Jiu-jitsu is safe, according to new UP Diliman research

Good news, grapplers: Jiu-jitsu is safe with a low risk for serious injury.

That’s according to new research from Wisdom Valleser, an Assistant Professor at the College of Human Kinetics at the University of the Philippines- Diliman. In his recent academic paper entitled Common Injuries of Recreational Jiu-jitsu, 35 Filipino male participants (ages 18-19) were observed over a 16-week period. During this period, they participated in 32 twice-a-week, 1-hour no-gi Jiu-jitsu sessions.

At the end of the study, Valleser found that there was a 77% incident of injury among participants, with those injured having an average of 3.9 injuries each. However, none of those injuries were very serious. In fact, 52% of them were mere abrasions (friction burns on the skin) as a results of “brushing against the padded floor.”

Other injuries included Wounds/Cuts (15%), Strain (12%), Inflammation (9%), Contusion (8%), and Sprain (4%).

Abrasions were most common in the feet, while wounds and cuts were most common in the hands. Strains, meanwhile, were prevalent in the neck and shoulders. You can find more details on frequency of the injuries here.

Valleser’s research concluded:

The researcher thus concludes that the recreational practice of Jiu Jitsu is generally safe with an inherent risk for minor injuries that can be further managed with good coaching and personal protective equipment. Instructors and practitioners alike should thus be aware of these risks and take precautionary measures to further minimize the probability of injury.

For more details on possible risks and precautions for Jiu-Jitsu training, and to download Valleser’s academic paper, click here.

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DojoDrifter.com. You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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