Sunday, July 31, 2011

Advice for Beginners in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Training with Hurt Fingers and Toes

It's pretty common for people who practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to jam or sprain--or even break--fingers and toes. Most of us don't stop training when we injure these small joints, but they hurt like a beast and can really impede your ability to grip and post.

So far in the two years since I started BJJ, I have broken one toe and two fingers. All of them were minor enough that I could continue training, but they were really a pain in the butt.

As with everything, you know your own body and know how badly it is injured. Fingers and toes are small, but if they're injured seriously and not treated, those injuries can lead to bigger problems down the road that require surgery. Still, most of the finger and toe injuries I've seen--and unfortunately experienced--are minor and can be worked around.

If you do decide to keep training through a finger or toe injury, there are things you can do to help prevent further injury. First and foremost, consider taking just a few days off to ice it and rest it. I never follow the resting part of that advice, but wiser people do. ;)

Another option is to not use the hand with the hurt finger while you are grappling. At our school, it is fairly common to for people who have hurt a finger or something to tuck the offending arm into their belt and grapple one-armed. It is actually a cool experience because you have to move differently, be much more focused on keeping your base because you have one less post and learn to use your head more to grip the person's body and limbs.

If you feel like you can't stand not to use that hand, you can also tape your fingers--or toes if that is the injury--to give them extra support. I saw this video on taping up fingers on the Women Representing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu page on Facebook and thought it would be helpful.


HomeImprovementNinja said...

i broke a finger and 3 toes, but not at the same time :P But yeah, it sux.

i kept training with the bad toes, but not the bad finger. A teammate of mine who broke his finger came up with another option that you haven't mentioned: he trained with a boxing bag glove on one hand. it kept him from trying to grab stuff and cushioned it, but still allowed him to do stuff like push away and get underhooks.

Georgette said...

I just plowed my big toe into the mat, straight on, yesterday. It hurts like a beeyatch! I can hardly walk. :(

Liam H Wandi said...

sorruy to hear about all these injuries. I hurt my fingers and knuckles back in my Karate days. Thankfully, BJJ has been kind to me.

Thanks for the video though! Excellent tips.

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