3 reasons you should show up with an Injury

harlie-raethel-516092-unsplashWe know injuries are inevitable, and are usually perceived as a huge bummer when time is needed off from live rolling. But with every injury is opportunity, and continuing to show up to class is key to capitalizing on them.

1) We learn from watching, and everyone is at least somewhat of a visual learner, even if you’re dominantly more audible or hands-on. It’s an opportunity to analyze the jiujitsu of others, without the urgency of direct interaction with a live training partner. We are usually caught up in the trees of problem solving with our current partners when rolling, so this presents a great opportunity to zoom out and watch the forest for a change.

2) We maintain the emotional connection with your training partners, and help them along their journey, which also helps you along your’s. It shows you’re part of the team, wounded but still on the front line. It can motivate your training partners to train with greater purpose, knowing you wish you could be out there with them. For me, it always showed me that nothing will stop me from training, from showing up, and that my injury is an opportunity to show my resilience in the face of whatever gets in my way along my path.

3) We reinforce your hard earned habit of showing up. This is the most important component of your training, the way you’ve rearranged your life to consistently make time to train, not “finding time” but “making time” . For most of us it takes a decent juggling act and commitment to make it work to get to class each week, and to develop the balance in the other areas of our life. Showing up to class strengthens your current schedule pattern, and helps prevent the weeds of undesired time killers from filling the unintended vacuum.

If you can’t be on the mats, be near the mats.

Published by: JonFriedland

Jon Friedland here, finally putting some of my thoughts to type. I've been training well over 23 years, receiving my black belt in 2007. I’m a 16-year dojo owner and head instructor of Brazilian Jiujitsu. Started training Jiujitsu casually in early 1995, formally in 1997. Teaching BJJ since 2000, i received my black belt in 2007, opened my academy, Neutral Ground, in 2005, am the head instructor, and am currently a 3rd degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer. i can be reached at jon@wisconsinbjj.com

Categories Uncategorized3 Comments

3 thoughts on “3 reasons you should show up with an Injury”

  1. Thanks for reinforcing this.

    There’s always the fear that I’ll undo ingrained habits if I don’t come in when I’m sick/injured. I dunno, that fear seems like an unhealthy motivator, but I’m finding that Jiu Jitsu is exposing my fear as driving force.

    This seems wrong to me, especially when contrasted with your perspective and approach.

    Learning, watching, maintaining the emotional connection were automatic for me. But it seems like, for you, reinforcing established habits comes from a place of mindfulness versus my approach which seems to come from fear.

    How do I make the mental switch from where I am to where you are?

    Where should I focus my attention first?

    Thanks again.


    1. Great feadback hooktowin! I think your fear of undoing your positive habits is a great motivator too, no one wants weeds creeping into their garden for lack of maintenance.
      But to think of it less as pulling the weeds and more as protecting the veggies, the same direction of motivation (away from habit “undoing” vs towards positive habit maintenance) can feel more rewarding.
      Hope that makes sense, same direction, but different motivators. And a healthy balance of fear of losing and reward of gaining/maintaining might be a good start!


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