Avoid future injuries: Document damage and craft a plan to avoid it from happening again


Whether you live, breath and eat Jiu-jitsu or you train casually, BJJ is physically straining and energy-draining. As its practitioner, you have found that it demands a strict fitness regimen, daily exercise, mental discipline, and concentration at all times. It also requires you to have a flexible, strong, and agile body to withstand the impact and avoid injuries.

Injuries happen to everyone, from white belts all the way to world champions. Similarly, you could also incur injuries rolling, competition or even drilling if you or your partner get gung ho. 

Logging of BJJ Injuries

It is recommended that you must keep an up-to-date and accurate record of your BJJ injuries regardless of how small or serious it can be. Even your slightest and what seem to be negligible bruises and muscle pains could develop into serious injuries if left unchecked. If you have been playing BJJ for many years, you might be quick to ignore these symptoms.

You would have dismissed minor pains and scratches as injuries that can heal through time and taking minimal amounts of pain relievers. In addition, sometimes you opt to self-medicate and even hide your jiu-jitsu related injuries. Maybe you are thinking that a small pinch in the muscles and joints, knee and bones are just part of the sports.

You should understand that a simple and unattended pain could fully develop into a torn ligament. What you could assume as a superficial fracture in bone scans and x-rays may ultimately lead to major surgeries if left unchecked. Clearly ignoring these symptoms and occurrences, while practicing the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is not advisable.

If you want to continue playing without health consequences later, you must be adept in taking notice and eventually log or record your progress. One of the best ways of doing this is through the use of a personal journal or record notes.  This can be tedious but you will be grateful to it when you discover your injury in its early stage of development.

Taking Notes of Injuries

Taking notes and logging of your injuries in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a must. You may decide to create your own personalized logging forms and record notes, or you could ask for a copy from your BJJ coaches, mentors, and certified instructors. You can also use mobile applications, although some may not advise this to track your training and injury.

The practical benefits of taking notes will be most useful during your medical and health check-ups. It is also valuable in understanding your progress and your exercise regimens that need to be updated. It can also be used in deciding which health and diet structures are intended for your recovery, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Here are several advantages of taking notes of your injuries:

  • Improves your memory and attention to details. Remember that you have to take note even the slightest injury. Note-taking also promotes your active learning, boosts your comprehension and retention which are very good for memorization.

  • Helps you to learn how to prioritize your goals and well-being. It further adds to your organizational skills as you are able to select which treatment is essential to your injury. Taking down notes can help you to be organized not only in your training but also in your daily activities.

  • You can customize your own journal. If your local gym has record and journal forms, you can use them as sources of some great ideas. Or better yet, make your own – this way, you get to be creative in making your BJJ journal and can share it with others. Either way, there is more benefit in taking note of your injuries than forgetting them all.

  • Helps you focus on your schedule and routine based on your injury. Your BJJ  instructors, gym masters, and personal coaches can tailor a new training regimen for you that can focus on areas that you have not directly injured.

  • Uses the record of your injury to reassess current BJJ instructions and exercises. This would be based on your progress and healing so that your training will not be stagnated. Either way, having an updated and accurate log of your injuries could come helpful in this form of martial arts.

  • Enables you to track the treatment and healing period. This also helps doctors, medical experts and, therapist to prescribe the correct medication, rehabilitation, and treatment plan for you, as well as track your recovery status, and much-needed rest.

As rule of thumb, taking notes helps you to remember things clearly. Most long-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes and other people who engage in serious sports would agree that keeping reports and written down records of injuries always comes in handy. If this is new to you, just give it a try, this seems to be a menial task but very important.

The coaches and gym instructors could tailor their regimen, and instructions for you based on the progress report written in your injury log. They can also recommend some light exercise that may help to augment in your recovery. You just have to make sure not to overdo these exercises as it may aggravate injured areas.

Always consult your doctor or physical therapist before doing light exercise. They are in a professional capacity to provide you much-needed guidance on these matters and you could benefit from their medical and health advice. In any martial arts, there is always a risk of injury but some professionals can help you to progress in BJJ.

If you don’t find yourself so fond of writing, you may find logging of injuries too tedious and really boring. True, it takes time to write everything down, especially if you tend to dismiss these injuries as minimal and may heal in no time. Still, the benefits of having an injury log or notes outweigh the negativity and procrastination.

Tracking Your Diet for Optimal Recovery

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has become a lifestyle for those who started it as a hobby due to enthusiasm and passion. You may find that you’re one of them. If you’re a dedicated practitioner or progressing to an advanced level of expertise, you already have accepted the possible repercussions of several injuries.

BJJ injury can be physically and mentally traumatic to you. Effects can be long-lasting given the effort, discipline and stamina it demands. Doctors, medical experts, as well as health-watchers highly recommend that if you are an injured practitioner, you should also keep track of your diet regimens to monitor what you’re eating.

Tracking could be easy, preferably by using work-out diaries or similar note-taking methods. It is also recommended that you can use the exercise or training journal, or health and recovery log records for this purpose. There are also those who use several diet-history worksheets, or food diary. If you’re using a meal planner the better.

You can also use diet-history worksheets or food diaries to personally write and log your nutritional intakes, medications, and progress. You may also indicate the timeline of your injury, from the day of its occurrence, possible and identified cause, date of recovery and healing period. You may also include your findings, observations, and results of the injuries.

Another important detail you should take note is the therapy required for your specific injuries, maintenance, treatment, and rehabilitation, especially for traumatic and severe cases. All these must be noted meticulously, aside from your usual personal records such as age, height, weight and pertinent records.

Other players have downloaded similar online applications in their mobiles and gadgets, which specifically tracks their health progress, calorie counts and diet records. Although some may discourage the use of mobile health trackers and similar technologies, as it does not promote memorization and familiarization of your fitness diary.

