We carry out very intense training on a daily basis and subject our bodies to intense sparring, dangerous joint locks and awkward positions. Bruises and bumps are unavoidable. Although, there are a few things you could do to ensure you do not have to permanently be off the mat. The goal here is to adhere to injury prevention and pay attention to your body if you need to commit to the mat for a long while.

Always Warm Up

Most academies will require a complete body warm-up prior to every training, paying attention to Jiu Jitsu type movement to warm up the muscles and increase heart rate. These warm-upexercises are good but most of them are not similar. For some people, they require more warm-up and others less. For instance, if you are aware that your lower back is prone to injury, it’s advised that you include your drills and exercise prior to the class.

This is also applicable to any part of your body that may be susceptible to injury. In the past, if you’ve had a severeneck injury, send a few more minutes doing some neck exercises. Similarly, if you have been sitting on an office chair all day, set aside some minutes before class to loosen up your thoracic spine and hips. An idealwarm-upshould span for 10 minutes and should be aimed at stretching dynamically, warming up the muscles and mobilizing joints.

Check Your Ego

This is fairly common, but it’s worth emphasizing on. Practice time on the mat is simply just time to practice and try out new positions. Be open to exploring new techniques that may leave you open to attack. This will help you build your game in the long term. If you are held in a deep submission position, do not try to fight it, just tap. Shrug it off and begin again, and try to avoid making the same error. You may have bruised your ego but your joint should still be fine.

Strength Train

Several types of researchhave indeed proved that strength training helps to avoid injuries. Your bones become stronger, your joints more stable, and eventually, your body becomes more resilient to injuries. Always follow the instructions and never lift more than you can. Do not go too fast or heavy, concentrating on building up over time. To build strength and avoid injuries two to three sessions a week is sufficient without overtraining.


Although very apparent, yet more people still believe in all work and no rest. You may be able to escape with over working for a while it will eventually catch up with you. Ensure you make out times for rest. Ideally, Sunday is a very good day to rest. However, you should take more time off if you feel knackered. Your body will recover and will be able to perform optimally in your next training. A majority of injuries occur when the pedal is continuously on the floor.

Have Light Days

This goes alongside the last point. The best athletes always have de-load days, weeks and even months. You will wear out fast if you are constantly intop gear. If you train multiple times in a day, ensure you set aside days or even weeks where you do not spar and just develop your drill or technique. Hence you will avoid the possibility of an injury while sending quality time on the mat.

Always Cool Down

Most people often make this mistake. After a long and exhausting training, you certainly do not want to stretch and take a rest. You are normally set for the shower and water cooler. The ideal time to stretch is when your muscles are elastic and warm. Taking time to do a complete body stretch after class will aid recovery time, prevent tensing up later in the day and soreness. Static stretches, where you hold for at least 30 seconds, normally two minutes and is usually better after a class.

Develop Mobility

Most people associate mobility with muscle stretches, which is in fact flexibility. Flexibility is a good trait for Jiu Jitsu. However, having total control of your range of motion and joints is what will keep you away from the treatment table. Overstretching your muscles will cause pain, lead to unstable joints, pain and injury. Post-training stretches and Yoga are fantastic ideas, although from a movement and injury prevention perspective, developing your mobility may be better. There are tons of resources on the internet to help you develop your mobility and also help you integrate these drills into your own sessions before class.