Would you consider BJJ a low impact art?

Discussion in 'Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling' started by revfidel, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. revfidel

    revfidel White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hello,

    For those BJJ practitioners, would you consider BJJ a low impact art as oppossed to Judo (which to me seems to take a toll on you body as you age). I am now 50 and would like to begin training in a grappling system. I have a little experience with Judo (I took some lessons when I was young), but have back and ankle problems which prevent me from taking it again. From what I have seen, BJJ might be something I can practice as it seems to be lower impact than Judo. I would appreciate any comments, especially those students around my age.

    Thanx, Revfidel
     
  2. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    844
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    There is plenty of impact in BJJ.
    Sean
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,643
    Likes Received:
    2,765
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Covington, WA
    I don't know how bad your back is, but mine is pretty jacked. I have a herniated L5 that is very gimpy. When it gets inflamed, it creates a very painful cascade of issues that keeps me from even being able to drive for about a week.

    I don't know what your specific physical limitations are, but most people who watch themselves on takedowns, know their limits and are smart about their training do just fine. Finding a good school where there isn't a lot of ego or machismo and you should be okay.

    It IS a contact sport but the nature of sparring on the mat is that if you feel you're in trouble, you tap and reset.
     
  4. revfidel

    revfidel White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanx for your responses. SteveBBJ, my back is not as bad as yours, but if you can roll with your condition, I will probably be OK as long as I know my limitations. I am amazed at the dedication of people such as yourself to keep working out regardless of your injuries. I will speak to the instructor before starting.
     
  5. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    27,744
    Likes Received:
    1,515
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    BJJ is great and does not have near as heavy an impact nature as Judo but..... it is hard on the joints when trained with intensity. ;)
     
  6. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    san diego
    Lol...definately not a low impact art unless you are doing a class without free training.
     
  7. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,228
    Likes Received:
    5,801
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I disagree. I find good BJJ a less impact art than Judo and most good striking arts.
     
  8. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    san diego
    then you either don't do bjj or only do the non rolling classes(which means you have technique but can't use it). In REAL bjj we roll every class. In the last 9 years that I have done bjj I have received more injuries than in 30 yeard of wtf tkd. 3 dislocated fingers, 2 broken toes, a partially torn labrum, 2 concussions, an avulsion fracture of the semitendonosis muscle(hamstring), a "popped" elbow or two and I can not count how many times I have been slammed on a takedown. I admit that now it is easier to controlthe lower ranks and it is more of a chess match(as a brown belt) but I would never call bjj low impact.
     
  9. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,425
    Likes Received:
    322
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Compared to judo, where the major focus is on throws, BJJ is has less impact. That does not make it a fluffly bunny art. Of course, I'm 50 and started judo a few years ago, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
     
  10. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    san diego
    agreed. Less takedowns=less slamming. However being frogged out(facedown, opp has hooks and is flattening you) by a 230 pound marine who is 15 years younger can cause even more damage. A popular position called "knee on stomach" has caused more ribcage/sternum/bowel injuries than I can count.
     
  11. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,228
    Likes Received:
    5,801
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I don't do BJJ as much as I used to, but I don't do anything as much as I used to :) I'm over sixty and been actively practicing, full time, for over forty years. My main instructors in BJJ were Rickson Gracie, his first Black Belt Romolo Barros and a little with Relson Gracie. But my main focus was in striking arts, primarily Karate, boxing and kickboxing. I've spent more time rolling in BJJ and more time sparring in stand up than I can possibly remember. I competed for over twenty years in every damn thing, including BJJ tournaments. Hell, I've LOST more matches than a lot of folks have even watched.
    But if I had to do it over again from the git go, I'm make BJJ my primary style. Yes, I've been slammed and broken in Jits, but in the long run - which is the ONLY thing someone my age looks at, BJJ is far gentler on the body and most important, your SKILLS are retained longer at a high level.

    As for "non rolling" classes, I've never seen or been in a non rolling class, in fact I've never heard of one before, so I have no idea how to comment on that.
    Pardon me now while I go harumph and grumble. :)
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,643
    Likes Received:
    2,765
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Covington, WA
    I'd agree with Buka. While my little toes look like tiny vienna sausages, and my right ear is a little puffier than it once was, I've trained largely injury free for going on 6 years now. My back issues are chronic and recurring, but I'm 100% confident that the fitness and core strength I have from jits helps more than it hurts.

