In any endeavor, particularly one that involves putting breaking forces on an opponents joints, injuries are an inevitable factor. The implications following a serious injury are fairly obvious but there are a few main distinctions when it comes to the types of injuries you can sustain and how to respond thereafter.
The first scenario is one where an injury occurs during a match and the athlete is forced to give up. Unfortunately this is simply a consequence of competing in Jiu a Jitsu at the highest level. What should follow is an immediate focus on returning to full health, by full health I mean “able to practice”. Additionally you and your coach should review your match, take note of the mistakes and look to make the necessary adjustments in training.
Another scenario is where an injury occurs during a match but the athlete is able to continue and possibly win. Athletes are capable of displaying tremendous ability to overcome all odds to reach their goals. One of the first things to come to terms with is whether or not you believe you can win. There will come times that in order to preserve your career, a forfeit is in order. This is 100% the athletes decision, Ronaldo Jacaré Souza displayed remarkable toughness and intelligence as he triumphed over legendary Roger Gracie via decision to win the World Championships in the Absolute category. In this match, Jacaré had his arm broken only minutes into the fight after securing a takedown. While this is the least desirable circumstance, so long as you compete the day will come where an injury occurs (even minor) and you will be faced with the decision to continue or to forfeit. If you don’t believe you can win that match, you must forfeit and learn from your mistakes with the hopes of returning stronger and more improved. Don’t be a tough guy just to prove something. If you think you have a shot at winning, go for it!
The last scenario I will cover is one where an injury is sustained that severely limits the athlete in training. While rest and recovery is important, as a competitor, it is of greater importance to continue improving your skills each and every day. Even if it means watching. If you look towards the sports of wrestling, boxing, judo you will find that these athletes rarely allow injuries to prevent them from improving in some way. When your legs are injured you can always do something more upper body specific or simply attend and watch sparring rounds to develop your mind but you should never lose your mentality of daily improvement if you wish to reach your highest capability in Jiu Jitsu. Injuries also have a way of forcing you to adapt and work with a limitation a skill that can suddenly be crucial in a match.