Statistics show that in the United States, about 3.71 million people above the age of six participate in tai chi. Martial arts is fast becoming a popular sport, but if you are thinking of training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you have to make sure that you avoid getting injured.

Given that it’s a contact sport, they’ll always be the possibility of injuries, but there are precautions you can take to minimize them. If you’ve just started practicing in martial arts, here are some of the things you should know to avoid getting hurt.

1. Warm-Up and Stretch Properly

Stretching and warming up are exercises that any Jiu Jitsu enthusiast should keep in mind. If you have to roll on the mat, you should have functional movement to allow your body stretch. Scooting, rolling, shrimping, and other movements are essential if you are to avoid injury during training.

After a BJJ class, you have to stretch while your body is at its warmest as it helps fight sores and tight muscles. You also get to improve your range of motion that helps in learning this self-defense technique.

2. Keep Your Ego In-Check

With BJJ, you need to keep your ego in check. When starting, accept that you are a beginner so that you can learn valuable skills. The beauty of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that you don’t have to get hurt yourself to train effectively. That’s why there’s a tap, to give you another chance.

It’s also vital that you trust your training partner. If you feel that you may get injured rolling with a guy, you don’t have to. You don’t have to be ashamed of being cornered into a position where there is no escape; it’s a stage everyone has to pass during the learning process.

3. Carefully Select Your Opponent

If you’re enrolling in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for beginners, you have to select your opponent carefully. But why? Because the people you choose to roll with determine how you feel that day. If you’ve had a terrible day at work and your focus is a little off, you should consider rolling with a higher belt.

While this can be counter-intuitive, they won’t do anything dangerous. Again, they have better control, and this guarantees your safety. This is way better than settling for a 200lbs white belt that has started rolling. There are days you can comfortably handle such a guy, but you should be aware of how you’re feeling for your safety.

4. Strength Train

Different studies have shown that strength training can help to prevent injuries in BJJ. Your bones become dense, your joints more stable, and your body becomes resilient to debilitating setbacks and injuries. It’s best that you use the right techniques and never try to lift beyond your capabilities. Never try going too fast, but try building up yourself over time.

Going for two to three sessions a week is perfect for you to build strength and prevent any injuries without overtraining.

It’s also wise to develop your postural muscles and small stabilizer at the gym. Although they may not be glamorous, your efforts will pay in combating damage and preventing damages that you encounter on the mat.

5. Don’t Forget to Use a Tape

Taking time to buy a tape to prevent and protect any injuries you may have can make a huge difference in BJJ. The right taping can help strained fingers, ankles, wrists, and other common injuries in the sport. It may even prevent further injuries by helping heal any problems you may have quickly.

You need to have a roll in your bag at all times, as it’s imprudent to be in a Jiu Jitsu class without one.

6. Stay Focused

Every time you’re drilling, you have to stay focused on what you’re doing. If at some point your mind wanders or you’re looking at the mat watching someone else, you’re bound to get caught by surprise. It’s the surprise element that is the major cause of many injuries in BJJ.

Your goal should be to train for a long time and enjoy the sport. But you’ve to play smart. By observing some of these tips to avoid injuries, you will manage to stay on the mats for many years.