Everyone who has trained knows that you will meet some of the best human beings on the mats. There is something about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that seems to attract and keep really cool, humble, and amazing people.
But let’s face it…it’s not all sunshine and roses. The world is full of Clownshoes and every now and then one makes his way onto the mats and makes it worse for everyone else. This guide is dedicated to those special snowflakes that just can’t seem to drink a big glass of Act Rite™ and behave like a reasonable human being.
So, without further ado, let’s raise a shaker cup of whey protein and salute all of the self-unaware goons who we wish find a new hobby.
1. Cat-Piss Gi Dude – This guy is first on the list because literally everyone who has trained more than a year or two has had the displeasure of training with this guy. He shows up in a wastewater brown gi that started out white, kicks his fifteen year old tennis shoes off (no socks), and walks barefoot across the gym floor straight onto the mats. No matter how hard you try, he has heat seeking radar for you. When open mat starts he is like Jason Voorhees walking down a scantily clad 19 year old, and you cannot escape. Everyone else saw him show up to open mat and so they paired up like the last one without a partner gets an oral staph infection…and now its him and you. Before you slap hands the ammonia smell hits you like Pacquiao just blasted you with a straight left, and your eyes water. You slap hands and immediately make grips, figuring that maybe you can just play guard and keep him off of you, and yes, that gi is already wet. Sweet Jesus Christ riding a bike man….his gi is wet. Is it still wet from the last time he terrorized your open mat with an olfactory assault that made the carpet bombing of Vietnam look like a schoolyard scuffle? Wasn’t that like four days ago? Was it sitting in the trunk of his car all that time? Like a PTSD victim, your mind swells with flashes of the worst cases of staph you have seen on the internet, and now you are just praying that the roll ends soon. You manage to finish the roll, thanking the grappling gods that the timer was set only to five minutes and smell your hands. Yup, they smell like you have been scooping litter boxes barehanded. They smell like a diaper your dog tried to eat at the beach. There is not enough hand sanitizer in Costco to get this smell off of you now. Cat-Piss Gi Dude is looking for a new partner, and you retreat to the locker room to contemplate the most efficient way to cut off both your hands.
2. Mundials Guy – Here‘s the thing about Mundials Guy…every now and then, you need to roll with this guy. It reminds you that BJJ doesn’t always work against a 400lb gorilla that just drank four servings of NOS Xplode pre-workout and doesn’t feel pain. Every now and then, we all need a dose of humility, and in that way, Mundials Guy does serve some kind of purpose. What pisses most people off about this guy, isn’t the fact that he treats every single roll like it’s the finals at ADCC where slams are legal, it’s the fact that he shows up after your brutal warm up, and after you drilled technique for an hour. You are just getting what is maybe your second or third wind and he comes in from the sidelines fresh as sun-dried laundry, goes at it for three rounds of open mat like you are the last two contestants left on the 77th Hunger Games, and then leaves…and you have like four more rounds of open mat left. If it weren’t for the vital role that this guy plays in helping you manage your own adrenaline dumps, you would have thought seriously about hiring Rico Rodriguez to show up and handle this dude for a few rounds every open mat just so he could experience what it’s like to roll tired. At least his Gi smells like fruit punch creatine powder. You can’t handle another roll with Cat-Piss Gi dude.
3. White Belt Professor – This guy. This f#$king guy. He just can’t shut up. It doesn’t matter if you are simply trying to knock out some reps in a drilling session, or if you are having a serious rolling session the week before a major competition…this guy literally cannot help himself. He will coach you through every move and every submission. In a live roll he will ask you to stop choking him, so he can explain how you could make the choke tighter if only you flare your wrists out a little more. This guy makes you seriously consider just pushing a pencil through your eardrums. Sure it would hurt, but at least you would get the satisfaction of seeing his lips move and ad-libbing in your own monologue while you roll. It would be like the BJJ version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. While this guy goes on and on about how your technical mount is maybe a little loose and he saw a cool escape on Submissions 101 that would work here if only you weren’t so strong…you could be imagining him reading the phonebook…or explaining how to make hash sugar cookies with no eggs in German. Or really anything. Anything, else. All you need is a pencil.
4. Lets Go Light Guy – This guy is incestual second cousins with Mundials Guy. Like some strange Game of Thrones type setup where they have the same mother but actually their fathers were twin brothers, this dude is like an evil clone of Mundials Guy only with more social skills. He knows that you shouldn’t go hard all the time. He knows that BJJ culture values rolling chill and technical so you can both learn more in training (at least some of the time). He knows that flow rolling is an expression of high skill and is something that everyone should work on developing. He knows those things, and he asks you to go light…but as soon as you put him in a bad position, that all goes out the window and he turns up the intensity more and more. Yeah, you started out light, and flowy, but then you hit a berimbolo and took his back and now he is flailing harder than Michael J Fox on blue meth trying not to get submitted. So yeah, it’s a flow roll, so you release the seatbelt and let him escape the back, but he has forgotten that he said “Let’s go light bro” at the start of the roll, and now he is on you like he is trying to make a highlight reel out of your destruction. The problem with this guy is that he is only chill when he feels he is winning the roll, and once you put him in a bad position, all of a sudden Its On and he changes gears. It’s a conundrum.
