You’re training hard, everything’s  finally flowing on the mat. All your submission’s are coming together. You’re starting to beat guys you could never catch in class before, when suddenly “BAM” , you get hurt!  All your progress comes to a screeching halt.

Injury in Brazilian jiu jitsu is just a fact of life, sooner or later everyone who trains is going to get hurt. This makes life miserable for you and stops your progress. Its the old “Two steps forward, one step back” routine that just makes you want to quit.  Just the thought of rebuilding the strength of your game all over again is miserable. It doesn’t have to be that way though.

My instructor would be the first to tell you in no uncertain words, if your hurt then drill!  Injury, in a lot of cases, is a great time to utilize areas of your game that is your weakest link. Ninety percent of the time the injury you get in Bjj is from a position that your strongest in.   Take me for example. If  I had to say what Im strongest at it would be butterfly guard.  Its not the best in the world, but for me thats where I’m most comfortable. One time while training with a guy who was a lot bigger than me, I pulled a muscle in my leg sweeping him from my butterfly guard. At first this was brutal. I felt like my jiu jitsu was useless now.  How was I going to progress if I couldn’t use this position?  It was then that my instructor told me to work on my top game. Since the injury wouldn’t let me do a lot of guard work, he suggested that I should just drill out guard passes and top positions that didn’t strain the injury.

Three months later I had a whole new range to use from the top position. Even after injury was gone, I started really enjoying passing and controlling  from the top, whereas before I would just jump straight into the butterfly guard and go from there.

Obviously it depends on the degree that your injured. Anything serious like back, neck or knee injuries do require rest, so its up to you and your doctor to decide when you should go back to training. When you do, look at this time as a period to refine what you know and learn something new through drilling. You will be surprised at how an injury might be the best thing that can happen to you.