I’m not going to pretend that injuries don’t suck. They do.
There have been many great athletic careers cut short by injury. Many people who would otherwise have been great have had their dreams derailed when a bone went ‘crack’ or a ligament went ‘snap’ and then never quite recovered.
The typical reaction of the BJJ addict when they get injured is, ‘Oh no, now I can’t train.‘ (more…)
The most dangerous situation in BJJ is training with an absolute novice.
I’m serious! Someone who has never trained before is often unpredictable, jerky, and just doesn’t know the rules of the game yet.
All that thrashing around, lack of control, as well as potential ego issues means that there’s a pretty high likelihood of something going wrong. Either that dude planting an elbow in your eye, or not him tapping out when he’s in a Kimura, or doing something else stupid. (more…)
There’s a good reason that the extremely effective throw Kani Basami has been banned in all Judo and most BJJ competitions: it’s super dangerous!
Kani Basami has inflicted severe lower body injuries in dojos and competitions all over the world. I myself used it extensively until I was sparring with a wrestler, misjudged the distances, and landed on his ankle severely twisting it. He was out of commission for months recovering from that injury. (more…)
Last week I published my contentious, ‘Does MMA Make You Stupid‘ article. Since then there have been a few more developments on the concussion controversy, so I figured it was worth sharing the updates so as to keep you in the loop.
UPDATE 1: STEPHAN KESTING ON THE NHB NEWS PODCAST
Over the weekend I was contacted by Eddie Goldman, the Godfather of MMA, from the NHB News website and podcast. (more…)
MMA has been my guilty pleasure for a long time.
On the one hand, I’m a huge fan. I’ve been watching the UFC since its inauguration in 1993, and have enjoyed fights in Pride FC, Shooto, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and many other organisations. I have good friends who are professional fighters, and have helped them prepare for their fights. And I have nothing but respect for the skill, athleticism and mental toughness of the modern MMA fighter.
This article and video are about how to train and continue to make progress in BJJ when you’re dealing with an arm injury.
Now I hope that you go through your entire BJJ career without ever suffering a single injury. But this is a contact sport, and therefore you’re probably going to get a little banged up from time to time. (more…)
Hip and leg flexibility is a huge asset in grappling, especially when it comes to not letting your opponent pass your guard, for launching sneaky sweeps and submissions from the guard position, and for weaseling your way out of tight pins.
Plus if you’re training in MMA, Muay Thai, Karate, Kickboxing, or any other martial art that involves kicking then flexibility will obviously help you out there as well. (more…)
There’s almost nothing worse than a painful back. Unlike other body parts, an injury to your back comes to define your entire life.
If your arm is strained, or you’ve twisted your knee, or if you’ve tweaked your shoulder, then usually you can find a way to get through your day without aggravating your injury too much. But a sore back finds a way to haunt you every second of every day. (more…)
There’s no getting around it, all contact sports are inherently dangerous. And it’s hard to have more contact in a sport than in MMA.
Now it’s true that MMA might not be the most dangerous contact sport – that dubious title could arguably go to boxing or pro football – but in the past few years there have still been been some very, very serious injuries in MMA related to takedowns… (more…)
A lot of grapplers have creaky joints, and tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are just two of the most common overtraining injuries you’re likely to encounter at the club. Here’s one grappler’s solution to his grappling-induced elbow problems. (more…)
Here’s a reader question that turned into quite the 3-way discussion….
Q: Hi Stephan, I twisted my foot badly around 18 months ago. I tore a load of ligaments and was out of action for a bit. (more…)
In the not-so-distant past weight training was discouraged for martial artists. “It will make you slow”, “it will make you muscle-bound”, and “all you need is technique” were common opinions from the ‘experts’. (more…)
Stephan’s Note: The following FAQ was first published on the mma.tv forum by ‘The Stewed Owl.’ I thought it was so valuable that I contacted the author and asked him if I could republish it on Grapplearts. He kindly agreed, so here it is!
This FAQ is a work in progress, since the topic of ACL injuries comes up so often. I will refine it and add links when I have time, including the posted experiences of other MMA.TV members such as eabeam and tyrian. (more…)
Although the sport and art of grappling is currently mostly a male activity, many female readers have commented on how important it is for women to learn to grapple (see Why Should Women Grapple?). In this article Liz Bader, an active mixed martial art competitor and instructor, explains what women should be aware of before they step onto the mat for the first time. (more…)
UFC 140 last Saturday night was one of the best MMA shows in recent memory.
There were lots of exciting matchups, but THE fight of the night was the much-anticipated rematch between heavyweights Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir. (more…)
Some grapplers think that cauliflower ears are a status symbol.
Others think that it’s gross.
Some people can train for 20 years and still have perfectly shaped ears.
Others need to wear headgear all the time or their ears start getting lumpier and lumpier.
About 10 years ago I was talking to a pioneer of early MMA. This fighter trained all the time, even between fights.
But whenever he had a fight coming up he’d go absolutely mental and grind himself down into an exhausted mess. (more…)
Erik Paulson is an MMA Master Coach. He’s trained tons of fighters competing at the highest levels of Mixed Martial Arts. And he held the Shooto light-heavyweight title in Japan for 5 years.
He’s also my friend and a mentor. (more…)
A bunch of people have recently emailed me, basically asking if I’m still alive. I haven’t been sending out my normal volume of grappling tips and beginner lessons recently, and they want to know why! (more…)
The first time I saw someone choked unconscious it scared the crap out of me. And it was made worse by the fact that it was a friend of mine…
It was many years ago at a local tournament. My friend was winning his match but got caught in a sneaky gi choke. (more…)
Yesterday I was training my side mount escapes. My partner and I repeatedly started with me pinned, and then we worked until I got out or until someone tapped.
A few weeks ago I wrote about getting an inguinal hernia on New Year’s Day and my subsequent surgery.
(For those of you who don’t know, this type of hernia is when your intestines start protruding through a weakness or tear in your abdominal wall and show up as a bulge on the outside of your belly. (more…)
Coming back to training after a layoff is a tricky thing. There is a real danger that you jump back into full intensity training and re-injure yourself right off the bat (especially if you’ve been gone for a while and/or are coming back from an injury). (more…)
Here’s a question I received recently:
Q: “I’m 56 years old and in pretty good health except for a few old injuries. My question is whether it is it too late for me to start training in grappling without wrecking my body too badly? (I’m not interested in competition).” (more…)