Safe and Sound: One Supporting Role at BJJ Events
“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
A great deal of effort goes into planning and then executing a sporting event. The coordination alone that it takes to help keep things flowing as smoothly as possible can be overwhelming. Each job has an important function. Without an individual in a job performing as required, the entire event can be a disaster. One supporting professional that is a key part of ALL sporting events is the medical support staff. For support professionals, “thorough preparation is essential for their looming task at a sporting event. They should ensure that the facilities are adequate to cope with life and limb-threatening injuries. They will need a sound knowledge of the principles of trauma resuscitation, cervical spine immobilization and splinting of injured limbs. Above all, they must not underestimate the severity of the injuries that they are being asked to assess,” according to Chris Mallac.
The aggressive and forceful nature of martial arts makes it very unpredictable. While in attendance at a tournament, the medical support individual(s) can expect to be busy throughout the day depending on the nature of the event and the level of injuries sustained. What is typically addressed at these events are soft-tissue injuries, fractures and dislocations. However, major injuries do occur and upon initial assessment may not always be obvious. It is imperative that the support professional is cognizant of what is taking place. Lack of experience with a particular sport makes cognizance that much more important. If you are not aware of what is going on, you have no idea of when you should react. In many instances, the reaction time of the support professional is truly a life or death situation. Taking time to familiarize oneself with the sport the medical professional will be staffing will certainly help decrease response time and remove any degree of doubt from situation that could be critical.
Many of the injuries sustained at BJJ sporting events are due to inexperience and are ABSOLUTELY preventable. Chris Mallac denotes, “all martial arts are physically demanding and hazardous. Injuries are seen throughout the spectrum of expertise. Inexperienced participants will often get injured because of their lack of technique, flexibility or general conditioning. They should be taught muscle stretching and strengthening exercises from the start of their martial arts career and should be advised to continue these protective regimes throughout all levels of combat.” Medical Support Professionals have a huge task in front of them at a standard sporting event when you throw BJJ into the mix, their work load doubles. As competitors some of that burden on the medical staff can be cut down by doing your part as well.
You are not suppose to test the medical staffer by seeing if (s)he is knowledgeable by performing haphazardly on the mat. Use that lump that is three feet above your ascot and keep yourself safe. Some things you can control. Don’t be the habitual WWE BJJ fighter that gets hurt performing unnecessary stunts and shows. That can be the difference in your living to fight another day or your pulling one too many stunts and you finally cooking your own goose. We can’t all be Evil Knievel.
"The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual."