Jiu Jitsu is bad for your body.

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Cash Bill 52, May 2, 2018.

  1. Cash Bill 52

    Cash Bill 52 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    3,789
    Likes Received:
    665
    Location:
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/bjj-is-really-to-18386254 Article by Emily Kwok

    From me...
    Some people ask me why I take extended periods of limited to no training. Here are some reasons...

    1. I like being able to get in my car without using my hands to pull my left leg inside. Multiple groin injuries over the years start adding up.

    2. I like being able to put coffee cups on the top shelf. Limited shoulder mobility is a thing.

    3. I like hiking without the fear of my knee collapsing. Knee surgery on top of multiple chronic knee issues isn’t my fave.

    4. I like being able to hold things in my hands. Let’s face it. Our hands and fingers are wrecked.

    5. The whole left side of my body is out of alignment from the asymmetry of my training. I need to rotate the tires regularly.

    I plan to train for many years to come. 22 years of training and I’m still going strong most of the time. My coaches know I’ve competed with a torn meniscus, groin pulls, bursitis on my elbow the size of a tennis ball, limited movement in multiple joints. It goes on and on...

    Time off lets my body recalibrate. It lets my mind believe that jiu Jitsu isn’t a job and that I have to be there every day all day and accept all challenges from every beast and monster.

    Time off clears the way to let me become passionate with other things. I crave learning and reinvention. I don’t want jiu Jitsu to become stale. I am bored with my competition game. I am tired of always bringing my a game.

    I take time off because I love the jiu Jitsu lifestyle. I love my teammates and the jiu Jitsu community at large. I don’t want to “be done.”


    https://www.patreon.com/posts/bjj-is-really-to-18386254
     
    Hotora86, Gregoire1, Gandhi and 8 others like this.
  2. Poochie

    Poochie White Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    29
    I'm a 46 year old hobbyist purple and I've thought about "how much longer" recently. Are there other disciplines that do gym sparring the way jiu-jitsu does where you see people in their 40's and 50's? I'm not talking about TMAs where you can do kata or forms but boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, etc. I'm not very familiar with judo but are there regularly 45 + judoka in the gym every day?
     
  3. winterbike

    winterbike Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    503
    I take at least a good 15-20 minutes after each class to stretch and do mobility drills. It doesn't take much effort or discipline, and it's actually quite fun. And... I'm always the only one to do it, even when there are 30+ people in the class. Training to prevent injuries is somehow inconceivable to most people*.

    *It's not specific to BJJ, I work with other physed teachers and they all behave the same.

    [​IMG]
     
    Kit Gray, BLIND, SMillard and 9 others like this.
  4. jack36767

    jack36767 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    3,767
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Duh
     
    Cash Bill 52 likes this.
  5. Matsukaze

    Matsukaze Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    107
    Another 46 year old hobbyist purple as well.. I have really been thinking the same thing.... I have chronic hip pain that makes it hard to get in and out of my car. Tendonitis in one shoulder and elbow... that shit flairs up all the time. Jiu jitsu is very hard on the body because there are no off season. Its always grind grind and more grind.
    Last night I had a very athletic young purple belt diving for ankle locks. Doesn't matter how many times I have told him "I'll tap bro just give me time before you slam one on". Well, slammed one on last night and my knee popped and that was that. He apologized to me afterwards but said he was caught up in "it" and didn't mean to power through. Today I'm limping around.... too old for that shit!!
     
  6. Cash Bill 52

    Cash Bill 52 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    3,789
    Likes Received:
    665
    Location:
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    Recovery is an art form. I want to be a black belt in recovery. At 51, I still have a long way to go. Eventually I want a black belt in humility as well.
     
  7. BJJ_Rage

    BJJ_Rage Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    18,109
    Likes Received:
    3,576
    I’ve been injured for the past 5 months or so, im 38, damn I’m old.. and I have trained like 3 or 4 times in these past 5 months... in don’t know what will happen to me... but I got a bulged disk on the l4 l5 that just keeps on fucking with me... I feel fin and every time I come back, shit gets worse, numbed legs and stuff. Doc says I should quit Bjj, i can’t see my life out of this sport, that will have a mayor impact on my life...
     
    Rebelfett likes this.
  8. EGDM

    EGDM Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    556
    39, six knee and two hip surgeries. I'm down to half my cartilage on one knee and the other is held together by staples. Moderate arthritis on one hip that effects me day-to-day. That's bad enough, but the problem is my health gets even worse when I DON'T train. I will definitely have to find an ideal balance of activity vs safety.
     
    dimmyfinster likes this.
  9. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    20,420
    Likes Received:
    38,629
    I have also racked up tons of injuries in my martial arts, grappling and jiujitsu time.

