Don’t be that guy: 7 things not to do at a BJJ tournament

BJJ, Jiu Jitsu

If you’re a blue belt or higher, odds are you’ve been travelling around to different tournaments for quite some time now. From the small local tournaments to the big IBJJF’s and NAGA’s , every single tournament never fails to display certain things that just make you cringe. And it makes you wanna tell everyone you know including the person in the mirror- ‘Dont be that guy’. The list goes on and on of guys you don’t want to be, but here’s a top 7 to get you started.


  1. Don’t be that guy who has a complete f****** meltdown after he loses a match.

So you had ahold of the guys leg and he pulled guard, and the ref didn’t give you the 2 points. Or maybe you didn’t get an advantage where you should have. or maybe you just so fully expected victory that the loss just completely shocked your system and struck a nerve. It still does not permit you to go full-blown Gary Busey on bath salt. Throwing a fit, arguing with the ref, storming off the mat, makes you look like a complete idiot. and guess who else that behavior reflects on? ding ding ding, your coach, and you team mates. Best believe your little temper tantrum is gonna have everyone in the academy ready to tap you like a keg at a college party come monday night.


2. Don’t be that guy who acts like Chuck Liddell after he wins a match

I know pre-workouts are stronger than they have ever been and listening to SlipKnot in a pair of 5 thousand dollar Dre beats isn’t doing you any favors, but please don’t lose your s*** after you tap someone out. Aside from maybe when the black belts compete at the IBJJF worlds or ADCC, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the combat sports equivalent of GOLF. The crowds don’t get worked up, it’s not a loud rowdy atmosphere, people just (somewhat) quietly stand by and appreciate the technique. If you go on a full-blown celebratory rampage after winning a match odds are you are drawing attention to yourself in a way that you don’t want to, by looking like an idiot.


3. Don’t be that guy who gets put to sleep because he wouldn’t tap

This rule can be summed up as simple as this: Nobody remembers the guy who taps out, everyone remembers the idiot who got put to sleep. I can’t imagine why i should possibly have to elaborate on this point but i will anyway for all the white belts. The most important thing that you may lose track of is your health. You need to live to fight another day. Essentially getting your brain turned off momentarily due to lack of oxygen can have some horrifying effects, its more simple and respectable to understand and respect that your opponent applied better and proper technique, and acknowledge his or her worthiness by tapping. Learn from it, and get back out there. Don’t be that idiot with his feet lifted up doing the unconscious Harlem shake.


4. Don’t be that coach who scolds his students after losing

As a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach you’re more than likely gonna wear a lot of hats. Coach, teacher, Mentor, friend, corner man, critic, the list goes on. Your students put a lot of trust in you, especially ones that have never done any kind of competitive sport in their life let alone one where the object is to subdue someone physically by way of choke or joint lock. The hardest part is just mustering up the courage to step out there. So the last thing anyone needs is you shoving criticisms down their throat and scolding them in front of the whole crowd, embarrassing them and probably turning them off to the idea of jiu jitsu forever. You win some and you lose some, and the biggest benefit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has nothing to do with winning or losing a match at a tournament. There’s a difference between giving someone a talking to because they could have┬ádone better, and flat out turning into a drunk soccer dad at a BJJ tournament. know the difference.

5. Don’t be that guy who cuts weight for a BJJ tournament

There’s always at least one. He’s got 5 sweatshirts on over his Gi top and a stocking cap and a snow suit and he’s spitting in a bottle. [i may have exaggerated the layers just a bit]. He’s running around, jumping rope, running up and down stairs, frantically trying to lose those extra pounds to make weight for his division. And then once he completely saps himself and makes weight, his weight class gets combined with the one above his. Don’t be that guy. Jiu Jitsu is the art of using leverage, not weight. If you need to rapidly lose weight in an attempt to roll against smaller guys, you don’t understand what jiu jitsu is yet.


6. Dont be that guy who gets DQ’d for something stupid

Please come out from under your rock and read up on the rules before you compete. Heel hooks, slamming, neck cranks, etc. are HIGHLY illegal in most tournaments. Unless you’re doing a highly advanced NoGi division or competing at Gracie Worlds with Eddie Bravo and his army of stoners with super sweet rash guards and spats, the rules are pretty much gonna be the same at every tournament. So don’t plan on pulling a ‘Rampage’ inside your opponent’s guard, unless you anna get DQd and be the laughing-stock of your local BJJ community.


7. Don’t be that guy who tries a technique for the first time at the tournament.

So in the weeks and months leading up to the tournament, you’ve been learning armbars, triangles, hip escapes and flower sweeps. But the night before the tournament you decide to hop on youtube, then you get out on the mats saturday and try a flying scissor sweep- to a crackhead control nipple twister choke- or something. You get tapped out, and your coach wants to strangle you. Don’t waste your money and gas on BJJ classes if you’re not gonna do the techniques you’re taught. If online learning is the way you wanna go then checkout the Gracie online school.



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