I came across a question, “Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dangerous?” I wanted to answer it because there are a lot of false beliefs about it.
No. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not dangerous. Scientific research shows that, BJJ is equally safe as many other sports. It is also the SAFEST martial arts.
Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not dangerous?
If you are thinking of training BJJ and you worry about injuries, you shouldn’t. You will be fine. If you find that otherwise, you can always quit and try other gyms or quit with the sports.
Personally, I suffered more serious injuries from playing football, including a 6-month off with a second degree tore MCL, a stretched ACL, and bone layer cracks. I was kinda lucky though, another cracked bone layer would break my leg.
Scientific studies about Injuries in BJJ indicated that rate of injuries are low. With a rate of 36.1 per 1000 athletes, unlike football that has 37.29 per 1000 athletes.
Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is safest martial art?
The purpose of martial arts is to apply damage to an opponent and neutralize a threat. The damage can be applied in various ways – by kicking, punching, slamming the opponent to the ground, breaking joints or choking.
Among these forms of applying damage, only with breaking joints and choking you can stop at any point. This is the main focus of Jiu-Jitsu. The defeated opponent makes a clear indication that he lost the fight and surrenders by “taping”. The “tap” is what makes the whole difference.
Tap means you surrender and the fight stops right there. Something you cannot do in other martial arts even if you wanted to. You cannot tap being in mid-air, falling down, can you? When the punch lands on your head, it’s already too late.
Only BJJ has a way to safely escape most dangers
BJJ and brain damage
I’ve seen the questions about brain damage in BJJ. Actually, there are some prohibitions for punches, kicks, and slams in the head which means there is no risk of any head injuries. Boxing may appear to be a much safer sport because you don’t see any major injuries from players, but the truth is that head punches actually add up. After years of training, boxers tend to have serious head injury issues. Brain damage is a real thing.
But because there are no head punches in BJJ, brain damage is quite impossible. If someone says there is, even qualified, I suspect they have no idea what BJJ actually is.
Why there are so many injuries in BJJ?
Recently, I was wondering why guys at boxing and kickboxing classes have fewer injuries comparing to my BJJ teammates. That was a pure observation, but data shows that a number of injuries, in reality, are similar based on scientific research.
I think Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is kinda addictive. If you go to boxing classes twice, maybe three times a week usually for an hour and then you come back home and that’s it. In BJJ, when you get into it, you attend 3 to 5 classes a week and you get into it quickly. You socialize faster with your teammates and training sessions are longer, usually an average of 15 minutes. So in total, you spend much more time training BJJ, you recover less, and so your body starts to accumulate the injuries.
I would say that for a medium level of sports involvement, BJJ practitioner trains about twice as much as boxing practitioner.
The second reason might be because of a late tap. BJJ allows you to train at a level that you can’t in other martial arts. You fight like in real life and if you make a mistake, making a late tap could lead to damage. That happens often when people don’t want to tap to a lower rank teammate’s successful technique.
So that may be the answer
The rules from the article how to avoid Injuries in BJJ could give you an idea how to take care of yourself.
Most injuries come from takedowns
As you can read in the article, the most injuries come from takedowns. Most of these injuries are knee related. If we excluding takedowns, then BJJ is the safest martial art.
You can easily exclude takedowns from your game if you are afraid of knee injuries. They could be a nice addition but you can train and compete without them.
When you train, you sit down and start from the bottom, then swap with your partner and start from the top position. Many gyms do that and that is the normal way of sparring. Other gyms let you fight from the knees.
In competitions, you can always pull guard. Develop your game around pulling guard and sweeps, and you’ll be doing fine.
Safe yet effective?
Yes. What makes this martial art safest is also the same reason what makes it effective because you CAN’T do full contact sparring in boxing often, despite many hours in the gym you will NOT be as well prepared for real street fights. Sure, you will be better equipped with tools but your advantage will not be as significant.
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you usually go hard rolling from the first training. You are well equipped with techniques and had many hours to test and learn how to apply them to the opponent with full resistance.