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How to Prevent Injury at your BJJ Gym with Instant Ice

Updated on January 17, 2015

One of my many injuries

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The basics: instant ice rules!

I run a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym, and I can tell you for sure that having ice handy accounts for 95% or more of injury treatment and prevention. We have a freezer, but you never know for sure if ice packs are going to be ready in there, and if you give one away to a student, you never know if you're going to get them back.

Enter the instant cold pack. Priced at less than a buck apiece, these are used only once, so you don't have to worry about giving them to a student on the way out (or sometimes giving an extra one "for the drive home", as I like to say). An ounce of prevention is worth one less trip per year to the ER, or something like that.

If you wrestle or train BJJ or other martial arts that involve bumps and bruises from time to time, or (especially) if you're a BJJ gym owner like me, consider keeping something like this in stock. There's nothing more troubling to a gym owner than when a student gets injured, and having ice on-the-ready to give out at an instant's notice provides at least a little peace of mind. You just snap these things and shake them up and they become instant ice packs, ready to be taken home if needed. This is not only very prudent to have on hand, but also incredibly convenient for my students, as they can literally take one for the road if need be.

Putting ice on an injury is, by far, the number one method for preventing more serious injury... and it provides something else: peace of mind.

One example of an instant ice pack in action

What do I know about injuries, anyway?

An awful lot.

I run a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym (you can read a little about the gym itself and how we keep it clean here if you want). As a consequence, I have seen literally dozens of bumps, bruises, finger jambs, ankle twists, knee pops, and various other miscellaneous injuries that require ice. In addition to this, I've been injured my fair share, from when I was a rambunctious kid and fell down, breaking three fingers at once on my right hand, to the time I broke my collarbone playing football, to much later BJJ-related injuries. Trust me when I say that I'm very familiar with the need to have ice handy.

I'm also frequently without a "portable freezer" (EG, at a tournament) when I find a need for ice. As a consequence, instant ice packs are a must have if you're legitimately trying to be prepared.

From joint injuries to bruises

Ice simply does wonders for all kinds of injuries. Short of a severed limb, there are few moderate injuries that an instant ice pack wouldn't help significantly, whether it's numbing the affected area or keeping the swelling down (which is crucial in the long term healing process), putting something cold very quickly on whatever is injured is the number one first aid trick to know, and it's the only action required as a gym owner about 95% of the time. You might also just want to consider an injury report as well, just to keep track of how an injury occurred, particularly if you're not attending every class.

Muay Thai: one of the sports for which I have treated injuries

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