    Previous:
    Torn meniscus
    Separated shoulder x2
    Tendinitis
    Broken fingers and toes
    Broken nose

    Current:
    Bulging discs in lumbar spine
    Degeneration in thoracic spine
    Straightening of cervical spine
    Broken finger that still won't straighten out and its been like a month now

    The lumbar had gotten better and I was back to almost normal training, but now the mid spine and neck were fubar'd. They are recovering but I'm also starting to get a little nag of sciatica again in the lower, hoping going back to treating my low back at the chiro will help nip it in the bud.

    I actually thought really hard about BJJ when I was dealing with the lumbar. I realized there are injuries and chronic conditions that one day will keep me from doing BJJ as it we think of it now. I couldn't shrimp, bridge, squat, etc. But I still want to do martial arts all my life, its my passion. So I started training a less contact art to help satisfy that need. I mean I could probably handle all the old school "Helio Gracie" self defense type stuff but I can't expect to find bjj schools that are willing to do that junk all class for years on end just to accommodate me lol

    Even when I'm injured though I still go to class at least once a week. Even if I have to just go and sit on a bench during class, I still stay in the habit and have the camaraderie. I can assist by walking around and helping white belts with their technique to help take a load off my coach.
     
    M3t4tr0n likes this.
  10. 2008

    2008 Green Belt

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    380
    I'm glad some common sense is coming back to jiu jitsu training and the unglamorous side is also being revealed and discussed. I never understood the guys who are like I want to roll well into my 60s and yada yada. I always believed jiu jitsu schools should have an 'off season' where tuition is frozen so students can take a break and have injuries heal, get a break from the grind, take a break for whatever else in their life, etc, once a year if the student chooses to do so. I know this wouldn't be a popular idea among gym owners because they want students to keep paying obviously. But don't get me wrong, if your blessed enough to train 24 hours a day, 7 days a week go for it.

    I'm 35 now and I want to be done with training when I'm like 50. Beyond 50 I can see myself doing light rolls from time to time if I'm bored and miss jiu jitsu but I wouldn't be seriously training to get good at jiu jitsu or move up rank wise beyond that age.
     
    bowened likes this.
  11. mattemate

    mattemate Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    4,059
    Likes Received:
    822
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I've been thinking about taking some serious time off to do yoga and gymnastics stuff only, just stuff that will get me really strong and limber. I was thinking recently about having to quit completely, but there has to be a balance.
     
  12. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,727
    Likes Received:
    1,303
    This post is making me think a lot. I'm headed into my mid 30's after about 15 years training and I'm starting to feel the injuries adding up. I've been lifting a lot of weights recently and loving how I feel afterwards compared to how I feel after doing jiu-jitsu. A lot of my jiu-jitsu homies are confused and wishing I was training more right now, but frankly I feel like this is helping me balance out my body and feel healthier.

    I like what Cash Bill said about wanting to be a black belt in recovery. Right now I'm a white belt at it. I need to start warming up better and cooling down better.

    Also being more selective. I used to hate turning down rolls but now that I'm not a spring chicken anymore I'm starting to turn down some rolls. Again I'm getting some side eyes on that. Some of it is that people think I'm only in my mid to late 20's. This is mostly just because I got lucky with genetics, but they don't see me as a guy in his mid 30's that works 50+ hours a week at a desk with other commitments in life as well. They still think I'm this kid that only cares about training hard all the time, and that's just not me anymore.

    A lot of you guys are giving me some inspiration because right now my number one goal is to just be able to roll in my 40's and 50's without being totally broken. And I think I need to start working on that NOW and change some habits both on and off the mat.
     
    Solidus Snake likes this.
  13. Dogstarman

    Dogstarman Old man jiu jitsu

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    11,177
    Likes Received:
    3,887
    Location:
    On the mats
    Broken wrist
    Several sprained ankles
    Serious turf toe that never heals
    Shoulder injuries
    Groin strain that comes and goes
    Neck and weird shoulder blade pain that isn’t caused by anything
    I can name a few more but those are the main ones.
     
  14. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,766
    Likes Received:
    950
    Wise words Bill.

    Our jiu jitsu needs to change as we age. It's just natural for things to be that way.

    I had a student who was concerned that I kept partnering her with easier/smaller/lighter partners for drilling and rolling. The reality is that she is almost 60 now so I have safety as a main concern. I know that's the last thing she would want to hear, but I do think it is the best for her overall martial arts career at this point.
     
    mataleaos likes this.
  15. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,294
    Likes Received:
    3,479
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    With wrestling, most guys that old are coaching more than training for their own sake, though that has a lot to do with the structure of wrestling in the US as it does the activity. Muay Thai and boxing, older participants seem to limit their sparring, at least in the gyms I've been at. Frequent hard sparring is a young man's game. I've seen plenty of older people doing Judo, but they're all beat to shit and most will do almost anything to avoid taking hard falls, their styles tend to get very defensive and they often limit their randori rounds (in the US. Judo is practiced very differently overseas and it's easier for older people to keep up as their randori is less smash-mouth than in the US).