Whatever your preference, you must actively have an up-to-date entry of their daily food intake and progress. This is especially crucial if you are on injury treatment and rehabilitation. This will guide you and your healthcare provider to adjust your diet if necessary for the fast recovery of the injured body part. He can choose food that will aid you in your healing process.

Nutrition should be your primary goal when tracking dietary intakes. It is also very necessary to watch your dietary needs if you are engaging in tournaments. Common things to consider and must be recorded in your dietary diary or record should include hydration, protein,  carbohydrates such as sugars and fiber, fats, calories, vitamins, and minerals.

Remember that each BJJ player has varied caloric needs, depending on physical activities, weight, height, age, and physiology. Hence the need to be sensible in taking notes of what should be entered in your food diary. Remember that this kind of martial art burns a lot of calories. Proper dietary intake is necessary.

What to Record and Log in Your Daily BJJ Food Diary

  • The amount of your food intake. Records could vary in measures, calorie counts, and frequency. Write down the specific amounts on your diary. Taking notes can also help you track your goals and compare your theoretical diet to your actual intake.

  • The type of food you choose for faster recovery. The more specific the description the better. Be sure to note whether the food is meat, carbohydrate, protein, sugar, fruit or vegetable. You must do this consistently and regularly to optimize good results.

  • The place where you have eaten. This information helps you to identify and take note where you have eaten a specific food, whether in your dining room, restaurant, or gym. It’s advantageous to list the place where you have eaten so you can identify the food you eat inside and outside your home

  • Your company while eating or drinking. Knowing your company is important since friends, family members, and social gathering greatly affect your self-control in whatever you eat. People around you can influence your food intake and can affect your overall recovery and nutrition.  
  • The activity that you are doing or have done before eating. It would be easy to take note if you are eating in front of a television, playing a video game, or doing light exercises. Others list that they have taken a walk, a few steps around the block, or were cleaning their rooms before eating. These activities can greatly affect your eating patterns.

  • Your mood and behavior while eating. This may seem trivial but moods may affect your habits of eating. Some jiu-jitsu practitioners find it delectable to eat after very hard sessions, while others prefer to have a small meal hours before going to the gym. Depending on your preference since BJJ exercises are very strenuous.

If you’re using an Excel format, you should create a column for each bulleted item above. Feel free to add another column if you have more information such as the time and date. You can also add remarks if you have further explanations. Then write down on each column the things you need to log.

How to Make Taking Notes Easy and Effective

Here are some tips to make taking notes easy and effective:

  • Write everything. Always keep your food diary at all times, and write everything you intake, no matter how small. Count the calories, the frequency, the measures, and the time and date. To count calories, you may use a calorie app to refer to when taking down notes. It can give the exact count by just encoding the amount of food. For example, if you encode 1 medium banana (approximately 118 grams), it will give you 105 calories.

  • Write it immediately. Memorizing what you eat after some time won’t help you. Make it a habit to take note while you’re eating or right after. You can stop for a while and write the notes quickly. It may look funny to other people seeing you log everything you eat, but to those close to you would understand and even rally and assist you with the task.

  • Be specific. Record exactly how and where you’ve eaten. Specify the kind of food such as a roasted salmon, blueberry banana smoothie, or turkey sandwich. Also, don’t forget the condiments such as gravy, salad dressing, sauce, and catsup.

  • Amounts you have taken. Although this may not be accurately measured, try to estimate the amounts of what you have eaten. You can, for example, write the size, the portions or the quantities such as two cups of rice, three-quarters chicken, or a bowl of soup. Feel free to quantify the best you can.

  • Write the truth. By the end of the day, the secret to writing a reliable food diary is honesty. Cheating on your food intake and tracking of dietary needs won’t help you at all. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a disciplined martial art, you must be committed and persistent. You’re only deluding yourself if you don’t put down everything correctly.

  • Seek advice. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, physical therapist, dietician, and gym instructors about your food regimen. They can share other dietary practices, as well as recommend eating plans for your specific needs. Remember your goal: faster recovery and healing.

Setting Achievable BJJ Goals

If you have tried BJJ for the first time, you may not realize that enjoying this unique form of martial arts also means aches, pains, and routines, and can cause mental frustrations. Maybe you have not realized that you will be doing very awkward positions, protect your vital body parts, and adapt your physicality to various challenges.

But if you learned to love this sport, you are often hooked, and always find a way to improve your performance and mental toughness. You have developed self-confidence while learning self-defense. You also realized that your body is capable of doing seemingly difficult stances, postures, and techniques.

You have decided to reevaluate your lifestyle as you actively practice, as this sport affects your confidence, self-worth, and perspective. It’s smart that you should set achievable goals on how to improve your skills, whether you’re a beginner or a professional. Among the achievable Brazilian Jiu-jitsu goals are:

  • Train more.
  • Avoid injuries.
  • Join tournaments.
  • Get in better shape.
  • Improve your jiu-jitsu.


The advantage of having training and food diaries cannot be underestimated. If you have all the information, you have something to refer and not resort to guessing and assumptions. These data give concrete proof and you, together with your coach and physician, can make a sound analysis of your injuries based on these hard facts.

Note taking is considered as one of the best tools that aim to improve your skills, mastery, and craft. Training and food planners are very beneficial for you if you are undergoing rehabilitation, treatment, and recovery from your injuries. You can have a fast recovery if the diagnosis,  treatments, and diet you receive correspond to your specific needs.

BJJ aims to help you achieve a balanced view of health, physical fitness, and wellness. It also encourages new and old players to develop a strong mental attitude, self-discipline, and strength of character. Having a log or journal of your injuries, and tracking your nutrition is one way that proves it is not just a sport, but a healthy passion.