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Ryu0h

Calling Brazilian Jiujitsu people!

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Hi guys, 

 

So, a BJJ school recently opened up near my house. Sounds cool, right?

I know next to nothing about martial arts but I've always envied the discipline and mental strength that martial artists are famous for. However, my lack of knowledge is holding me back a bit in making that jump to actually enrol.

 

First of all, I'm a bit worried about injuries. Namely, concussions; I'm studying a pretty mentally demanding discipline at university and really don't want to risk concussions and head trauma affecting my long term ability to do mathematics; this is my absolute number one priority.

From the videos I've watched on YouTube, I've seen people have their joints put into terrifying positions. What is the injury rate like in this martial art? I'm okay with the occasional messed up joint but if injuries are common-place, I'd be a little worried.

 

On a more light-hearted note, what are your experiences like in Brazilian Jiujutsu? What has it brought to you personally, how has it developed you? How is the community as a whole? At the end of the day, this is the most important thing in any activity, I guess.

 

Thanks for reading!

Ryu0h

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I don't know much about BJJ specifically -- maybe @Dylanc95 can offer some insight?

 

From what I do know about martial arts in general, a lot of beginner stuff is not sparring-based; that is to say, you'll practice doing the movements vs the air at first, and with a partner later. A lot of discipline that comes from martial arts comes from constant rigorous practice of the basics and mindfulness about how your body is moving. None of that puts you in much danger of concussions or joint damage, but if you're still concerned, why not call or walk into the dojo and ask?

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6 hours ago, Ryu0h said:

First of all, I'm a bit worried about injuries. Namely, concussions

BJJ is almost completely grappling based.  Other than the odd, accidental knee or elbow to the face, I haven't had any head injuries in almost 6 years of training.  You're more likely to end with a cauliflower ear than anything else.

 

6 hours ago, Ryu0h said:

What is the injury rate like in this martial art?

Yes we do put our joints in crazy positions. However, that's why one of the first things you will learn is to tap out.  Personally, I'm almost 22 and I have bad shoulders from being stupid.  I had an 18-19 year old ego that I was a badass and now I literally can't do a back squat.  If you are really worried about injuries, I have two pieces of advice for you.  One, learn who the gym spaz or spazzes are, and stay the hell away from them.  Two, tap early and tap often. Then, ask the guy what you did wrong so you can correct it.

 

I love this martial art to death.  I'll be doing it until I'm 70 more than likely.  I have teammates that I consider to be my second family.  Mentally, it's given me so much confidence.  I was bullied throughout middle school and most of high school, so I was not confident walking in there for my first class.  Physically, it's a great full body workout, especially for your legs, core and back.  The community is awesome as well, super chill for the most part.  Just pay attention to your body, train smart, and listen to your coaches and higher level teammates.  No one in there wants to hurt you, and no one wants you to get hurt.  I hope you check it out, and good luck.  If you start training and ever get down to South Mississippi, come look my gym up and train with us.

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I'm sold. First class is tomorrow, I will be turning up to it. Thanks for your advice, Dylanc95! I really appreciate the honesty regarding injuries; from what you've mentioned about tapping out, I don't think I should be that worried about them.

It's very heartening to hear how low concussion risks are. I can deal with cauliflower ear, but concussions are something that I can absolutely not risk. From everything you've mentioned, it sounds like BJJ is the perfect martial art for my situation!

 

Will update this thread tomorrow after the session. Again, thank you so much for the advice. Probably the best possible answer anybody could've given. :D

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You tend to lose your ego pretty quickly in bjj, so the hotheads aren't too much of an issue. You'll get the occasional hotheaded highschool wrestler who comes in, thinking they're gonna wreck everyone and they are probably the most dangerous, so just don't roll with anyone paying a drop in fee. Let the purple, brown and black belts work them.

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hey Ryu,

 

Disclaimer: I'm a bjj nut. I started in jun 2014, was a judo brown belt so not completely new to grappling. I am currently a blue belt, and have competed quite a bit at the Blue/Masters 2 lvl (I managed to win the 2016 pan pacific ibjjf at my weight/belt and a couple of other regional tourneys, and got totally toasted at abu dhabi world pros this year but hey i did win my first round...).

 

Injuries-wise, if you learn to check your ego and recognise that it is gonna be a long journey to get good, I think you will be fine. Do some weights/yoga on the side to bulletproof your body for the demands of bjj. Vis-a-vis other sports, I think bjj doesn't have a significantly higher injury rate - I personally have injured myself more often at football (or what americans call soccer). 

