In a classroom far far away…

Maybe some of you have seen the shoutout on our Instagram Story where we invited people from the Physiotutors community to contribute to our Blog. Here’s Sabir from BJJ Healthcoach:

Hello! My name is Sabir

I’m one of the co founders of BJJ Health Coach; an up and coming online provider of educational content geared toward improving the physical wellness of BJJ practitioners with physiotherapy and other medical knowledge.  I’ve consistently been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for maybe 8 or 9 years? I’ve honestly lost track.  I picked up the sport during university while finishing my B.S in Biology at UC Irvine. While pursuing an education in physiotherapy I immediately saw the connections between BJJ, physiotherapy, and biology.  I loved discussing studies and concepts relating BJJ with biology with my buddy Darryl every night after practice. Darryl is a sport medical doctor practicing out of San Diego.

So we decided to partner up and make BJJ Health Coach.

For those of you who do not have much knowledge of BJJ. I will give you a quick intro. BJJ is the art and method of manipulating and controlling another person into certain positions that yield a submission.  And on a lighter tone, you can think of it like forcing yoga onto someone.


Preface: I’m going to talk a lot about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) but that is not aimed to discount any other grappling or submission art. There are so many other great forms of grappling that deal with the same things as BJJ. Shout out to Sambo, Catch Wrestling, Judo, etc, etc. If you want, you can substitute “BJJ” for “grappling art” in your head as you read this.

For a while now, physiotherapy and BJJ have been related to each other more than any other sport. The hands-on approach to affecting the soft tissue of another individual to provoke a certain response is obvious and is what separates grappling from any other type of sport. BJJ takes this concept and applies it to provoke harm while physiotherapy uses this concept to heal. In terms of Star Wars, BJJ could be seen as the dark side and physiotherapy as the light side of the force.

But back to reality, it may seem like these two avenues are at odds with each other but that is hardly the case.

There is enormous potential for BJJ and BJJ gyms to become facilitators of fantastic educational content via physiotherapy. BJJ practitioners are well adept to concepts like regional interdependence, tensegrity, the law of specificity, apprehension, range of motion, etc but they might not call them by those specific words. Even the way techniques are taught in BJJ is very similar to the way physiotherapy students are taught in school. Techniques and knowledge are shared and then immediately applied among their respective cohort. Granted, physiotherapy student go through many more written test than BJJ practitioners. But the clinical hours racked up by these two practices would probably be very similar.

It would be very cool to have a physiotherapist in every gym but I doubt that would ever happen. However, having coaches and students that are armed with a vocabulary that can describe both worlds with depth and understanding can progressively enhance the benefits of BJJ while supporting the evolution of physiotherapy. This is obvious in terms of understanding injuries and prevention care but just learning correct body awareness that is backed with studies and experiments is very useful. With correct insight and a sense of direction, the average BJJ practitioner or hobbyist could seek out treatment and have a similar level of care to even the most accomplished professional grappler. This may just be a fantasy now, but in very BJJ-cetric areas this can totally be possible.

BJJ is still a developing sport and physiotherapy is making amazing new strides. With the use of social media and online consulting, physiotherapy and BJJ have exploded in awareness and popularity.  These fields are running parallel to one another and it’s time that they cross paths more explicitly and share their knowledge.

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