BJJ can be a pretty intense sport. But what if you wear glasses? Can you train BJJ with glasses? The answer, as always, is it depends.
Glasses can pose a few problems when training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. But with a little bit of know-how, it’s possible to get some training going wearing glasses.
Let’s look at what you can do to practice BJJ comfortably when you require glasses for your everyday activities.
Table of Contents
Glasses And Contact Lenses In BJJ
Regular glasses have a frame that holds the crystal that helps improve the user’s vision.
You’d want to take them off to prevent them from breaking or getting crushed due to the nature of the sport. Especially since the glass could cause cuts on your BJJ training partners, and the shattered frame could also damage somebody.
Another option available is contact lenses, which could be a safe option.
As the name implies, these lenses are directly in contact with the eyes. In principle, they are not dangerous in training. However, the lenses are delicate and could easily move inside your eyes and scratch your eyeballs.
Being crushed under north-south or getting hit accidentally in your eyes might cause problems with your contact lenses.
The best option is to roll with no glasses or contact lenses. But, we will get into the details later.
The Importance Of A Good Vision For BJJ
There is an interesting term I want to dive into for anybody who doesn’t mind me going slightly deeper into the rabbit hole.
The term is “Neuroplasticity”:
Neuroplasticity is a process that represents the ability of the nervous system to change its reactivity according to successive activations.
This reactivity allows the nervous tissue to experiment with multiple adaptive and reorganizational changes in its physiological state, with or without alterations.
I want to emphasize those last four words: With or without alterations.
We can say that a change or decrease of your vision, or even total loss, would be considered an ‘alteration.’
Neuroplasticity is how the brain develops new processes to use the information it gets from the routes available to fulfill tasks as well as possible.
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Bad Vision Vs. Good Vision in BJJ
How can it be possible that in BJJ, it is allowed for practitioners with lousy eyesight to compete against practitioners with good vision?
At a glance, one would believe that any visually impaired athlete would be at a disadvantage against an athlete who has perfect vision. Still, if that was the case, how and why are these visually impaired athletes so successful in competition?
Anyone with vision problems can learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The brain utilizes all the other senses to acquire all the information to guide itself and the actions that it will pursue during this activity.
Reversing The Roles
To address a different question, what if we ask a practitioner who can use all five senses normally not to employ his sight during training and combat?
We would ask the person to adapt to a different situation from what he might be used to, but we must pay close attention to the switch in focus during the mental processing occurring as he practices BJJ.
In this particular case, the body needs to acquire all necessary signals and stimuli from the other senses, and in Jiu-Jitsu, the primary source is the sense of touch.
Your bad vision could be an advantage in BJJ
Once there’s physical contact with the opponent, the brain guides itself to the location of the opponent’s limbs. The point of contact allows the practitioner to read and anticipate the opponent’s movements.
The brain replaces the visual analysis of the situation with the perceptual placement created by touch without the need to filter feints and non-committed movements. Therefore, not wasting time on unnecessary details that you will only with your vision.
Not being dependent on sight allows the practitioner to focus on details that it would unconsciously ignore. For example, the opponent’s breathing patterns or their heartbeat when he is close, letting them know when they are getting tired to put pressure or slow down accordingly.
This has given a lot of blind practitioners a silent advantage in competition. Still, it is nothing more than the human brain showcasing its capabilities, and every practitioner should be able to do just the same with practice.
Can you train BJJ with glasses?
Regular glasses are ok during technique exposition. They help students to check and better understand the technique explained. But, it will be better to take them off during drilling and rolling.
Just make sure to place your glasses out of the mats or in a safe spot. This ensures you might have access to them when you watch techniques or other people roll.
But, what’s most imòprtant is to keep them far away if you will be the one practicing moves or rolling.
What about contact lenses?
Contact lenses are the top option for those who need glasses and still want to wear them during class. However, be aware of the risks they bring. You don’t want to end with a scratched cornea or an eye infection.
Other than that, contact lenses should be ok for BJJ. Wear them only while drilling if you want to stay extra safe. This helps minimize the risk that they might fall or move inside your eyes.
Can You Wear Prescription Wrestling Goggles In BJJ?
Prescription wrestling goggles are another viable option during Jiu-Jitsu practice.
They should be better than any standard glasses as they stay in place. Also, the wrestling goggles are strong enough to resist anything that happens in grappling situations.
The issue with this option is that they are uncomfortable for both the wearer and opponents.
They will get moved during most attacks or holds that aim for the head, and they can also become foggy during rolling.
You allow yourself to see better as long as they are in place, but they’ll feel uncomfortable and annoying for your opponents if they move around.
Tips For Training With Glasses
1) Keep them safe
If you are taking your regular glasses to BJJ class, please place them in a safe spot whenever you have to take them off.
2) Keep them close
Keep them close enough to pick them up and use them during technique exposition.
3) Record the move of the day
A good option is to ask your instructor if you can record the technique during exposition to take a closer look at the video later if needed.
If you are using wrestling goggles, make sure that they are both tight and clean to avoid them being uncomfortable.
There is not much to add for those taking contact lenses into BJJ class, as this is the most effective method for your eyesight to be good during regular classes.
Make sure you take proper care of them, as the contact lenses shouldn’t slow you down during training or rolling sessions.
Training BJJ With Glasses Final Thoughts
For all those practitioners requiring glasses, just do not worry too much about it affecting your BJJ development, as you have plenty of options to choose from to get the best out of your classes.
Do not worry if you can’t get contact lenses for BJJ class. You have to bring in your regular glasses and take them off for technique practice and rolling.
If you forgot your glasses or broke them, just go into the mats, you don’t need your eyes to train, and your brain will help you get better at it.
For all those who have perfect eyesight, we encourage you to close your eyes or grab a blindfold and try it yourself the next time you roll to let the body adapt to the situations in a whole different way.
If you found this article interesting, remember to share it with friends and classmates, as it may help them find the best option if they do not have perfect eyesight.