Prevalence and Profile of Musculoskeletal Injuries in High-Performance Professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

Lucas Chagas Nery1, Claudinei Chamorro Pelegrina Junior1, Bruno Tirotti Saragiotto1, Robson Dias Scoz1, 4, *, Runer Augusto Marson2, 3, José João Baltazar Mendes4, Luciano Maia Alves Ferreira4, Cesar Ferreira Amorim1, 4, 5, 6, 7
1 Masters and Doctoral Program in Physiotherapy, University City of Sao Paulo (Unicid), São Paulo 03071-000, Brazil
2 Brazilian Army Research Institute of Physical Fitness, Rio de Janeiro 22291-090, Brazil
3 Neuromuscular Research Laboratory & Warrior Human Performance Research Center, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA-15260, USA
4 Laboratory of Physical and Functional Assessment in Physiotherapy (LAFFFi), Interdisciplinary Center of Investigation Egas Moniz (CiiEM), Caparica, 2829-511, Setubal, Portugal
5 Lab Corinthians R9, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, Sao Paulo, 03828-000, Brazil
6 Physical Therapy Department, Research Laboratory BioNR, Quebec University, Saguenay, QC G7H-2B1, Canada
7 Physical Therapy Department, Human Performance Laboratory, Florida International University - FIU, Miami, FL-33199, USA

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© 2023 Nery et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Masters and Doctoral Program in Physiotherapy, University City of Sao Paulo (Unicid), São Paulo 03071-000, Brazil;



Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) has become popular over the past years; however, few studies investigated the prevalence of injuries in this martial art modality.


This study aimed to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries in BJJ competitors, along with their profile and characteristics.


One hundred fifteen athletes were included in this cross-sectional study. A hundred fifteen professional high-performance athletes were selected from twenty-five BJJ gyms in São Paulo, Brazil. Descriptive analyses were used to demonstrate the athlete’s characteristics. The Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test was used to assess the significant differences between the number of injuries categorized by athlete’s belt or performance level category. Additionally, Fisher’s exact test was used to assess possible differences between the belts' frequency of total injuries and injuries per affected site.


We observed an injury prevalence of 85.2%, in which the knee (32.6%), shoulder (11.2%), and elbow (8.4%) were the most affected regions. We did not find any significant differences between the number of injuries and belt classification (p=0.093) or the frequency of total injuries per anatomical region among belt classification (p=0.121). Most injuries occurred during training (74%), and the main reason for time loss from training activities was trauma (70%).


There is a high prevalence of injuries among BJJ competitors, and the most affected site was the knee.

Keywords: Martial arts, Jiujitsu, Sports injuries, Injury prevention, Grappling, Musculoskeletal injuries.