Concussion deterrence using Jiu-Jitsu

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Concussions have been public enemy number one for football players for years. New rules, new tech and the latest research are all being used to cut down on concussions.

Concussions are the risk you take when you play football. Nobody knows that better than Tua Tagovailova, the Miami Dolphins quarterback.

To protect himself for the upcoming season, he’s trying Jiu-Jitsu.

Tagovailoa ended his season on Christmas Day 2022 after it’s believed he suffered his second concussion. His first head injury came on Sept. 25 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Everything that I did this offseason entailed to what would keep me on the field for the entirety of the season. We understand freaky things can happen. You know it’s football. It’s a physical sport,” said Tagovailoa.

Besides adding muscle, Tagovailoa turned to Jiu-Jitsu. He learned how to fall and to protect his head from devastating football hits.

WINK News spoke to Brock Garlick, the City of Palms Jiu Jitsu owner and CEO, about how beneficial Jiu Jitsu is for injury prevention.

“Learning how to displace the energy once they get hit. Or they’re being pushed down or they’re being pushed down, how to displace it outwards,” said Garlick. “Not take all that force directly to their upper organs and their head.”

Garlick talked WINK News through break falls, front and back rolls. They’re ways to fall that help prevent concussions.

Garlick coached WINK News through several techniques because it takes thousands of reps to master.

“It’s a diminishing skill so if you do it and stop doing it, you’re never going to be as good. The continuation of it over and over you build repetition and muscle memory is always going to be beneficial,” said Garlick.

Garlick explained it’s a skill he believes can help football players including Tagovailoa, who told reporters he’s already used the technique in practice. Although, practice and preseason are a bit different than when the games count. It remains to be seen how effective the techniques will be when the season begins.

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