Is Learning Jiu Jitsu Dangerous?

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a grappling martial art that teaches one how to defend themselves using your body and defeat your size or a larger opponent. But is learning jiu jitsu dangerous in fact?

BJJ is a relatively safe sport and is not likely to result in injury if practiced with proper technique. It is not a dangerous activity as it requires you to use techniques in order to win.

And proper utilization of jiu jitsu techniques is the opposite of chaos which harms most. In fact, this rule can be applied to most martial arts.

The questions on the Internet like “Why is Brazilian jiu jitsu so dangerous?” have encouraged me to talk about this topic more detailed.

Why BJJ is seen as a dangerous sport?

As with any physical activity, BJJ can be dangerous.

However, the risks that come with BJJ are not as bad as other sports, and many times people are unaware of their risks because they have not experienced them or due to the lack of regulation in the industry.

The most common injuries in this sport are muscle strains and joint injuries. It happens because you have to apply a lot of pressure on your body in order to put somebody on the ground.

It is important to understand that injuries do happen and it is important for people who do this sport to be aware of these risks because it will help keep them safe.

Is BJJ safe?
Is BJJ safe?

Are injuries common in BJJ?

How to protect yourself from injury in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and are injuries inevitable in BJJ?

Yes, there are injuries in jiu jitsu.

BJJ is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting and grappling. As with any other sport, there are many ways to get injured. It’s important to know how to prevent injury and what should you do in case you hurt yourself for a maximum chance of recovery.

There are some basic principles of training that every athlete should follow in order to avoid injuries. These generally include warming up before each practice, not overtraining, and following a list of rules for equipment usage, so that you can continue to enjoy this exciting martial art.

Wear suitable uniform

Be sure to wear appropriate attire for training – rash guard, spats, gi – and make sure they fit snugly against the skin so that there are no loose folds that could get caught during grappling or rolling on the ground.

The list goes on from there with other small tips as well as some bigger ones like taking care of your skin and hygiene after training. The last one is not about injuries, but very important to care of.

Are there a lot of injuries in jiu jitsu?

According to the ‘Assessment of Injuries During Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competition‘ study published in 2014, Brazilian jiu jitsu is one of the safest full-contact martial arts for practitioners. It has a relatively low rate of injury.

For example, BJJ has only 9.2 injuries per 1000 match participants, which is lower than mixed martial arts at 236-286 per 1000, boxing at 210-420 per 1000, judo (25.3-130.6), and taekwondo (20.5-139.5).

The Jiu-jitsu injury statistics

Jiu jitsu injury statistics
Is BJJ Dangerous? Jiu jitsu injury statistics; image snapshot from

Brazilian jiu-jitsu moves look a lot like wrestling. The few most common jiu jitsu injuries that arise would usually affect the joints and not the head. BJJ can lead to common injuries such as ACL tears, rotator cuff tears, and spinal disc hernias.

Injuries such as a torn ACL may be repairable via surgery and are often long-term injuries, thereby requiring an extended recovery period before the athlete can safely return to practicing jiu-jitsu.

Can you wear a cup in BJJ?

The MMA cup protection or groin protector can help prevent some combat fighting injuries. But at the same time in BJJ, the cup can create additional injuries. Why and can you wear a cup in BJJ?

You are not allowed to wear a cup in BJJ tournaments like IBJJF. It’s illegal by official rules. Due to the specific tight and ground manner of fight and techniques, the cup may cause serious damage to the opponent and rolling partner.

You are allowed to wear a protection cup in your regular jiu jitsu classes, but from my experience, I don’t remember someone wearing cups. Unless it’s an athlete from other grappling martial arts, where using cups is a usual thing to avoid groin injuries.

can you wear a cup in bjj
Can you wear a cup in BJJ? Screenshot from Google Images

Can you wear a cup in IBJJF?

8.3.7 Use of any foot gear, headgear, hair pins, jewelry, cups (genital protectors), or any other protector fashioned of hard material that may cause harm to an opponent or the athlete him/herself is forbidden. Also forbidden is the
use of eyes protectors, even if they are made for sports practices.

IBJJF Rule Book

Is BJJ bad for your body?

Or is jiu jitsu good for you?

BJJ is not bad for your body – in fact, it can be beneficial to your health.

Some people believe that BJJ is bad for your body but this is only if you do not know what you are doing. If you are working with a coach who knows what they are doing then there are no risks of injury.

The moves and techniques in BJJ focus the load on muscles in smaller parts of the body rather than on one muscle group, making them more resistant to injury. This also increases the range of motion which can make it easier to move around later on in life.

Yes, BJJ is grappling

Many people think that because BJJ can involve a lot of grappling (and sometimes even takedowns) this will hurt your body more than other sports, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be true.

It is not uncommon for people to worry about the potential risks of BJJ.

The best thing that anyone can do is to talk with their instructor about what kinds of risks exist in BJJ before starting. Most instructors will be happy to answer any questions that students have about the sport, its demands, and how injuries happen.

Best age to start BJJ or Is 40 too late to start BJJ?

The age-old question, can you start BJJ at 40? Or 38, or 30, or 50. etc.

No. Starting jiu jitsu at 40 is not too late. It can be late not to start jiu jitsu at all.

The question is not about what age you are, but about your physical condition. People who are 40 could still be good at BJJ, it all depends on how they feel physically. If you are recovering from injury or you have severe arthritis for example, then it is probably best to stop doing BJJ until your condition recovers.

For your confidence check one of the best BJJ YouTube channels BJJ AfterForty.

With more research being done, the age limit for BJJ continues to be pushed back. The medical community is beginning to find that there are benefits to working out at a later age.

Or just check this video, how two 70-year-old women doing Jiu-Jitsu

The best conclusion to this article

Since it is increasingly becoming clear that there are still many benefits of working out at 40 years old, it seems that the age limit for BJJ could continue to be pushed back in the future.

In my opinion, and I believe not only mine, but the best way to understand is learning jiu jitsu dangerous or not is to try BJJ and answer the questions by yourself. You can read tons of articles and watch all martial arts YouTube channels. But in the end, you will need to make real steps.

Check other BJJ news and articles about Brazilian jiu jitsu fighters and MMA athletes.

Enable registration in settings - general