The dark side of BJJ

The dark side of BJJ

Is there anything you wish you knew before you started training? Would knowing it have stopped you? Here are the 3 things nobody tells you about BJJ. 

1. Your immune system will be struggling 

Are a few sneezes of a stranger on the tube enough to keep you in bed for the whole week? If you’re training 4 or more times a week then it’s not really a surprise. High volume of training puts a strain on your immune system and if you’re a BJJ regular you’ve probably experienced this, especially in the winter months. 

Clichés about one ill student getting all the other teammates sick, unfortunately have a firm foundation in reality. This of course makes catching lovely skin infections easier too. While BJJ benefits your body and health in many ways, this is one of the downsides. 

There are ways to mitigate this, but I miss the days when getting sick was a rare rather than a regular occurrence.

2. You’ll be injured much of the time

For a very long time, I used to think that constant small and big injuries were something abnormal. I thought that there was something wrong with my body or with what I was doing. 

But the truth is that most people in BJJ are suffering from some kind of big or small injury at all times. Whether it’s an ankle that always starts hurting after a tough session, a joint injury that gets better, but never fully heals or a toe that doesn’t fully bend anymore – there is always something. And apart from these small, annoying things, there are the of course the occasional big injuries (like, how many people have already pulled out of ADCC this year?). 

If there’s a way around it I haven’t heard of it yet. Has that ever stopped anyone though?

3. You’ll get addicted 

To being a part of the community, to the constant learning, to the physical benefits, to the adrenaline of competing and to the satisfaction from knowing that you’re always getting better. This seems to be said as a joke, but if it were, would we be training with ligament tears? Once you’re hooked BJJ classes are just too good to be skipped even if you know better. 


What do you think about these? Do you agree or it this just justifying my destructive addiction to jiu jitsu by calling these things ‘common’? 😀 

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