Common BJJ Injuries occur, due to, both training and competing.

This post highlights recent grappling-based research. Which, looked at common BJJ injuries sustained during TRAINING and COMPETITION.


As a result, we better understand WHAT injuries commonly occur and WHEN.


Most Common BJJ Injuries Sustained During TRAINING:

First, a research team gathered info from 166 BJJ gyms across the USA.

Because of the info collected, a clear picture of training injuries was developed. As a result, the most common injuries were, as follows:
1. Hands and Fingers.
2. Foot and Toes.
3. Elbows.
4. Knees.
5. Backs.

Furthermore, these injuries, fall into 2 categories:

1. Medically Diagnosed

2. Self-Diagnosed.

So, the most common Medically diagnosedย BJJ injuries were:
1. Knees.
2. Foot and toes.

In contrast, the most common Self-diagnosed BJJ injuries:
1. Hand and fingers.
2. Arm and elbows.
3. Foot and toes.

Certainly, lower limb injuries were more commonly medically diagnosed. While, injuries to the upper limbs were more commonly self-diagnosed.

Consequently, we may be able to conclude a few things.

Firstly, upper extremity injuries appear to be more frequent, but less severe.

Secondly, lower extremity injuries are less common, but more severe.

As a result, more athletes seek out medical help for lower limb injuries.

Now, this info is specific to the training environment. So, what about competition?


Most Common BJJ Injuries Sustained During COMPETITION:

First, info was collected over 6 years at different BJJ competitions in Hawaii.

Overall, during competition, 9.2 injuries occurred every 1000 matches. (46 injuries out of 5022 matches).

So, the most common injuries included:
1. Muscle and Joint injuries (78%).
2. Rib injuries
3. Deep cuts requiring medical care.

Likewise, the most common joints injured included:
1. Elbows (MCL and LCL ligaments via armbar).
2. Knees (Ligament sprains).
3. Ankle and Foot (Ligaments, via foot-locks and takedowns).

Above all, what can we learn?

Firstly, injuries happen! Likely, due to increased intensity and importance, more injuries happen in competition versus training.

Also, upper limb injuries are very common. However, few athletes seek medical advice for these.

Every injury is important and should be addressed.

Proper rehab can speed healing times and prevent acute injuries from becoming chronic problems.

In conclusion, we can’t always avoid injury. However, we can do our best to train smart and stay healthy!

Agel et. al. 2007. Descriptive epidemiology of collegiate menโ€™s wrestling. J. Athl. Train. (42), pp. 303โ€“310.


Scoggin, et al. 2004. Assessment of Injuries During BJJ Competition. Ortho J Sports Med. 2(2).


McDonald, et al. 2017. Prevalence of Injuries During BJJ Training.ย Sports.ย (5), pp. 39.


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