“If you train grappling form more than 3 years, and one day you wake up and nothing hurts than that means you’ve died.” This is one of the best quotes I’ve ever head in regards to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And the reason behind it is that It is completely, 100% true. Grappling is tough on the body, just like all combat sports and contact martial arts are. However, in BJJ, there’s a particular strain on the joint, some more than others. If there’s one joint that universally receives a lot of damage, it has to be the knee. Ligaments, menisci, muscle and tendon tears, abrasions, you name it. Even people with the healthiest knees risk developing issues if they spend enough time in BJJ. Luckily, there’s a simple solution that comes in the form of Jiu-Jitsu knee pads. All you need to do is actually consider wearing one (or a pair).
Jiu-Jitsu kee pads are different from your regular knee protection pads for many reasons. One is that we spend so much time on the ground grappling, that they need to cushion a lot more impact compared to others. Then, there’s the fact that thy need to be comfortable, and not prevent any movement in the leg. And these are just some of the criteria the best Jiu-Jitsu kneepads need to be able to fulfill. Luckily, nowadays, there are a lot of options in this department, and there are even levels to it, depending on your affliction. What’s most important, though, is you deciding to wear them – even if you do not think you really need them.
Knee Issues And Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport like no other for a multitude of reasons. It is fun, it is social, it tends to make people better overall persons. On the other hand, it is addicting, it creates BJJ nerd assains and it takes an inhuman toll on your body. And that’s provided you’re doing everything right.
The knees are an all-important joint for us, and they’re pretty fragile as such. Well, ok, they’re perfect for day-to-day use, if you’re not in the habit of grappling. Throw in grappling martial arts, though, and you can be certain you’ll face one knee issue or another within a decade of you starting training. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be a major trauma, it can just be the wear and tear that gets you. However, Jiu-Jitsu as art is such, that it puts our knees under immense stress. Want one example? Taking the back of a turtled opponent. Do you know how some, particularly white/ blue belts simply pull you back to get to the back mount? Well, if your knees haven’t experienced this so far, you’ve been more than lucky.
Another example which is huge is takedowns, Yeah, that’s right, takedowns area far worse on your knees than leg locks. In fact, takedowns make up for the most serious knee issues in BJJ, at least statistically. In all honesty, out wearing JIu-Jitsu knee pads won’t’ protect you from major trauma. However, they will protect you from many common issues, as well as chronic inflammation and developing long-lasting issues like tendonitis, meniscus issues, and abrasions.
The Case For Jiu-Jitsu Kneepads
Why do you need Jiu-JItsu knee pads? Why, to protect your knees, of course. Joking aside knee pads really do serve multiple purposes when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Furthermore, they do come in different shapes, sizes and even models, which is something we’ll talk about later. For now, let’s see how Jiu-Jitsu knee pads can actually protect your knees so that you can grapple trouble and pain-free.
In terms of advantages, the first thing you get from a good pair of Jiu-Jitsu knee pads is direct protection. In that sense they act pretty much like a rashguard – they offer direct protection to the skin around the knees which is often very exposed, particularly without the Gi. Next up, there’s the all-important cushion that surrounds the patella. For those with patella tendon issues, this is a real lifesaver. And, if you do not want to develop such issue,s you should consider grabbing a pair of pads early on. After all, they cost next to nothing for what they provide in return.
Arguably the most important aspect of knee pads for BJJ is the compression. Good, tight-fitting knee pads provide compression and improve blood flow, making it easier to train full contact. Compression, paired with the strategic shock absorbers Jiu-Jitsu knee pads help prevent all the small but cumulative trauma we get on a daily basis. Moreover, thy improve blood flow and help keep the knees warm. This means it is easier to flush stuff out, and inflammation does not occur as often, or as much. And finally, there’s taking things to the very next level, including braces in your knee pads to help you recover from a major knee injury.
Taking Things To The Next Level
In terms of taking things to the next level, first up, see a doctor. Make sure you get a right diagnosis so that you can get a pair of Jiu-Jitsu knee pads to fit your particular needs. That said, before you go off shopping for the best BJJ Knee pads out there, which is something we can help with, you need to understand what types you have.
First up, you have your day-to-day BJJ knee pads. These are usually sleeve-type pads, most often made from Lycra/Spandex or Neoprene. They go above and below the knee joint, and always feature some sort of shock-absorbing cushion. Their goal is to provide direct mechanical protection for abrasions, some level of compression as well as shock absorption. All in all, perfect for minor knee issues, or simply as a precaution.
If you have more achy knees or require some customization, then knee wraps are a great option. similar to hand wraps for striking martial arts, knee wraps are nothing but long, specially designed pieces of gear you wrap around your knee joint. They’re extremely great to adjust and you can even wrap them in a way that provides targeted support. To that extent they offer more support and compression than direct shock absorption, so keep it in mind.
Finally, you have the heavy-duty knee braces. I’m not talking those medical-grade restrictive braces here. Actually, these are more of knee pads in a knee sleeve style containing some further supportive and protective elements. These may be specific ligament supports, torsion control, or meniscus cushions. There are actually great even if you’re nursing a high-grade knee injury.
In short, Jiu-Jitsu knee pads make training grappling easy for those with minimal knee problems, and possible for those with major ones. Whatever the case, I certainly wish I looked into these before I had to deal with knee injuries. So, instead of having to look at the heavy-duty stuff, grab yourself ap air of simple Jiu-Jitsu knee pads and keep rolling injury and pain-free!