Question: “I am a white belt in my school. Due to a shoulder injury, I have not been able to train at all.
My question is: With my injury, should I still go watch and learn knowing I cant get on the mat for 6 months?”
Jiu-jitsu Times: This is a great question!
Sorry to hear that you have an enforced layoff from training. I understand how frustrating it feels!
I was in a similar situation when I suffered a spinal injury. The rehab specialist prohibited me from doing ANY jiu-jitsu for 3 full months.
That was an eternity!
My instructor called me to see how I was and I reported that I was very depressed and frustrated about not being able to do jiu-jitsu.
He recommended that I show up to watch classes so that I could still learn. I would also feel better being around my friends at the academy.
I showed up to class with my Bjj notebook and literally followed him around the mat and took notes as he corrected the students’ techniques.
The real eye opener was how many details I discovered about the Kimura from side control!
When he demonstrated the Kimura in front of the class, he showed 6 details. But as he made his way around the room correcting the students drilling, he made another 6 corrections to various students.
I now had 12 details on the Kimura from side control. I got it all in my little notebook!
It shaped my attention to detail and I was able to keep my mind learning instead of losing contact with jiu-jitsu and descending into the world of video games and movies.
It is best to follow your therapist’s recommendations as far as your recovery goes. But there are some ways you can keep your body active in Bjj.
Solo drills and reduced capacity drills also can help your mat fitness. One of my favorite drills to develop open guard is to have one arm tucked into my belt (and my partner passing does the same) and we play “pass the open guard”.
Your shoulder is not in use and tucked safely in your belt. You will develop a different understanding of how to use your hip movement and hooks to play guard!
A speedy recovery to you!
You should also read On Jiu-jitsu Times : Solo Drills For Bjj. Drill! Drill! Drill!