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By Felix Rodriguez

One of the neatest things about Brazilian jiu jItsu is how it brings together people from all walks of life. It’s not uncommon for plumbers, lawyers, pilots and teenagers to all share mat space together, in harmony, learning the gentle art. As we gain more experience training we also become better acquainted with the different personality types, and defining character traits of our teammates. jiu jitsu teams become like families, which much like our real ones, are comprised of all sorts of wacky members. Those who are able to cross train at other gyms might have noticed that the same dynamics play in the different schools they visit. Every academy is a little bit different, but also the same. Since we’re stuck with these guys and girls Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine decided to celebrate some of the most common teammate stereotypes in no particular order:

The Water Boarder: Let’s face it; jiu jitsu is a physically strenuous and extremely intimate sport where teammates are in close proximity to each other. People who haven’t trained in BJJ before often find it odd looking when they see the art for the first time – and rightfully so. Grappling is about creating angles without leaving openings; and the physical nature of the sport leads to sweating. Some teammates sweat more than others.

The Water Boarder is known for torturing their teammates once they gain top control. They do so by letting the profuse sweat they create drip onto their pinned friend’s face. The initial shock created by this rapid exposure to sweat can distract the water-boarder’s teammate and create an opening for them to either submit or gain mount. Unfortunately their sweat cannot be helped.

Mr./Ms. Mildew: This teammate can be spotted a mile away by the stench emanating from their gi, which can be compared to an aura of burnt diapers. Mr./Ms. Mildew is a busy person, they often forgets to dry their gi, leaving it in the washer for a few days. Sometimes they put their gi inside a gym bag and forget it in their cars in the middle of the Texas summer. Allowing the 100+ degree weather to ferment the fabric in it’s own smells. When they get home they’ll wash the gi, but often neglect to take care of the bag and use this portable stink bomb to transport their gi to training.

Mr./Ms. Mildew are impervious to the fetid stench that their gi’s create and will shamelessly roll with their teammates who face the double challenges of not getting their guards passed and not gagging. Mr./Ms. Mildew will use the smell of their gi much like the Mendes brothers use a berimbolo to take the back. When the crusty fabric of their gi touches their opponent’s face their instinctual reaction is to turn away from the smell of cadaver, thus leaving their back’s exposed.

The Youtube Warrior: reverse omoplatas from inverted De La Rivas, pentagram chokes, flying Yogi wristlocks. If it’s on YouTube, this teammate has seen it, memorized it and wants to try this stuff they picked up unsupervised on you. Why drill a knee slide pass like the instructor demonstrated when you can worm guard instead?

The YouTube Warrior is developing an arsenal of Kung-Fu Movie type jiu jitsu moves that are all filler and no killer. YouTube is definitely a very helpful resource to supplement training with, but the YouTube Warrior wants to make these techniques their bread and butter. They want to throw the grappling equivalent to spinning *ish.

The Black Belt Sugar Daddy/Momma: This teammate is known for their mysteriously high-ranking, and seemingly closes friendship with the academy’s head instructor. The Black Belt Sugar Daddy/Momma arrives late, warms up through drills and will only roll with a select few training partners hand picked by their instructor.

If the school they’re in does any form of year-end awards they’re usually a lockdown for whatever form of plaque or recognition is given to students. They take an obscene amount of private lessons, and tend to drive the nicest car in the parking lot. Every school has one and every instructor needs one or two. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

The Marlboro Man/Woman: Quitting the cancer sticks is hard. Some teammates have either not gotten to the point where they feel like quitting will help them gain an edge in cardio, or simply have no desire to put their cigs down.

These teammates smell like they rolled around in a truck stop ashtray and used the content’s of a dipping cup as mouthwash. They often run out of steam mid-roll and feel the need to explain that they’re smokers – as if their poor teammates didn’t know already.

Mr. Metro Sexual: Mr. Metro Sexual comes to train in club-mode. His hair is perfectly coiffed, his body has been spruced with one spray too many of Axe or their favourite cologne. Mr. Metro believes that if he looks good he feels good, and thus projects that he will also roll well.

Teammates can spot Mr. Metro Peacocking around in his blindling white shoyoroll gi, trying to look like Ryu from Street Fighter II. When rolling he will often pause to smooth out/ re-spike his hair, and will constantly rearrange his gi and re-tie his belt. Gotta look fly in between those upa drills.

Jiu Jitsu Princess: Jiu Jitsu Princess is the female counterpart to Mr. Metro. She always comes to class with perfectly braided hair, color coordinated gi and nail polish, and will often be wearing make up. If there is a pink or light purple version of a gi, this lady probably has it and matches her finger tape to it’s trim. You go girl!

Mr. Abu Dhabi: Mr. Abu Dhabi only knows one speed: Five seconds down and two points behind. This individual cannot process the concept of keeping it playful, they will never backdown and never surrender. Mr. Abu Dhabi will go out on his shield and get choked unconscious before tapping.

During Warm ups he’s not trying to do pushups, he’s trying to push the ground down. He will cross-face, neck-crank, heel-hook, put his knee on your face, and do whatever else possible to not let you get half-guard, and usually hear Journey’s Eye of the Tiger or the Rocky Soundtrack in their head while rolling. More Power to you, Mr. Abu Dhabi!

Mr./Ms. Glass: Much like Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the film Unbreakable, there is always something awry with Mr./Ms.Glass. They can be spotted with excessive amount of tape around any and every joint on their body or doing their best impersonation of a flight attendant giving pre-flight directions when pointing to their injuries before rolling.

The laundry list is long and gruesome. From sprained finger tendons to aggravated groin pulls, Mr./Ms. Glass has either suffered or is currently experiencing the gamut of injuries known to grapplers, and if they haven’t experienced an injury yet they will the second they begin rolling with you.

Mr. Miyagi: Every gym has that teammate who loves to coach…too much. Mr. Miyagi has something clever to say about every technique attempted by a teammate. This habit does not limit itself to drilling either.

They will often give advice and coach their training partner while rolling – Coincidentally or not, their coaching seems to increase when they are about to concede points or be submitted. No can defend.

The Incredible Hulk: Hulk is the strongest spazziest person in a gym. This person has inhumane strength with they mercilessly use to overcome sound technique. Hulk is an injury magnet and, can also be your gym’s resident Mr. Abu Dhabi. When this happens they are usually the last person to get picked for training, and the fear can usually be smelled on the unlucky bastard who has to volunteer as the Hulk’s tribute. GRRRRRRRRRRRWAAAARRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Wolverine: Much like their comic book namesake, Wolverine will slice and dice you with his sharp claws if you aren’t careful. They’re pretty much everywhere, and there isn’t much that can be said about them that isn’t self-explanatory. Trim your nails, dude!

The Missing Link: The Missing Link is that guy or girl in the gym that is two parts human and one part ??? They are either crazy hairy, or have abnormally large and oddly shaped heads, they’re 6’5” or taller and look like gentle giants – until they’ve been rolling.

Once these gentle looking giants have worked up a sweat they slowly begin to distort and transform into these weird looking creatures that could be mistaken for bigfoot or  the chupacabra. Usually the nicest person at your gym too so doesn’t be mean to your missing link!

There are many more Jiu Jitsu school stereotypes, but remember stereotypes are just that, be kind to your teammates because they’re the  jiu jitsu family you have!


April 17, 2015 — Jiu Jitsu Style