BJJ athletes have messed up ears. Cauliflower ear is incredibly common in Jiu Jitsu and the more you train the chances of you eventually get it go through the roof.
Does Everyone In BJJ Get Cauliflower Ear?
Not everyone in BJJ gets cauliflower ear but it is incredibly common. If you train for over 5 years your chances are 70% +, over 10 years then 90% +. You can reduce your risk by always wearing headgear, not pulling your head out of guillotines and triangles, and passing head first.
Now just because you are very likely to suffer cauliflower ear if you train Jiu Jitsu for more than a few years that does not mean you will end up with Randy Couture ears.
The majority of BJJ athletes who suffer cauliflower ear can heal their ears and return them to almost as good as new by immediately draining them and compressing them. If you treat your cauliflower quickly and then wear headgear until it heals you will barely be able to notice any deformity.
I have drained both my ears multiple times after suffering cauliflower ear. You can only tell that Only one of my ears has it if you look closely and know what cauliflower ear is.
I was just diligent about draining my ears, compressing them with magnets, and then wearing headgear until they hardened.
Too many BJJ athletes don’t drain their ears correctly, don’t compress the ear so it continues to fill up with blood, and reinjure their ear by training without letting it heal. These mistakes lead to nasty permanent cauliflower ears.
Why Does Not Everyone In BJJ Get Cauliflower Ear?
The reason not everyone gets cauliflower ear from BJJ comes down to ear type, luck, how long they have been training, and their style of BJJ.
People with stiff ears that do not bend are more likely to suffer cauliflower ear. If you have very bendy ears that you can squish into a ball or roll up you have the anti-cauliflower ear lottery.
After you get cauliflower ear your ears become a lot stiffer and firmer which places you at an increased risk of getting it again.
There is an element of luck involved in avoiding cauliflower ear as it could happen at any time. One big blow to the ear could result in it occurring. For example, you shoot a takedown and your opponent sprawls at the last minute, boom his hip hits your ear and now you have cauliflower ear.
Every time you train BJJ you have a very small chance of hurting your ears and ending up with cauliflower ear. The more you train the chance of you eventually getting it goes up and up. For example if you train consistently for 2 years you may have a 30% chance of it occurring, 5 years a 60% chance, 10 years a 95% chance.
Your style of BJJ will also play a big role in whether you get cauliflower ear. If you love wrestling and are always grinding ear to ear in the standing position then you can say goodbye to your pretty ears because they are going to be churned up.
If you like passing head first and using your head as a weapon to drive into your opponent then you are also much more likely to get cauliflower ear compared to someone who limits using his head.
The big way a lot of BJJ players get cauliflower is pulling their head out of guillotines and triangles. If you want to protect your ears just or try a different defense, do not just explosively rip your head out unless you want a big nasty cauliflower ear.
The best way to keep your ears looking pretty while training BJJ is to always wear a headgear during sparring and if you do get cauliflower immediately drain and compress the ear.