Rener Gracie, co-creator of Gracie University, and a member of the legendary family that Gracie Barra Santa Barbara is named after, said that “he who manages the distance, manages the damage.”

Most upper-level Jiu-Jitsu students says that jiu-jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint. And we agree, which is why we encourage all our members — from children to adults — to take care of their bodies. We hope that martial arts becomes an integral part of your life and that you continue to train well into your 60’s or 70’s. In order to go the distance, you need to learn to listen to your body and prevent injuries.

Today in the blog, we’re going to discuss a few of the best ways to prevent injuries so you can keep rolling and get even stronger!

Leave your ego at home

When you walk through the doors of our studio, you’re entering a community. One of the unique things about training Jiu-Jitsu as opposed to other forms of martial arts is that you practice with people of all levels. We love when a white belt learns something new from a blue belt. Or a brown belt is surprised by a new move that a yellow belt pulls off. Mixing levels and training partners means that you have to leave your ego behind and be okay with ending up in a choke hold more often than not. There’s no shame in tapping out — it’s part of the learning process! In fact, pushing too hard trying to escape a submission means risking injuring.

Technique, technique, technique

Most injuries that occur on the mat will be acute, or sudden, injuries. These include sprains or strains. There’s a reason that we spend hours practicing techniques like escaping guard control or cross collar chokes. Even something as seemingly simple as falling is something anyone — no matter their rank — should be practicing regularly!

Proper technique teaches us to move in a controlled manner instead of using brute force. Jiu-Jitsu is a technical sport, and keeping that in mind is one of the best ways to prevent injuring yourself.

Stretch before and after

Stretching is pretty self-explanatory for any physical activity, but you’d be surprised at how often it’s neglected. Breaking a sweat while warming up and leaving time for a real cooldown is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Remember, a tight muscle is more likely to be injured than a warm, well-stretched muscle.

Strength train

Rolling, even on protective mats, leads to bumps and bruises. Especially if you haven’t developed the muscle tone yet to give you that cushion between bones and the mat. Do your best to incorporate two or three strength training sessions a week outside the gym. They don’t need to be long — twenty minutes will do it — but it makes a big difference in preventing deep bruising.

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jui-Jitsu In Santa Barbara

The main martial arts in our studio are Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing. All our classes are taught by trained professionals who will watch closely and ensure that you’re using the correct techniques and form! Our gym is a clean, safe, and friendly environment. Come train with us today!