start training, “take a break” and then never return?
Adapt, if your injury prevents you from doing guard maybe you can do top position, drill a certain sweep, movements like switching side in top side control, escape from bottom. The beauty of the sport is that the amount of positions is endless and you can always find something that doesn’t affect your injury.

Train your brain. How often do you have the time to reflect on your game, discover the gaps and think about your strengths and weaknesses? I once got the advice from being badly injured in my back that I should start analyzing every position, sweep, submission attempt and submissions I ever did. This was a trick to keep busy and in that way, I would never feel like I abandoned training and it felt more like a bonus.  would have a bunch of stuff to work on getting back to training. 

Choose your training partners wisely. Maybe this is not the right time to train with the heavy guys or crazy whitebelts. But prefer training with people your own size and higher belts who have most likely been in your situation, and will be able to adapt to your situation.

Does being injured make you feel selfish? Imagine this, would you help your fried if the situation was opposite? Then your answer is right there, you will hopefully train jiu jitsu for many years and let it be a part of your life for a long time. Imagine the number of hours you will train with your friends; it is a sport in which we need each other to get better and if you ask someone to help you train you would most likely do the same thing for them.

Photo by Kathrine von Tangen

And yes of course, being injured sucks, it takes away fun stuff and it will bring you a lot of frustration as you’re no longer allowed to decide for yourself what you want to do and how you like to train. Frustration is a part of the journey but remember frustration takes you nowhere. There is a way back, keep your patience and surround yourself with positive people, I also hope these tips will help you among the way to stay active and don’t give up. Osss.



Johanna Tavares is a purple belt under Renato Tavares de Moraes. She trains under Renato and Eduardo "Teta" Rios, representing Frontline Academy in Oslo. Besides jiu jitsu, Johanna is also a club manager, fitness instructor and CrossFit level 1 trainer. She contributes to the Ladies Only BJJ blog and website also teaching women only jiu jitsu classes at Novus Academy and organizing open mat for all them jiu jitsu ladies in Norway.


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