5. The Internet Explorer – There is nothing wrong with supplementing our training with techniques we find online. Probably everyone who trains can point out a few things in their game that work really well, that they learned from one of the many online sources of technique like MGInAction, or Jason Scully’s YouTube channel. The problem is that the Internet Explorer ONLY wants to work on stuff he found online. This guy is like one of those old dudes at the beach, fastidiously scouring the surf with a metal detector for lost treasures, ignoring the amazing view. Every week this guy comes to training with some “new stuff he saw online” that is often probably too advanced for him, and he can’t wait to try it out with you. This week is Mantis Guard. Last week it was Reverse de la Worm Guard. The week before that, it was some crazy rolling bow choke setup from the turtle that only works if the stars align and the guy lets you get every grip you need (oh and also the guy on the bottom has to not be trying to escape at all…or you know, it doesn’t work). If this dude would just pick ONE of these techniques and stick with it for like six months, he would probably be able to make it work…but he has the attention span of a goldfish, so every week it’s a new complex puzzle to solve. And he wonders why you are still drilling armbars from closed guard for the last two years. It’s hard to hate on this guy too much, because at least he wants to learn new things…which brings us to…
6. Phil from Groundhog Day – This dude has been doing the same four moves in live rolls for the last six years. Who knows, maybe he is actually stuck in some kind of wormhole time-loop like reporter Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. I saw Interstellar, and frankly I didn’t understand any of it, but I’m pretty sure that this type of space-bendy time stuff is possible, simply because of Phil from Groundhog Day. This dude is like those time capsules you buried in Jr. High as a class project. He is a perfect sample of a time long forgotten, because he has been sticking to the same four moves for the last half decade. He knows what works for him, and gosh-darnit he is going to stick with what works. Never mind that everyone in the academy knows his moves and shuts them down because he is predictable. Never mind that it’s boring to train with him because it’s almost impossible to learn new things when your opponent has the same strategy, regardless of what you do. I don’t really give a crap about rank, but this guy has been a three stripe blue belt for like 6 years even though he trains consistently. Doesn’t he realize why? Does he not see that your professor hasn’t put a purple belt on him because he is literally doing the exact same things now that he did when he first got his blue belt? You try to help him by showing him a few new options to open his game up, he seems grateful, and he even drills them with you for a few weeks…but when the live rolling starts, that alarm clock goes off at 6am in his mind and its “…JUST PUT YOUR LITTLE HAND IN MINE…THERE AIN’T NO HILL OR MOUNTAIN WE CAN’T CLIMB….HEYYY….I GOT YOU BABE….I GOT YOU BABE….”. (See this clip if you are wondering if the author had a stroke while writing that last part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYzVdv6V5Vs).
7. 10th Planet Warrior – I want to start this by saying that I love Eddie Bravo, and all of the 10th Planet guys I have met have been super cool. I think the EBI series is setting the bar for BJJ invitationals, and is WAY better than that other invitational series which rhymes with “Better-snort-this”. Much respect to all of those guys. Seriously. Ok, with that out of the way, I think it’s time to talk about the 10th Planet Warrior and why he is so annoying. So first, this guy only rolls no-gi even at the goddamn gi open mat. There are literally twenty guys all wearing Gis, and the 10th Planet Warrior is over there doing panda rolls in full spats, a long sleeve rashguard, and a rugby helmet (thanks Joe Rogan). He knows damn well that none of us want to train no-gi….and yet, he shows up at the gi open mat all like “Hey wanna roll no-gi?”. No, actually. I don’t want to roll no-gi, I want to roll in the gi, which might have been obvious from the fact that I’M WEARING A F#$KING GI RIGHT NOW. If I take my gi top off and roll in gi pants, you are going to grab them, and since you are in spats, I’ll be left with this strange asymmetry in our roll. Guess its torreando passes for you huh? Shame I didn’t come prepared with a full set of spats under my gi. F*&k. I get it…you really love no-gi. You have this really cool rubber guard game that is very hard to work in the gi due to all the friction and grips and stuff…ok, fine. But for the love of Rickson Gracie…put a freaking gi on and roll with us in the gi when it’s a gi class. There is only one minute between rounds on our timer and no one wants to perform a crazy fast wardrobe change just so he can roll with you and let you work on your chill-dog to crackhead control transitions. Your game is cool. No-gi is cool. Hell, the 10th planet system is really cool and if I didn’t have the hips of an arthritic septuagenarian I would probably want to learn that stuff…but man…this is gi class, put a freaking gi on and lets roll.
If you feel I have forgotten one of the special snowflakes that make our lives difficult on the mat, by all means please post a comment below and let me know who I’ve left out. I’ve probably blocked a few from my brain as some kind of survival mechanism.
This are solely the subjective opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of KNOXX editors or staff.