Dealing With Small Injuries

All grapplers have suffered from injuries some that are small and some that are career ending. Knowing the difference makes the difference. In the video above I talk about dealing with a small injury and the process I use to deal with it. Now with that being said, I know after years of grappling what my body can and can’t handle. I have a very good feel for when I should be seeking medical advice or making an informed decision myself and pushing forward. I also have some of the best therapist and doctors in the country on speed dial to ask questions.

The injury sustained in this video happened working out with a Jr. athlete who’s shin caught me in the toe. Now in full disclosure, I don’t know if the toe is broken, dislocated, or just bruised. I’m making an informed decision based on years of dealing with these types of injuries. I did hear a cracking sound and I had to pull it to get it to straighten out at the camp right when it happened.

The technique I use is simple and effective but I have no idea if there is a clinical truth to it. All I’m basically trying to do is condition my body and my mind to deal/cope with the pain it’s in and use my mental strength to get through it. As I’m causing myself these little bit’s of pain I ask myself how bad is it and should I see a doctor?

In the case of my toe, I didn’t ask myself that question because I know that there is nothing they can do for it except put me in a flat shoe to walk around it so I don’t bend it and it can heal. So what I did was did hundreds and hundreds of test.

Test Steps:

  1. Do something minor to cause a little bit of pain
  2. Pause when you feel a small amount of pain
  3. Ask myself “What did I do to cause this pain?”
    1. Apply pressure? If so at what angles
    2. Bend it? If so in what direction
    3. Press it? If so then where and at what angle
  4. After gathering some information I ask myself another question “What doesn’t hurt it?”
    1. In my career the answer has never been everything hurts, sometimes the only thing that doesn’t cause pain is when I stay perfectly still (like when I dislocated my SI Joint) If that’s the case go to the hospital
  5. If I can find more ways that don’t cause pain then do it usually means I can train through it. (Again I’m a professional and I don’t really have a choice)
  6. Repeat steps that cause pain about 10 to 15 times then check to see if you have been getting less pain or have found yourself having a greater range of motion.
  7. If so, I normally repeat until I can function again.

With all this being said I got into BJJ based on an injury from judo. I had a LisFranc fracture in my right foot and decided that I had to train. Since I couldn’t stand on my feet, I decided could sit on my butt and just like that I started BJJ. Even though I was training with a severe injury that required a massive tape job I was able to get through because I knew my limits and I did jiu-jitsu in such a way that allowed me to protect it.

The big key to training with injuries is having the ability to put your ego aside and just develop a new area of your game that doesn’t cause you pain and keeps you on the mat and engaged. I hope this helps all of you understand how i personally deal with my injuries and work through them.

But don’t be that guys that put people down by saying things like “Yeah watch out for my knee I’m dealing with an injury.” Then use your leg to put them in a triangle. If you have an injury do say anything to anyone and just protect it and if someone gets it, just shakes their hand to say “good job” and keep training. Do not belittle people or make excuses as to why someone was able to pass your guard it’s not their fault you’re injured. Keep it to yourself and keep safe.


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