    I think BJJ actually affords itself to longevity better than most other combat sports, though that's totally dependent on your training environment. If you're going hard all the time with skilled people much younger than you the injuries will pile up. If you're doing a lot of moderate training you can probably train into your 50s or 60s if not longer. I really enjoy MT and MMA, but I'm not too far from stopping training those disciplines hard and spending most of my time on BJJ just because the recovery is easier and it doesn't negatively impact my family or professional life by keeping me beat to shit all the time.
     
    dimmyfinster, jr jr and mataleaos like this.
  16. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,294
    Likes Received:
    3,479
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Also, all the forum regulars on here are old now (for BJJ at least). We were all in our 20s when we started posting and now we're all bitchy middle aged men complaining about chronic injuries. I know I certainly am.
     
  17. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,766
    Likes Received:
    950
    I've noticed changes in my 30s.

    I still feel I can roll with just about anyone, and I still do. The difference is though I no longer feel I can always dictate how I roll with them.

    Sometimes I just have to resign myself to the fact that I need a break that day. Accordingly, I won't do as well in the roll as I potentially could if I went with a more aggressive strategy. I might need to just play slow and defend more than I usually would. And playing slow + defense = losing most of the time.

    I feel like I am better than ever in my 30s. But it's a different kind of better than how I felt in my 20s.
     
  18. freakroor

    freakroor Green Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,319
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    S.C. CA
    most of my injuries came from whitebelts
     
    mattemate likes this.
  19. mattemate

    mattemate Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    4,059
    Likes Received:
    822
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That's hilarious.

    And your words (about American randori) and a couple others also make me think about choosing who I roll with more. I was going with a tough new guy the other day. White belt, but 6'3", 245, former Marine still in pretty good shape and damn strong. Just carrying his weight in my closed guard made my back hurt the rest of the week. I could barely touch my toes, and took the rest of the week off training. I'm 39, which is the second oldest of the core guys at my gym. Mostly kids in their 20s. So the difficulty is that I still see myself as one of those kids, and they see me as one of them. We don't think in terms of age to much. So I have to check my competitive attitude and not go hard with those young kids, even when I want to. They'll give me shit about not training enough, but they're just breaking my balls, it's part of the fun, all the shit talking. Having young, energetic friends like that is really part of the appeal in staying with this game so long. BUT, they forget, I'm a decade or more older than most of them, and my shit is jacked!

    One thing that's not being discussed is not training THROUGH injuries, but training AROUND them.
    I've had to change my game a lot. I'm lanky but strong, sort of a Keenan or Roger type build. So I used to not care if I got stacked, but I have to really watch it now. I can still catch good armbars from guard, but I'll be suffering from it later. Same with triangles. Also, due to knee injuries, I'm more hesitant to go for triangles unless it's already fairly deep. I don't triangle my legs the same way anymore either. But it's made me refine my technique, so my finish is stronger than ever and doesn't make my knees feel in danger.

    Overall, I also just will quickly tap to bad positions that I feel could flare up an old injury or start a new one. For example, if I have a butterfly in and it starts to get pressured where my heel is getting close to my butt, I know it's in danger of popping out, and I'll just tap and reset. So maybe the guy was just passing, but I'll tap. If a guy gets me in a strong kesa or any type of head lock, or even is just trying to force a sloppy guillotine, I might tap because I'll think to myself that I know I can get out of this, but my neck is gonna hurt for three days if I don't tap now. And something else I do is, when class is over and the rolling has begun, if something gets hurt, not just a little twinge, but actually hurt, I'm done for the day. I just stop, I don't care if I wanted to get five or six rounds in. Even if it's the first minute into my first round.

    I'll still try to make the best of it, and either work with new people, maybe train with smaller people or women, or roll only with more advanced guys that can flow roll. But most people suck at flow rolling, so I may just shut it down if those other options are available.

    Anyway, this is kind of my approach to continuing to train. I don't train too much, I don't go crazy hard, and I tap to positions that hurt something that's already hurt, not just submissions.
     
    Chungungo, EGDM and mataleaos like this.
  20. mataleaos

    mataleaos Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,727
    Likes Received:
    1,303
    We are all complaining a bit but the bolded is true. I know people in their 60's that are able to roll with at least moderate intensity and I don't know how doable that would be in Judo or striking arts.

    There's a way that BJJ is tough on the body that no one talks about much. Everyone talks about how no-gi can be rough and even though it's more athletic and people are more likely to eat some elbows and knees, I think that having your gi used against you in leg drag/leg weave style positions where your spine and ribs can be twisted up and held there by someone else is rough after a while. That aspect of someone being able to just fucking hold you in a leg drag position with your head facing one way and your hips facing the other way for extended periods of time is the shit that adds up and really causes pain and aches for me. If I were at a school with a more extensive no-gi program I would honestly choose to probably do 2/3rd no-gi and 1/3rd gi going forward. Right now it's 2/3rds gi and 1/3rd no-gi.
     
    Typrune Goatley and TheGZA like this.

Share This Page