Is BJJ Dangerous? What you need to know

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One thing that keeps some people from getting into BJJ is that the martial art can be dangerous. This is an opinion held by some that honestly don’t know much about the art of Jiu Jitsu.

Let’s break down this claim and answer the question, is BJJ dangerous? We’ll also go over the reasons why some people would consider BJJ as a dangerous martial art.

Is BJJ dangerous? BJJ is only as dangerous as you want to make it. As long as you don’t go 100% all the time and train with good training partners, you should be fine.

How can BJJ be dangerous

Even though BJJ is one of the least dangerous martial arts, there are still risks that make people think it’s dangerous. Here are some reasons that make some people think that BJJ is dangerous.

The UFC 

Many people that perceive BJJ as dangerous, generally associate the martial art with the UFC. The most known MMA promotion in the world that is watched by millions around the world.

Someone that doesn’t really know anything about Jiu Jitsu will see a UFC fight and lump it together with MMA. Not knowing that MMA fights are a mix of various different fighting disciplines.

BJJ is aggressive

BJJ can definitely be perceived as dangerous if you show someone a high level Jiu Jitsu match. High level BJJ athletes are so fast and aggressive that it can make Jiu Jitsu look like a dangerous sport.

Injuries

Unfortunately one thing that is unavoidable in Jiu Jitsu are the injuries. You are bound to get bruised or banged up if you train long enough.

At worst, you can get a really debilitating injury like a torn tendon that will put you on the shelf. That is always a risk that will come with BJJ training no matter how many precautions you take.

White Belts

If you ask anybody that is high ranked about their injuries, there’s a good chance a white belt was involved. White belts are known to be spazzy and try to do everything 100%.

This commonly leads to them getting injured or worse, injuring their training partner. BJJ isn’t dangerous, but training with an untrained white belt can be dangerous.

Why isn’t BJJ dangerous

If you participate in BJJ training, then you know that it is an incredibly safe martial art to practice. Here are the reasons why BJJ isn’t a dangerous martial art.

No striking BJJ

By far the biggest reason why BJJ isn’t a dangerous martial art, because striking is not allowed. Striking is not taught within the martial art and is not allowed in traditional Jiu Jitsu class. You may catch an accidental knee or elbow, but you won’t be intentionally hurt with a strike.

It’s scientifically proven to be safe

If you want more proof that BJJ is safe, there have been multiple studies done confirming that it’s a safe martial art. One of the biggest and most known studies was done by the University of Hawaii at Manoa.(Study here)

In a study that was done over a few years, researchers watched over 2500 different Jiu Jitsu matches. Out of all of those Jiu Jitsu matches, less than one percent of competitors were injured in competition.

The only competitors that normally got hurt were novices that moved incorrectly. This doesn’t show the statistics for injuries in training that are far more common, but does show competing is fairly safe.

You can choose the intensity

One thing that makes BJJ one of the safest martial arts is that you can choose the intensity of your training. People generally get hurt in training when they go too hard. 

In BJJ training, you can choose how hard or light you go. Having this option makes BJJ training incredibly safe.

Good community

One big reason that BJJ isn’t dangerous is that the Jiu Jitsu community is full of great people. 99.9% of those that participate in BJJ training are great people that are not out to seriously hurt you. They are there to practice safely and learn the martial art just like you.

How to make BJJ training less dangerous?

There are some dangers that come from BJJ training, but it’s only as dangerous as you make it. Here are some steps you can take to make BJJ less dangerous and less likely to get hurt.

Warm up 

The warm up is something many BJJ practitioners neglect to do. Not warming up increases the danger of you getting hurt while you’re training due to cold joints and muscles.

Make sure that you take 5-10 minutes before every class and really do a warm up. You’ll get your blood flowing and cut the risk of injury in half.

Choose good training partners

The best thing you can do to make BJJ less dangerous for you is to choose good training partners. Choose more skilled partners that train safely and won’t hurt you. 

Always try to avoid beginners that go 100% on everything and train too hard. This will drastically cut the danger of you getting hurt while you’re training. 

Drill More

If you want to make BJJ even less dangerous and lower the risk of getting injured, you should drill more. When you drill, the pace is controlled and your partner isn’t trying to defend your attacks.

Choosing to drill more will not only make BJJ less dangerous, but also make your game sharper.

Don’t overtrain

Overtraining will definitely increase the danger of injuring yourself. When your body is tired, you are more likely to get hurt than when you’re well rested. That is why you need to listen to your body and rest when you need it.

Slow down 

To make BJJ training less dangerous and stay on the mat, there is one thing all black belts will tell you. Slow down!

Every time you get hurt in Jiu Jitsu, it is generally from going too fast. When you go too fast, your body can’t keep up and that is how you get bad injuries like ligament tears.

That is why it’s better to slow the pace down and lower the risk of injuring yourself.

Tap Early

Then of course, one of the best things that you can do to make BJJ less dangerous is tap early. An absurd number of Injuries occur from late taps, which makes BJJ look dangerous.

The real danger is being a stubborn teammate that won’t tap when they’re beat. That is why you need to swallow your pride and tap quickly whenever you get caught.

Is BJJ really dangerous?

BJJ is a scientifically tested and studied martial art that has been shown to be incredibly safe. It is only as dangerous as you make it.

That is why you should always train smart and be mindful of the risks of training. When you do this, you’ll be safe and stay on the mat training and developing your skills.

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Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years. Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.

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