BJJ / Grappling Injury Avoidance and Longevity: Interview with Professor Adem Redzovic

Injury in BJJ and grappling is a terrible thing. No one enjoys tweaking a knee or having a herniated disc so when Gracie Barra black belt and instructor at the first American Gracie Barra academy, Professor Adem Redzovic talks about longevity and his top three tips to avoiding injury*, I knew I had to share this with you all:

1. Understand rehab and that kind of resistance training. Adem highlighted that while many Brazilian jiu jitsu players understand the importance of supplementary strength and conditioning training to improve their on the mat grappling performance, far too much of it is focused on heavy lifting, leaving much to be learnt from the way physiotherapists teach strength exercises to athletes during rehab from grappling injuries**. This is something I've gravitated towards over the past 2 years (strengthening the core, spine erectors and other small muscles and trying to bring the body into balance and symmetry (right and left, upper and lower, extensors and flexors...etc.)

2. Treat your jiu jitsu journey as a marathon and not a sprint. Royler Gracie black belt and my friend Mr Eddie Kone once said: "I don't know about you but I would rather learn for an hour than fight for 4-5 minutes!" And I always carry those words with me. Adem put it this way: "the worst place to be is collecting dust on the bench with an injury". Hear hear!

3. Instructors and team mates: Create a family atmosphere: look after each other and don't take risks with wild horses at your gym (that one made me chuckle because every gym has them and we all know who they are. If you don’t, chances are it’s you!). Take responsibility for your health and if you don’t want to roll with someone, then don’t it’s ok! Don’t grapple with them, get hurt and then limp off the mat with a sour face going all “I-Accuse”.

Also, why not gently and politely bring to your instructor’s attention that when you roll with person x, they train way too hard for you to learn anything and you feel at risk of injury. If nothing else, this will highlight to her that maybe a chat with person x is in order. Treat your BJJ gym members as a family and everyone will benefit.

If you enjoyed this, check out the full interview on Martial Arts Weekly (see below) and also this blog post on White Collar BJJ.


*It’s a brilliant martial arts interview on Martial Arts Weekly: You can also read an interview with Adem on On The Mat here.

**I’m obviously no expert, but Rosi Sexton is! Read her fantastic blogs and for many gems on the subject of rehab and prehab.


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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The BJJ Dummy said...

something tells me the wild horse at our gum might just be me....

The Part Time Grappler said...

Hahaha I doubt it dude :D