 

As for the concepts/theories/techniques of bjj, that's one heck of a rabbit hole to drop into so I will let u do your own exploration - but it's approximately like physical poker or chess (I think poker is probably the better analogy to be honest). Overall, it's an incredible intellectual and physical test at the same time. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, godjira1 said:

hey Ryu,

 

Disclaimer: I'm a bjj nut. I started in jun 2014, was a judo brown belt so not completely new to grappling. I am currently a blue belt, and have competed quite a bit at the Blue/Masters 2 lvl (I managed to win the 2016 pan pacific ibjjf at my weight/belt and a couple of other regional tourneys, and got totally toasted at abu dhabi world pros this year but hey i did win my first round...).

 

Injuries-wise, if you learn to check your ego and recognise that it is gonna be a long journey to get good, I think you will be fine. Do some weights/yoga on the side to bulletproof your body for the demands of bjj. Vis-a-vis other sports, I think bjj doesn't have a significantly higher injury rate - I personally have injured myself more often at football (or what americans call soccer). 

 

As for the concepts/theories/techniques of bjj, that's one heck of a rabbit hole to drop into so I will let u do your own exploration - but it's approximately like physical poker or chess (I think poker is probably the better analogy to be honest). Overall, it's an incredible intellectual and physical test at the same time. 

 

 

 

 

This is literally the best thing you could have said to get me interested in BJJ. My favourite kind of sports all have a significant mental component! I researched more about the mental and strategic aspects of BJJ and freaked out after reading this article

Why did nobody tell me about this martial art before?! I'm getting more and more hyped for my lesson this evening. :D 

Thanks for the advice and input, godjira!

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that linked article was a great summary.

 

i was also an avid chess player in my youth and still play correspondence chess on chess.com so yea maybe it calls to the same type. 

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Personally, I've been in one form of martial art or another since the early '90s. I've suffered several massive concussions (and probably countless small ones), but never from BJJ. The worst I've had that took me out the longest was a headbutt from a guard sweep that required stitches [on my already scarred brow]. I've also been choked to sleep many times, and although it eerily feels like a concussion, I don't think it's the same thing. The joints eventually do give out, but you tend to see a lot more older people competing in BJJ compared to other combat sports probably because it's low-impact. On the flipside, think about the NFL's average career length of about 3 years.

 

Honestly I like it because it allows me to think. My reaction time is really slow, and it didn't transfer well to striking arts. I tend to enjoy the deliberate nature of grappling in a gi.

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First session complete!

It. Was. Awesome. I feel slightly steam-rolled right now, but in the best way possible. The instructor is obviously top-notch; he had a black-belt for one and he was also careful not to let the newbies (like me) do any free rolling on their first day. I didn't have to worry about ego-heads after all!

In that respect, the people I trained with were awesome. I like the sense of community they had going along, too! @Dylanc95, you were deffo right about the BJJ people being chill. 

love how Brazilian Jiujitsu works. I assumed that all the grappling was based around being strong, but from what I saw today? It appears to be a very precise application of multi-body dynamics to the human body.

 

Will be going back. Thank you everybody who responded to this thread; your advice has been invaluable. Hopefully anybody else reading this thread will be inspired to try it out.

 

2 hours ago, Machete said:

Personally, I've been in one form of martial art or another since the early '90s. I've suffered several massive concussions (and probably countless small ones), but never from BJJ. The worst I've had that took me out the longest was a headbutt from a guard sweep that required stitches [on my already scarred brow]. I've also been choked to sleep many times, and although it eerily feels like a concussion, I don't think it's the same thing. The joints eventually do give out, but you tend to see a lot more older people competing in BJJ compared to other combat sports probably because it's low-impact. On the flipside, think about the NFL's average career length of about 3 years.

 

Honestly I like it because it allows me to think. My reaction time is really slow, and it didn't transfer well to striking arts. I tend to enjoy the deliberate nature of grappling in a gi.

 

Thanks for the input, Machete! It's pretty heartening to hear this from someone whose as experienced as you are. However, I just did a bit of reading on the long term dangers of choke-outs on brain health and the results seem to be... disputed. I'm not going to lie, this does worry me a bit. I'm going to do more research before passing any judgement, though. I'm sure that there's nothing to be worried about, but I want to be sure first; I can't risk brain damage, no matter how relatively small.

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I've seen and heard the bjj chillness to be a factor of the old surfer community taking it up and having major influence on it.

As for the choke outs being disputed, one factor is that for many of the moves, choke is a misnomer and they are actually strangulations. Strangling is cutting off the blood flow to the brain, so I think that's where the long term health aspect is shady. As for real chokes, where you're cutting off the wind pipe, the effects pose less danger long term, but could be potentially worse immediately, like from a crushed windpipe.

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my 2 cents on this - i know quite a few people who have "gone to sleep" from a choke technique. Usually it's a quicky, not tapping fast enough in a tight choke, etc etc. definitely from "blood flow cut off" rather than cutting off air supply. that said, it is not a common occurrence - in my 3 years of training I have had it happen just once to me. can't pretend i know much about the long term effects of these "pass outs" though I suspect my alcoholic binges as a young adult probably did a whole lot more damage to my brain. 

