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  • Writer's pictureJess D

4 Times You Shouldn’t Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-jitsu is about consistency but there are times you shouldn't train. Take these tips when deciding if you should train or not

girl wearing leg cast with crutches sitting on couch. Recovering from injury

To be good at anything, you must be consistent, precise, and constantly looking to improve. The same can be said about jiu-jitsu. Every coach will tell you that you need to show up to the mats every day with a great attitude and try your best. But even with the desire to show up and be your best self on the BJJ mats, there are certain times when you shouldn’t train. It is just proper BJJ etiquette and protects you and your training partners. In this article, I will highlight the times you shouldn't train Brazilain jiu-jitsu.



1. When You’re Seriously Injured


injured knee, red knee, knee problems

There is a joke in the jiu-jitsu community where people show up to train even if their whole body is broken, just to make sure they get their training in. Although this is an exaggeration, some people will come in not listening to their doctor’s orders to rest for a while because of their injuries. I can’t stress enough: don’t train if you are seriously injured. There is no “I’ll just do one side,” or “I’ll try not to press hard here.” It is common to get hurt even when you are being careful. Sometimes, your training partners can forget, or you can forget that you are injured, especially if a roll gets heated.

I had a serious meniscus tear in my knee and tried to go back a bit earlier than what was recommended by the doctor because my knee felt better. As soon as I tried to do what I normally did, my knee started hurting again. It’s better to wait and heal instead of risking reinjuring yourself.



2. If You Have Any Rashes or Unidentified Marks

red rash on woman. potential ringworm from jiu-jitsu

I feel that in every post I’ve written, I talk about how jiu-jitsu is a close-contact sport. I do this because I want to stress how hygiene is a MAJOR factor when it comes to training with other people. Sickness and diseases can come from others when we’re not maintaining good hygiene, such as when you get rashes. Sometimes that rash you think is just a spider bite or you scratching yourself can be ringworm or a staph infection. Staph can spread like wildfire if you don’t take care of it and can have major consequences like MRSA and other diseases. Sometimes the source of the infection is unknown (it’s possible it came from the mats, another person, touching something randomly/accidentally, etc.), but if you identify it on your skin, go and get it checked out and don’t return to the mats until it’s cleared up with an antifungal cream or whatever a medical professional prescribes to you.

I had ringworm on my face a few months before writing this, and on black skin, it can be hard to recognize. Usually, on lighter skin, it shows up as a red circle with a raised outline. It’s always better to be cautious and not train if you can’t identify what it is before going to the doctor.



3. When You’ve Drunk Alcohol or Are Impaired by a Controlled Substance

drunk man, beet bottles, drink too much alcohol

Having a drink to relax or after a long day of work is the standard for many people, especially if you have a high-stress job. If this is you, then I suggest that you choose between drinking and doing jiu-jitsu for that day. First off, if you’re impaired by alcohol, you’re not as reactive with your body. This creates a dangerous situation for you, especially if your training partner is unaware that you’ve been drinking. Secondly, you act stupid when drinking, so when you’ve been drinking, you do stupid stuff. I don’t care how well you think you hold your liquor. Thirdly, your training partners can smell the alcohol on you, which makes it an uncomfortable training experience for them. You don’t need to go and train when you’ve been drinking. Go home, relax, and train the next day when you’ve sobered up.



4. When You’re Extremely Angry or Emotional


angry emoji on iPhone, meta angry face, Facebook angry face

Jiu-jitsu can bring out emotions, especially if you’ve been working hard to get to the level that you’re at. Without sounding cliché, there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into training jiu-jitsu. Sometimes, if you let those emotions get the better of you, it makes the environment terrible for everyone. If you come into the gym with terrible energy, especially angry energy, you risk hurting your training partners and going off the handle. I say this because I’ve seen it: big blowups over something that was seemingly fine, but it’s because the person had a chip on their shoulder. Just take a breather and come back the next day.




Be Responsible for Your Own Safety and the Safety of Others in BJJ and Don't Train



fist bump and oss in Brazilian jiu-jitsu


The times you shouldn’t train are times you can take to help your own strength and conditioning, healing, and relaxation. It is also time to help your teammates by not subjecting them to diseases and discomfort. Jiu-jitsu will still be there when you’ve taken your time. Just remember it’s your jiu-jitsu journey and don’t train during the times listed.




Question: When are some other times you shouldn’t train? Tell me in the comments or on my Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj

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