NFL’s Tua Tagovailoa taking up judo to avoid head injuries

In the past we’ve talked about the thoughts that American football is a combat sport. It turns out the world of football and what is traditionally thought to be combat sports is colliding. Reports emerged today that Tua Tagovailoa, starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, is starting to learn judo to learn how to control his body and prevent concussions during a fall.

Tagovailoa struggled with concussions in the NFL’s 2022 season. He suffered what appeared to be a concussion early in the season only to pass the concussion protocol and play the next week. It was then Tagovailoa took a big hit and seized up on the ground. This incident caused much backlash for the NFL and had Tagovailoa sit for a couple weeks.

Tua Tagovailoa Picking Up Judo To Learn To Fall

That Tagovailoa is taking up judo to learn how to fall. In an interview, he stated that he will be taking judo once a week and will use it in his football toolbox to hopefully prevent concussions.

“We’ve got a plan set up,” Tua said. “I’ll be doing Judo on Fridays just so that I can kind of figure out understanding my body and how to fall. . . . Just trying to help myself.”

On the Up And Adams Show, Tagovailoa said that he’s taking the sport up and he and his family understand that football comes with inherent risks and that hopefully this new sport will help him prolong his career in football.

While judo is about throwing your opponent to a ground, a big part of the sport is to learn how to fall to prevent injury and avoid an ippon, a pin in judo. Tua Tagovailoa can use this aspect of judo to help his health during his career. Judo may not stop his injuries but if it can prevent one, it may be worth it in the long run.

Who knows? Tagovailoa may shed more popularity on judo and even enter a tournament and make some kid’s day. Getting to compete against Tagovailoa would be a dream come true for some 17 year old kid that likes both judo and the Miami Dolphins.

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Blaine Henry
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.