5 Guys you meet at every BJJ gym
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or ‘BJJ’ as it is often acronymized, attracts people of all walks of life. From the up and coming MMA fighter to the middle-aged school teacher and everyone in between. That is what makes BJJ beautiful, is that is has a little something for everyone. Despite having a wide array of different folks of all different types, there are a few that you seem to come across at any academy no matter where you are. Here’s the top five:
1. The MMA guy
This guy was 0-5 all by way of rear naked choke before he realized he needed to learn to grapple if he ever wanted to make it out of the first round. He tends to be super aggressive, wears vale tudo shorts to nogi class and “shadow” punches while you’re rolling. He doesn’t know any submissions other than heel hooks and neck cranks. He’s usually a white belt due to lack of time training in the Gi, which you find totally unfair considering he’s been training for 4 years and crushes all the other white belts. This guy wears a mouth guard to roll and always forgets the ‘bump’ part of the slap and bump. 9 times out of 10 this guy retires from MMA and pursues BJJ competition full-time, to which he probably finds success.
2. The Judo black belt/ BJJ white belt
A decade of Judo has made this guy so damn humble that he decided he wanted to be a white belt at something again. You can spot this guy from a mile away from the head to toe under armour, wicked deformed toes and a roll and a half of tape on each hand. This guy bows on and off the mat and always cuts himself off mid-sentence when he accidentally says something in Japanese. DO NOT-I REPEAT-DO NOT- LET THIS GUY ON TOP OF YOU. This guy has spent an insane amount of time literally practicing ways to hold people down. Think wrestler aggression with an oriental twist of discipline. If you ever decide to roll with this guy starting on the feet, be prepared for your ankles to click together and to temporarily not know which way is up.
3. The BJJ hipster
This guy lived in California in a past life. He always has the newest Gi, the newest DVD, and all the bells and whistles of a 21st century grappler. He refers to brazilian jiu jitsu as ‘jitz’ and his favorite move is the berimbolo. When he’s not lounging around in a pair of datsusara sandals eating acai, you can catch this guy selling t-shirts at the county fair or ripping waves at one of those artificial surfing places.
4. The power lifter
This guy takes pre workout before class, and comes literally right after the gym. Although he understands that jiu jitsu is not about strength, his brain is programmed to move stuff, so when its rolling time he just sees you as a giant barbell. This guys gi is extremely tight around the shoulders and it takes all of his mental discipline not to rampage his way out of armbars. Never ask this guy how he wants to start, spoiler alert: he’s gonna say top. For some reason even before its time to roll this guy is sweating like Donald Trump at the Source awards. If he asks to roll light-politely decline. Rolling light with this guy is like a brisk jog with Usain Bolt. Nicest guy in the world, but I would avoid him until he gets his blue belt.
5. The hippie
This guy has never done a contact sport in his life, and probably wears a drug-rug everywhere even when it’s 90 degrees outside. This guy joined BJJ for the ‘spiritual’ aspect and has every episode of the Joe Rogan podcast on his ZUNE. This guy has all the best intentions when he tells you to substitute every artificial ingredient ever with coconut, and how the government is spying on you with satellites. This guy literally is bothered by nothing, and can often be seen meditating at tournaments. This guy is as strange as they come and his Gi usually smells like cannabis, but you’ll come to love him. Mention his name and you get a 10% discount on Onnit products.