Most common competition injury!
When it comes to competition, the elbow is the most commonly injured region of the body as it was reported as comprising 19.4%-38.9% of all BJJ orthopaedic injuries between the years 2005-2011(1)(2). As most BJJ practitioners would know, this is most likely because the armbar is one of the more common positions and not tapping can result in hyperextension injuries. Due to the nature of the armbar, being that pressure is rarely applied cleanly into pure extension, the collateral ligaments can be torn in the process and are the more common manifestations of injury. Muscle strains to the distal biceps, fractures of the olecranon process and elbow dislocation are all possibilities as well (1).
In a more recent study that surveyed 166 BJJ gyms for the general BJJ population that comprised of both competitors and non-competitors, the most common orthopaedic injury location was in fact the hand and fingers (14.4%), followed by foot and toes (10.7%), then elbow (10.5%). What was unclear was the mechanism for this, has there been a rise in douchebag finger twisters out there or is it perhaps an overuse of our own gripping systems?
It will be interesting to see is how these patterns will change over time, especially due to the given rise in popularity of leg attacks.
1) Scoggin III JF, Brusovanik G, Izuka BH, Zandee van Rilland E, Geling O, Tokumura S. Assessment of injuries during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine. 2014 Feb 20;2(2):2325967114522184.
2) Kreiswirth EM, Myer GD, Rauh MJ. Incidence of injury among male Brazilian jiujitsu fighters at the World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship 2009. Journal of athletic training. 2014 Jan;49(1):89-94.
3) McDonald AR, Murdock FA, McDonald JA, Wolf CJ. Prevalence of Injuries during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training. Sports. 2017 Jun 12;5(2):39.