Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is named as the “Gentle Art”. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport which was developed by two Brazilian brothers named Carlos, Oswaldo, Gastão Jr., George, and Hélio Gracie, which is based on ground fighting and submission holds.

What is Hernia and what are the problems with engaging in BJJ while having a hernia?

A hernia is an illness that occurs in an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall. A hernia usually can be seen between chest and hips. In most of the times it causes no or very few symptoms, although the patient may notice a swelling or lump in in the patient stomach or in groin.

There are several types of hernias. There is a type of hernia named as sports hernia. These types of hernias are caused by repetitive and explosive movements. Actually, sports hernia is not a true hernia. But the symptoms are similar to a true hernia. With this kind of hernias, the ones who doing BJJ can perform but sometimes it can cause pain to the practitioner. Always training with a hernia is a challenge to the practitioner because it’s a risk that he or she has taken. The BJJ practitioners can’t lift the opponent or lift heavy weights while training with a hernia.

Some practitioners saying that they have trained with hernia and that not affected to their training or to their physic while trainings. But some says that they get pain where the hernia is while they train BJJ.

But there are some instances that can be problematic. One such instance is the cause of pain and discomfort. And another instance is that some hernias can be ruptured, if so and emergency surgery will be needed. But those hernia ruptures are extremely rare conditions. However, proper medications are needed if you continue to practice BJJ with a hernia.

BJJ is a combat art and there are many ground fighting and submission holding technic trainings in the practice sessions. So, these trainings use much energy from the body and when someone with hernia can be more dangerous to him or herself because the situation can move into a situation that only be corrected by a surgery.

This will end up with a several months of rest time as a recovery time for the practitioner. Whether the practitioner can train or cannot train depends on the clinical findings and radiographic findings. The practitioner can continue training if the hernia is in the first stage of growing and according to the location of the hernia grows.

A person who has a hernia can continue doing exercises without strain the area which locates the hernia. As an example, if the hernia is in the abdominal muscles the exercises which lifting those strains and pulling are not recommended. While BJJ is not a sport that can do in a one place and it’s not a martial art that can do while sitting on the bed. There are submissions, throws, locks and etc. so training BJJ with a hernia is very difficult and impossible to do practices with such a disease.

When training BJJ with a hernia can effect to the practitioner in physically and mentally also. because sometimes the pain cannot be endured by the practitioner. The practitioner should have a good rest between every exercise or rolling.

A BJJ practitioner who’s having a hernia can do some drills and other technic trainings like others do but sometimes it will give the practitioner a discomfort and a pain. While diagnosing the hernia the medicines can lower the practitioner’s energy due to the effects of the medicines.

If the practitioner is willing to practice with a hernia, he or she can do a light Practice as for the satisfaction and keep the body in form. If the pain is increasing while training the correct thing to do is stop practicing BJJ and channel a doctor and get treatments for hernia and come back after the recovery period with full energy of the body.

For such a disease like hernia the patience need lots of rest and with the medicines for hernia the body gets weaker due to the power of medicines. In such a condition of the body a BJJ practitioner cannot do BJJ practices because BJJ need lots of energy. The practitioner should choose to get treatments for the hernia and get recover first unless it will cost from the practitioner’s life. Otherwise, the people who train with a practitioner who’s having a hernia should be careful to when rolling.

After doing the surgery for hernia the practitioner have to rest and recover the body and can start training BJJ from light training to the advanced level trainings and get into the form.

How to train BJJ while having a hernia?

Having Hernia conditions doesn’t mean that you are not eligible to engage in BJJ, but you need to be more careful when doing the practices and fighting. People used to engage in practices while having the hernia, but later on most of the people go for a surgery and they fix the issue and continue BJJ after fixing the health situation. And after that you will be able to drill and practice as a normal BJJ practitioner.

While practicing, you need to be aware of every movement and every step. You must be avoid having more pressure on your body. You can engage in every movement including rolls and drills. But if you feel pain or discomfort in your body, you have to be relaxed and reduce the amount of pressure that you are giving on your body. It is better if you can engage in smooth practices.

As an example, if you are having an umbilical hernia, you must not over stress your abdominal muscles.  You can engage in the abdominal exercises to strengthen your muscles but remember not to over stress them. Therefore, it is better to wait until you are done with your surgery and the recovery time. In the meantime, while you are with the umbilical hernia you can engage in activities like walking, swimming, light yoga and stretching.

Likewise, you have to consider the type of hernia and the body muscle that is related with your type of hernia and avoid making stress on the muscles around that place of your body. You can engage in light yoga activities light stretching and some simple exercises that do not aim at your specific muscles near the place of your particular hernia is located, until you are done with the surgery and fully recovered.

You need to take time and have some rest if you are having a hernia condition. But engage in some light practices as it helps your fights after your recovery. You can use this time to focus on your practices in a different angle and it will be an opportunity to fix your issues of practicing.


  1. Garner, E. (2022, March 30). Doing BJJ With an Umbilical Hernia – Tips To Keep Training. MMAWhisperer.
  2. How do I train in BJJ with a herniated disc? (n.d.). Quora.
  3. NHS website. (2021, November 18). Hernia. Nhs.Uk.,tummy%20(abdomen)%20or%20groin.