One of the most often neglected aspects of competitive sports and martial arts is that of the proclivities for injuries. Given the fact that you can sprain your ankle even just by walking on a day out, it should be obvious to you that injuries are much more frequent when it comes to the world of martial arts.
This goes both for grappling martial arts like BJJ, as it goes for striking martial arts such as Muay Thai. But are injuries in these sports common? And can you do something to protect yourself and prevent injuries from happening in the first place?
Are injuries common in Muay Thai?
Muay Thai practitioners are known to be some of the hardest people in the entire world. Just take a look at Buakaw in the notorious YouTube video where he chops down a banana tree with his devastating leg kicks. And you can deduce that Muay Thai fighters are very strong just by taking a look at their chiseled bodies.
Regardless, we would have to say that Muay Thai practitioners are prone to injuries. The force that they use to deal their strikes with can be devastating. And Muay Thai is also known as the art of 8 limbs. This means that the practitioners use their hands, elbows, knees and shins to deal strikes. Imagine getting a flush elbow strike from a Muay Thai fighter right to your face. It will very likely break your nose, at the very least.
Also, it’s definitely not unheard of that Muay Thai practitioners can get bruised and even broken ribs, with their world-class roundhouse kicks to the body. In extreme cases, broken shinbones may also occur from hard strikes on hard surfaces. And this is to say nothing of minor injuries such as sprained ankles and a bruised face. So, the point here is that if you want to train Muay Thai, then you will need to be careful and make your body as strong as possible so as to sustain the inevitable punishment that it will get.
Is BJJ injury prone?
We would say that BJJ is not as injury prone as Muay Thai. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no injuries whatsoever in BJJ circles. And we’re not just talking about physical injuries in terms of twisted ankles and bruises. If the mats are unclean, then practitioners may end up contracting contagious diseases such as herpes and ringworm.
One of the more frequent, bad injuries that occurs in BJJ, is torn ligaments. The knees do a lot of work in BJJ and given the high-speed and volatility that the sport is practiced with, it can just as well happen that you put your balance on an unstable knee and hear a loud pop, which may mean that the ligament is torn.
Also, you need to be aware and protect your spine and especially your neck. Bulging discs and hernia are conditions that aren’t exactly rare in BJJ circles. And this stems mostly from the unwillingness to tap out when an opponent holds the soon-to-be injured person’s head in a lock.
So, if you want to protect yourself from injuries in BJJ, then make sure to learn the biomechanics of your body and how to move while maintaining the body’s structural stability. Also, be sure to train the antagonistic muscles of the ones that you use in BJJ. If your body is strong and if you take common-sense precautions, then you will effectively minimize the chances of getting injured while training BJJ.