A Beginner’s Guide to BJJ Cauliflower Ear

BJJ Prehab

BJJ Prehab

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a physically demanding martial art that requires strength, skill, and endurance. With its focus on ground grappling and submission techniques, BJJ places a significant emphasis on ear protection. Despite this, many practitioners still develop the common condition known as “cauliflower ear.”

BJJ Cauliflower Ear

In this blog post, we’ll explore what cauliflower ear is, how to prevent it, and how to deal with it if it occurs.

What is Cauliflower Ear?

Cauliflower ear is a common condition that affects many BJJ athletes and other combat sports practitioners. It occurs when the external part of the ear (the auricle) experiences repeated trauma or friction, causing the skin and cartilage to separate. Over time, this separation can lead to the formation of scar tissue, resulting in a distinctive lumpy or bumpy appearance that resembles a cauliflower.

Prevention Tips

Like most BJJ injuries, preventing cauliflower ear is much easier than treating it. Here are some tips to help prevent this condition:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Investing in high-quality protective gear such as ear guards or headgear can significantly reduce the risk of cauliflower ear. These items provide extra cushioning and support to the ears, minimizing the impact of blows or friction during training.

  2. Practice Proper Technique: Learning proper BJJ techniques and body positioning can minimize the risk of accidental blows and impacts to the ears, reducing the likelihood of cauliflower ear.

  3. Avoid Pulling and Yanking: Avoid pulling or yanking on your opponent’s ears during training, as this can cause trauma to your own ears and increase the risk of cauliflower ear.

  4. Maintain Proper Hygiene: Good hygiene practices such as regular cleaning of equipment and washing your hair after training sessions can help prevent bacterial infections that may contribute to cauliflower ear.

Dealing with BJJ Cauliflower Ear

If you develop cauliflower ear despite your best prevention efforts, there are several ways to deal with this condition:

  1. See a Medical Professional: If you notice any swelling, pain, or tenderness in your ear, consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. Early treatment can help minimize the damage and prevent permanent disfigurement.

  2. Drain the Fluid Build-up: In some cases, your doctor may recommend draining the fluid build-up that causes cauliflower ear. This procedure involves making a small incision in the affected area and draining the fluids using a syringe.

  3. Apply Cold Compresses: Applying cold compresses to the affected ear can help reduce swelling and pain, promoting faster healing.

  4. Protect Your Ears: Once you’ve treated cauliflower ear, it’s essential to protect your ears from further trauma or friction. Wear protective gear during training sessions and avoid practices that may cause trauma to the affected area.


In conclusion, cauliflower ear is a common condition that affects many BJJ athletes. However, by taking proper precautions to prevent it and seeking timely treatment if it occurs, you can minimize the impact of this condition on your performance and overall well-being. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so take steps to safeguard your ears during training and competition to avoid the risk of cauliflower ear.