Epilepsy and BJJ

Discussion in 'Injuries and Prevention' started by Mushroom, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Weren't exactly sure where to put this.

    Old school friend of mine has taken up Muay Thai. Padwork only, no sparring. She suffers from epilepsy and has had a brain hemmorage and surgery since.
    She has taken up an interest into going into BJJ and has obvious concerns.

    Talking to her about blood chokes, we all understand that for people who don't suffer from epilepsy find the choke "uncomfortable" and tap way before anything really happens.

    But obviously, I myself have zero clue about short/long term effects of rolling with this condition. Will limiting blood supply even for a moment be harmful? ( i mean, we never really cut it off completely ever but obviously dont know the affects in comparison)

    Anyone have ideas/thoughts/expertise/students with epilepsy who train MA?
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I have an epileptic friend who did BJJ and got his blue belt. He takes serious care not to have seizures thiugh. He hasn't had a drink since he was 18 (he's like 27 now I think) and has a diet that contributes to keeping potential seizures to a minimum.

    When I came to BJJ he didn't seem to suffer any issues at all. Most important thing is to make sure the instructor is aware and knows the correct procedures for it. It'd also be advisable to let training partners know so they can keep an eye out.
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  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I imagine it would depend how well controlled her symptoms are, what her symptoms are, (absence seizures could get her hurt), and how good the gym was, a professionally run gym, with attentive coaches is a very different thing to a bluebelt teaching in a shed to his mates.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Thats what we discussed, she trains at the same academy as me, shes just on the striking side and me on the BJJ side. So the coach is very aware. She handles her epilepsy quite well, but its all subjective as I understand.

    As I know nothing of the subject, and this is one of widest forums about. I said I ask around for her and thought of posting here.
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  5. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    So much of this.

    I don't really know anything about Epilepsy, so that part I would say is to be discussed with a doctor.
    There are different forms of Epilepsy, so a professional should be able to inform her in detail about the triggering factors (plus: I'm sure she knows a lot of that herself).

    We used to have a girl in our Karate class, who has some health issues, among other Epilepsy.
    When she would put to much power and energy in her training and get to her borders, she would be at risk of getting seizures.
    Her dad is in the same class, and both explained, what to look for: In her case she would get pale and her pupil would get small, for example. So everytime, she was really out of breath, she would take a short break (well, sometimes only when asked, because one of her other issues, is that she doesn't realize/ feel the limits and easily goes past them).

    On the other hand, one of "my" kids just got diagnosed with Epilepsy as well. In his case "Rolando Epilepsy".
    In this form of Epilepsy the seizures can occur (mostly), when he calms down, for example shortly before going to sleep.
    So, that's basically the other route, and we hardly have to worry of anything happening during training.
    But in case something *were* to happen, and in case his Mom woudn't be there (she is one of a handful, that stay in the lounge area during training, because it would be too much driving otherwise), she explained to me, that he now has medication in case he does get a seizure that lasts longer then three minutes. In that case I were to take his "thingy" (it's not exactly a syringe, but it has a small needle; probably similar to the pens for people with allergies) in which the medication is and would have to stick it in his cheek pouch.
    (EDIT: Just realized cheek pouch is a hamster thing and the word might be totally wrong :oops::rolleyes::D I meant the inside of the cheek)
    I probably will never be in a position to have to do this, since he only ever had two seizures, they are triggered differently and 98% of the kids just grow out of this form of epilepsy, but *knowing* what to do in case of seizure is a big plus nonetheless.

    So I would probably make sure, not to only inform the instuctors (and ideally the other students) that I *have* Epilepsy, but also explain to them what to do or not to do (like didn't fix me to floor or anything), so they don't make mistakes by accident or because they don't know better.
    Also explaining to them, what might trigger seizures, so people can go easy if they were to know (silly and obviously wrong example!!) that pulling the left toe might easily cause seizures, so they can just chose to ignore the toe or only pull it ever so careful.

    TLTR: being open about it, so that instructors (and ideally students) know about it, what might happen and how to react correctly.
    Everything else will be, on the long run, her decision and she might be able to know and feel better herself, when to go easy.

    That's, obviously, only my viewpoint, of a layperson, and not someone who knows a lot about it, so you might want to take with a little care and lots of own thinking.
    I think it goes without saying, but better be safe then sorry, here.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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  6. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    I would suggest she talks to her doctor about it to see if there is any advice he can offer. The other thing she could do is tap as soon as she gets into a position that could cause problems. The downside of this is that she would probably be tapping out in many situations that most people wouldn't bother to tap out to but, on the other hand, with injuries and illnesses, it's often best to air on the side of caution. She would probably need a bit more help from the instructor to explain each move and whether or not it could end in a choke, but that shouldn't really be a problem with a good instructor.
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    How much notice does she get that a seizure is coming?
    My missus used to get the kind of seizure (petit mal) where she would just pass out but would get a few minutes (it varied) of feeling awful before that so could lay down somewhere safe.
    Then she'd feel awful for a few hours (sometimws a day) after that.
    Luckily she's not had a seizure for years and seems to have outgrown them.

    If the seizures come on with no warning then that's a much more serious and potentially dangerous situation I'd imagine?
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