    It's true that injuries do happen. I've waited too long to tap on key locks and popped my elbow, but that's never kept me out of class for more than a couple of days.

    In my somewhat limited experience, the knees are the most vulnerable thing in Jiu Jitsu. In training, I've seen one serious ankle injury. I've seen several knee injuries. Have to watch the knees. Sometimes, in the tangle, guys start torquing around. Usually, from what I've seen, injuries tend occur TO upper belts, usually when a new guy is spazzing out and the upper belt is trying to protect him from himself.
     
  13. Gentle Fist

    Gentle Fist Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    As stated above BJJ has far less impact than Judo but then again so does every other martial art.... Is there a martial art with the same or more impact than judo? Sombo/sambo maybe?
     
  14. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    san diego
    Impact is not just getting slammed on the mat. Boxing is a high impact martial art as is real TKD (the non watered down Olympic style which allows KO's), Kyokushin Karate and Muay Thai.
     
  15. legattacks

    legattacks White Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I would not consider it a low impact art. Although you can train at a low impact level with some good partners. The problem with always training that way is you lose out on one of the greatest benefits you get from grappling arts, which the ability to go full force. This prepares you for real combat.
     
  16. jthomas1600

    jthomas1600 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    S E Texas
    The thing that's great about BJJ is that you can always tap. I've visited quite a few gyms and my experience is that most bjj guys are extremely conscientious and not wanting to injure their training partners. I've been on the mat with guys nursing a sore back and I just ask what position they'd like to start in and what they want to work on and then roll accordingly. I've known guys coming in off a knee injury and every body in class is careful not to re-injure the knee. If you get put in a position that you feel might aggravate your back just tap.
     
  17. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,374
    Likes Received:
    3,857
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    BJJ is easier on the body than judo, but rougher than a lot of other arts.

    I will say that the way that you roll can make a huge difference in how much abuse your body takes in BJJ. If you keep it playful and relaxed, tap early and often, and focus on learning rather than winning, then you should be able to stay relatively injury free. In my opinion, most injuries in BJJ stem from ego and competitiveness.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. StreetReady

    StreetReady Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    United States
    As someone who's trained in BJJ and have competed, I wouldn't call the sportive version of BJJ low impact. Live sparring or 'rolling' is tough on the body, and competitors are typically athletic people. From a training viewpoint, I personally like the way the Gracie Academy from Torrence, CA trains. They don't allow white belts to 'spar' until they achieved their blue belt. This allows their students to develop their techniques correctly before they begin using them at 100%.

    A big issue with a lot of BJJ schools is that they only focus on the sportive side of grappling, and don't concentrate much on self defense bjj.

    You can train low impact by drilling techniques over and over and do some slow sparring. Good luck and train hard!.
     
  19. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    13,887
    Likes Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Hawaii
    What the use of "having a technique" if you can't pull it off because your body is shot? What you describe isn't healthy, my friend. I'm sure it's fun, but those injuries will take a toll as you age. IMO, BJJ at a non-competitive level doesn't have to tear up the body. I can spar everyday, every class with BJJ and I've had to take breaks with other arts to let my body recover. The most serious injury I've had while rolling is a popped elbow. I think it probably dislocated and snapped back into place. Basically, I didn't tap. I thought I could get out of the hold and the armbar wasn't as loose as I thought. ;)
     
  20. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,930
    Likes Received:
    2,137
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'd like to revisit this topic and get a bit of advice. I've been considering getting into BJJ with my 16 year old son at a family oriented club with good credentials. It be a great complement to my other MA experience in WC and Escrima. And maybe it would get my kid off the dang videogames. But my friends tell me I'm crazy. I'm 59 and have some joint issues including limited movement in my ankles and knees as well as herneated/bulging discs in my back (L-5, S-1).

    The back pain and sciatica comes and goes these days, but after repeated injuries and surgeries, my knees won't bend enough for me to squat down and sit on my heels, much less go into full seiza posture, and they always ache some if I bother to pay attention.

    In other words I can probably about do this (without the support shown):

    [​IMG]


    But there's no way I can do this (or hunker-down and sit on one heel like I've seen people do in many BJJ techniques) :

    [​IMG]

    In spite of these issues I can still work my Escrima and WC effecively. I just try to be careful.

    So could I also try BJJ and get anything meaningful and functional out of it, or is it strictly and art for athletic youngsters under 50???
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
best low impact martial arts
,
is bjj bad for your knees
,

is bjj low impact

,
low impact sports bjj
,
non impact martial arts
,
seiza bjj