Jiu-jitsu is one of those things that if you don't do it constantly and diligently you won't become better at it. The best in the world train 6-8 hours a day and those who don't consider it as their work rather their hobby also train a couple of hours a day if they can manage their family and jobs.
Whether Jiu-jitsu is our life or our hobby, it is a real drag when we can't train or go to class if we're away on a trip; if we're sick; or if we have to work. If missing a couple of days of training is horrible experience, imagine how being injured and having the type of injury that doesn't let you train anything will feel like!
I train 7-8 times a week for about an hour, well... used to train. A couple of months ago I had a stupid accidental fall, carrying a training buddy (while doing some body weight strength training) I tripped fell wrong on my leg/knee and dislocated my patella, a training partner put it back but that was the least of my problems I went straight to the emergency room and found out I had torn my ACL and broken my tibial plateau (the head of the tibia) two months with a cast and crutches and no training till January (6 months out of bjj).
But enough of my sob story. Jiu-jitsu is not just something you do, it's something you are and a way of life, here are 5 ways to continue doing bjj while you're injured
1. Catch up on some BJJ instructional videos:
Just because your body can't train doesn't mean your mind can't train. Sometimes in our busy schedule we don't have the time to sit down and just watch some videos, understand some new concepts. Provided injury giving us haiatus in our schedule (where bjj class used to be, tear), we can use that time to study and catch up on some theories, moves and such.
I like to focus on videos about concepts and fundamentals of new moves, I'm not saying that the old school video fundamentals won't work but I like those that show me something new from an expert in the subject.
Magid Hage -- baseball bat choke, Rafael Freitas -- baratoplata (let me say this catches people of guard), Ryan Hall -- his guard passing 50/50 concepts, Eddie Bravo -- his rubber guard, the Miyaos -- Berimbolo; These are something truly unique games. If you are looking for weakness in your game or things which you hope to improve, I'm sure you'll find a video just for you by browsing through instructional videos listed above.
2. Continue going to BJJ practice (Hey Helio Gracie learned just by watching right?):
Even if you can't get on the mat, tie your belt and start training, this doesn't mean you can't go to BJJ class. Sure bjj documentaries are cool and may show you a lot of knowledge but nothing beats your professor teaching you one on one or even the valuable questions or mistakes you make or your training buddies do.
Just going to bjj class and not training? that sound like a drag right? well... it can be if you're not in the correct mindset. Open your mind and it can be an incredible experience. And as the old saying goes "Half a loaf is better than none at all". Remember you can learn a lot just by watching because you can focus more on the tiny details that sometimes you miss while you rolling (you cannot observe yourself while you roll). Watching his older brothers teaching other people improved Helio Gracie's knowledge one step further, and if it was good for Helio, it may help us too.
3. Take up photography and film:
Given documentaries, films and photographs of BJJ, we already know that they take big part of modern Jiu Jitsu. So why not start to be a photographer or film maker while you are injured. your passion towards Jiu Jitsu may lead you to explore knew field and learn knew skill set.
I'm not saying some of the best bjj photographers and filmakers started their career while injured, but what I am saying is that if you have a passion for bjj and a passion for film or photographs then why not startup your career (do not kill your potential).
Nawadays, you can see these great artists: STUART COOPER: Hywel Teague in the intriguing BJJ HACKS documentaries: Mike Calimbas who does a lot of photo work for IBJJF and William Burkhardt's pictures featured also on CONNECTION RIO and BJJ Pix.
4. Start writing about BJJ, in your own blog, forums or for an AWESOME BJJcompany like me!:
Ok, I just gotta get this out of the way, start writing for an awesome bjj company but not VHTS 'cause you'll take my job.
One of the reasons why I started writing was because of my injury, I started to have a lot of activity in forums, bjj pages and groups and well.. this BLOG!
If the point is to continue doing bjj, what is better way than writing about what you're passionate about, what peeves you, your difficulties, gi reviews, comps results and more. Writing is a very special and personal thing to do, but so is BJJ so why not combine both and have a great time writing while you're injured and hey once you get back on your feet you would have made this "your thing" and you can continue to write.
Just remember if you have anything you want to write about, please be sure to do your research and always write about what moves you, what you are interested in and what you love!
5. Consume as much Acai as humanly possible and feel Brazilian while doing it:
What screams more BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU than ACAI bowls and smoothies?
If you're injured and just can't train or go to bjj class you should still behave like you have the BJJ lifestyle and of course that includes having loads of ACAI.
Some places in the world aren't exposed to ACAI (I live in Guatemala and we don't have ACAI here saddly, but I'm working on changing that). but if you are able to go to your local ACAI shop please do it; have a bowl and think of those less fortunate. Remember if you consume ACAI while doing bjj or bjj like things this will only make you feel better.
Have you been injured in bjj? what have you done while injured? any tips or advice for us?.
Let us know!