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Why Saying "Quit Grappling..." Just Isn't Acceptable

Photo Credit: Kylie Chevalier Photo Co.

Whenever any grappler walks into my office for their evaluation, our first course of action is to talk about their story. Too often, during their story, somewhere in between getting injured and taking time off of training, there is a small snippet that usually involves a visit to an MD or other healthcare practitioner who's answer to address the client's "problems" is - "well, just stop doing jiu jitsu". Every time I hear this, it breaks my heart.

Telling an athlete to stop participating in the sport to help "prevent injuries" is a cop out. It shows that the healthcare practitioner has no idea how to actually address what's presented and so they take the easy route. That's unacceptable. And I get it, there are situations where a sport can do a lot of damage on a body to where the athlete may benefit from taking a step back, BUT if we're looking at it with a more general lens, this narrative to quit is actually extremely damaging. Words are powerful, and can be dangerous. When telling someone to quit their passion, they not only lose their sport and fitness, but they can also lose parts of their identity.

Time and time again, this loss of identity turns into depression and a decline in mental health. A sense of helplessness, a sense of emptiness that is sometimes irreversible. As healthcare practitioners, we need to do better.

And this isn't meant to bash on these practitioners because maybe they really aren't educated in what this 'jiu jitsu' is and to be fair, they are under a lot of pressure from our current healthcare system to see as many patients as possible just to make ends meet.

With insurance reimbursements dropping by the second, this "just quit" narrative is an easy way to get clients in and out of the door in the shortest amount of time, as the practitioner rushes into the room next door for their next appointment while clients leave with questions unanswered and hope lost.

But what if I told you that there's a better way...

What if you were able to see a therapist who understood you, your sport and your lifestyle? What if you were able to see a therapist who knew your lingo, and the mechanics behind each move? What if you were able to feel seen and hopeful that you could go back to training once you put the right work in?

Well, your wish is my command. When you make a visit to us at Top Tier, the first thing we say is that we would NEVER tell you to quit grappling. We may make adjustments to training intensity and frequency while we take care of a few things on your body, but we would never tell you to stop.

We are on a mission to build better grapplers - through education, empowerment, and teaching you that, yes, jiu jitsu is tough on the body, but here are some ways we can combat your daily stress. Your body is resilient and we want you to own it through proper strength programming and training because let's be real, strong people are harder to kill.

Not only do we strive to make you strong af, we also spend every second of your 60 minute visits with you, and are available 24/7 for any concerns or questions throughout this process. Have a question at 11pm? No problem. Need something clarified at 6am? You got it. We're your health coach, your teammate, and your #1 fan.

At the end of the day, we just want you to know that we're here for you and that everything will be okay. With the proper guidance, we want you to be the best YOU on and off the mat... for a long time.

It's our damn mission.

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