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Epilepsy and Martial Arts

How many people mix the two?

I've been practicing martial arts for the last two years and I use it more as an outlet for socializing and relieving stress.

I mainly focus on Gracie Jiu Jitsu (I got my blue belt from Royce Gracie last weekend) and then I do a little unofficial Muay Thai so I can throw some good punches and kicks if I have to.

Eveyone I train with knows I have epilepsy and they're very sensitive to it. The instructor just says "Is there anything I need to know about what to do if you have any problems?" and "Take a break if you need to."

Some times when I'm rolling (thats what we call sparring for those who don't know) in class, I start to have auras, usually mild disorientation and then I just tap out, say my epilepsy is acting up, and then just sit for about 10 seconds and shake it off.

Part of me wants to compete in just one fight just to have to experience but knowing my luck the stress/anticipation would probably make my epilepsy act up right in the middle of it and I would have to tap out or stall until I shake it off, which I know would be stupid.

Anyone else have interests like this or at least something that the "average person" would say a person with epilepsy has no business doing?


Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

hi Gatesy,

What you r doing is phenomenal. Learning martial arts while having epilepsy is not easy. May be your training is providing you the motivation to fight Epilepsy. I practise boxing at home sometimes. Earlier I used to train with state level boxers, but left it years ago due to work pressure (even before my epilepsy was diagnosed). now I feel sort of low coordination while throwing punches, but that doesn't matter. It helps me 4get my problems for a while n gives me strength.

Keep it up..!

Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and decrease seizures I've heard. I'm proud to be a triathlete and I have E. Ofcourse this requires good seiz control for the swimming part. But i belief you cant stop living just because of E or stop doing the thing you love. You just have to take precautions and you seem to have done that. WAY TO GO !!

Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

Hi,  I stopped the competition part of the art.  The reasons are simple, I don't want to hurt or scare other people,  I am not as good as i was before.  If the people involved in the match know what is going on, the rules for "normal"people don't prohibit it, then you deceide about the risk.  Tap out is something people worry about. 
The seizures, and meds decreased my ability, not my desire.  

 I do a lot of things the average person can't do.  I do things the average person thinks I should not do.  Those that have concerns for safety, teach them.  Those that try to control.  Be smart.   You know your body.  Use that knowledge to determine what is ok for you. It can change from day to day.  I try to have someone with me, when I do things that have a higher risk.  I call them a spotter, helper, a friend.  Any activity that involves exercise, and social interaction is important.  That is a buy one, get one free situation.

Things I do;

Martial arts, climbing,  working with power tools, spenting some time alone,  travel alone, biking, and the list goes on. 

For some people with seizures, there are things they should not do.  Your common sense should rule the day.


Hope it helps


Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

The only thing that would have affected my ability was when the medicine (Keppra) left me drained and I slept about 12-14 hours a day but that was before I started training.


The biggest thing I quit was pursuing a career is law enforcement. I started having seizures and got pulled from the eligibility pool (not because of the epilepsy because I lost my driver's license.) Only two departments have told me they won't hire me but most just say they have so much discretion they'll take a slightly less qualified appplicant to avoid the risk. I just say "Thanks for being honest with me. I just didn't want to waste everyone's time and resources."

I blacked out driving down the highway and hit a vacant house so there's no way any agency won't find out since that's on my driving record.

After a few years of testing and not getting hired it started to sink in that the odds of them hiring me are slim to none. So I'm starting a nursing program next fall as long as my test scores are good enough.


But as for the martial arts, I honestly think if I quit it would cause a lot of problems since that's where I hang out and go to relax.

The big thing I need to work on is conditioning and getting my weight down. I put on about 30 pounds in the year after I was diagnosed, partially because I spent so much time sleeping or too tired to do anything and then because I was just too depressed to train. I used to run 11 miles a day and the other day I barely did two.

Here's my instructor, me, and Royce.

Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

I'd say go for the competition to at least experience it - if nothing else to learn if you ARE ready to compete. If you have to back out, then back out. No harm done, except may to your self-pride :) Everybody has to learn to deal with pride/ego in challenging situations, not just those with seizures.

I say all this from somewhat related experience: I used to workout and run a lot before I started having seizures 6 months ago, and was scared to get out and do these things again. I just very slowly pushed myself to do more and more. I'm still a fair ways away from pre-seizure fitness level, largely because I can't go at it with the same intensity or duration quite yet ( I will get an aura, I know I have to stop or at the very least ease up).

Good luck with your decision about what to do!!

Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

these art is diffrent from the others art normally the artist who work on this art are very rarely availeble.this art is diffrent from the others.this art reqired a strong body and redy to do more hardwork.this art have the more risk of enjury.this art normally present in the china and japan.Part of me wants to compete in just one fight just to have to experience
but knowing my luck the stress/anticipation would probably make my
epilepsy act up right in the middle of it and I would have to tap out
or stall until I shake it off, which I know would be stupid.

skunk traps


Re: Epilepsy and Martial Arts

Just a general update.

Still a blue belt. Went to my first actual competition Saturday. Had fun. Lost in the first round though (only by points, he never caught a submission.) So I don't take it as he beat me so much as he just outscored me in the 5 minute match.

 A true jiu jitsu contest has no time limit and ends when someone taps.

I have been recently

I have been recently diagnosed and find myself being wrapped in cotton wool obviously out of love by m loved ones but drowning in frustration because all i hear constantly is what i cannot do because you have Epilepsy now. No I've always had it, we just know what it is now..... I am trying to find something to do as Surfing was a NO, and just about everything else I've come up with. What are the realistic restrictions on Karate and Epilepsy? I notice everyone saying they aren't how they were before diagnosis? I definitely do feel weaker but i thought that was due to the doctor restricting by physical activity after the diagnosis, is this a permanent feature now? a side effect of the medication? Sorry for all the questions, I was literally diagnosed a few months ago and barely accepted it yet, let alone know what i'm dealing with yet.

I think my loved ones are

I think my loved ones are innocently doing it. My fiance has been so worried since I have been diagnosed, but i am dying to find something or anything that gives me my independence back. Taking the bus to work has been a god sent, i cant explain that to anyone, i don't even mind the grimy handles and chances of getting sick, not being able to drive myself anywhere broke my spirits so badly. I am very independent and this was a very hard blow for us all I think. I have Googled just about every sport or activity with "is this Epileptic friendly" hahahahaha. I NEED SOMETHING TO DO. I have even gained another 2 qualifications in 2 months because I just really need to keep my mind busy not thinking about everything I'm not allowed to do anymore according to my Doctors. I'm sure I'm ranting now.

I am 14 years old.  I have

I am 14 years old.  I have had episodes since I could remember.  My normal day was 30-60 mini episodes everyday.  And a few big ones on occasion, even hospitalize.  I was 20 lbs overweight, embarrassed all the time.  In a normal conversation my eyes would roll back into my head and I would blank out for 5 seconds at least once, but normally more.  Kids would tease me sometimes, my sisters would always stick up for me.Then I started my karate journey!  And I began to learn my body and my condition.  This year I lost 25 lbs, placed 2nd in the US open karate championships and 3rd In the USA Karate Nationals.  I learned something amazing.  If I eat healthy and exercise with some passion I had less episodes?  So I dialed it in more.  I train 6 days a week and 2 hours a day with my sisters.  I have maybe 1 episode every 3 months now.  That's huge!  I took a vacation and stopped, thinking I was better.  Within 7 days or so I was having episodes hourly.  So I started training again :)  I've been seizure free for 4 months.  I would never have known this of I just sat there."Your dreams are on the other side of your grit" ANYONE wishing to do combat sports with epilepsy should discuss it and approach it carefully.  Century martial arts makes a great head protector and they are thoughtful when it comes to epilepsy.  But if anyone tells you " you can't do it" don't let there fear stop you from trying! Who knows I might fly a space shuttle on day :) keep your chin up! 

I'm very interested in

I'm very interested in studying martial arts as a mechanism by which I might channel some of the energy I still have as a forty-six-year-old epileptic man. And, among other reasons,too keep my emotions at bay, I lift weights, read, and even pray, among other things (I am also taking 4-medications for epilepsy). My becoming epileptic was a consequence of one of many violent altercations I had as a younger man. It ended my academic career, and I let myself succumb to narcotics until, 12-and1/2 years ago, I stopped completely. Even at my age, I am very strong and agile, and would like an outlet for refining and maintaining these traits. I still need to find balance, and inner-piece. And I need a healthy community to study with. I am almost alone, aside from my Son, and some of my oldest, closest friends still living in Upstate NY, where I grew up. I now reside in the PCNW, in WA, very close to Canada.

I am close to your age and

I am close to your age and have been an epileptic for the last two decades, I have gone through a surgery.The fight is on, I have been practicing martial arts since I was a kid and that training has worked wonders in handling the challenge life throws at epileptics.I will like to help anyone interested to repay my gratitude,Get in touch if you feel like

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