 

 

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On 2017-5-26 at 5:11 AM, Brawlrus said:

I've seen and heard the bjj chillness to be a factor of the old surfer community taking it up and having major influence on it.

As for the choke outs being disputed, one factor is that for many of the moves, choke is a misnomer and they are actually strangulations. Strangling is cutting off the blood flow to the brain, so I think that's where the long term health aspect is shady. As for real chokes, where you're cutting off the wind pipe, the effects pose less danger long term, but could be potentially worse immediately, like from a crushed windpipe.

 

Surfers make everything chill! I was thinking about this a lot yesterday, actually. It's clear (to me, even after one session) that BJJ is extremely effective. One technique I learned was the triangle choke - it's so efficient and devastating that overall, it's pretty damn scary. I can't fathom the amount of trust you need in people to be able to practise that technique repeatedly and apply it in competition. I just can't imagine someone who can't regulate their emotions to even practise that kind of thing. I don't know, d'you think that BJJ has made you a more emotionally stable person? Or were you as emotionally stable beforehand?

 

On 2017-5-26 at 5:05 PM, godjira1 said:

my 2 cents on this - i know quite a few people who have "gone to sleep" from a choke technique. Usually it's a quicky, not tapping fast enough in a tight choke, etc etc. definitely from "blood flow cut off" rather than cutting off air supply. that said, it is not a common occurrence - in my 3 years of training I have had it happen just once to me. can't pretend i know much about the long term effects of these "pass outs" though I suspect my alcoholic binges as a young adult probably did a whole lot more damage to my brain. 

 

Now, I like alcohol, but believe it or not I've never gotten drunk; brain health is exactly the reason why. I actually did a bit of boxing back in my younger days; after a concussion in sparring, I discovered the next day that I was actually incapable of any prolonged calculation! Ever since then I've avoided anything that even hints at brain damage. I'm aware that any loss of blood flow to the brain can result in brain damage, no matter how small. However, it's certainly encouraging to hear just how rare it is to 'go to sleep'. I'm still going to my next session! Thanks for the advice. :D

 

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On 5/25/2017 at 7:02 PM, Ryu0h said:

First session complete!

It. Was. Awesome. I feel slightly steam-rolled right now, but in the best way possible. The instructor is obviously top-notch; he had a black-belt for one and he was also careful not to let the newbies (like me) do any free rolling on their first day. I didn't have to worry about ego-heads after all!

In that respect, the people I trained with were awesome. I like the sense of community they had going along, too! @Dylanc95, you were deffo right about the BJJ people being chill. 

love how Brazilian Jiujitsu works. I assumed that all the grappling was based around being strong, but from what I saw today? It appears to be a very precise application of multi-body dynamics to the human body.

 

Will be going back. Thank you everybody who responded to this thread; your advice has been invaluable. Hopefully anybody else reading this thread will be inspired to try it out.

 

 

Thanks for the input, Machete! It's pretty heartening to hear this from someone whose as experienced as you are. However, I just did a bit of reading on the long term dangers of choke-outs on brain health and the results seem to be... disputed. I'm not going to lie, this does worry me a bit. I'm going to do more research before passing any judgement, though. I'm sure that there's nothing to be worried about, but I want to be sure first; I can't risk brain damage, no matter how relatively small.

 

Most of the research appears to be case studies on people who have attempted suicide by hanging. Not much else I could find. I imagine the amount of brain damage (either from TBI or asphyxiation) is correlated with the amount of time one is unconscious. (That's why it's ridiculous when I see movies where someone is punched-out and wakes up hours later and is still for some reason coherent.) And it's definitely not that common in BJJ--I might be a special case here. There's a window of time when a properly-applied choke (or more appropriately, strangle) where you see your vision start to narrow. For some reason that window is very small for me; I go from perfectly fine to out in like half a second. My teammates are aware of this, and usually keep it in mind whenever they apply their chokes. (If they do find in the future that these choke-outs cause brain damage, I'd honestly probably still keep training. That's the price for admission, I guess.)

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14 hours ago, Ryu0h said:

 I don't know, d'you think that BJJ has made you a more emotionally stable person? Or were you as emotionally stable beforehand?

 

 

Well, I can't say for certain, since I started an SSRI at about the same time, but in the past I found that to be true about a lot of sports.

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I actually had a lot of injuries from a car accident way back in the day, and do martial arts. If you don't push yourself and let the sensei know your concerns, they'll look out for you. Concussions aren't a big thing in jiu jitsu or judo, which is mostly groundwork. Groundwork is pretty much the most intense resistance training you can do, you'll sweat a ton and get shredded... but again, just let the instructor know, and he'll accomodate. They'll pair you off with someone who knows what they're doing. almost 100% of martial arts injuries are from jackasses trying to prove how tough they are and performing moves incorrectly.

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