Dear Readers: Show Us Your Tats (Grappling Related, Naturally)

Photo credit: Instagram, #BJJtattoos

Shoutout to top ranked submission fighter and Matburn host Josh Hinger for asking relevant grappling podcast questions like “Do you have any tattoos?,” and the more hard-hitting “Are you going to get the American Legion Jiu-Jitsu Tattoo?” (The latter was posed directly to podcasting partner and cephalopod guard innovator Keenan Cornelius, who has not yet mutilated himself for posterity but is apparently interested in getting some sort of “tentacled” entity. Eventually.)

Which brings us to the subject of jiu-jitsu and tattoos. According to the interwebs, “young people” in the USA (and also Sweden) are more tattooed than ever before, with nearly 40% of people aged 18-29 sporting at least one piece of ink. Athletes, particularly males, are more likely than non-athletes to go under the gun. The UFC is basically a tattoo convention showcase with more fist fighting, depending on which show you’re attending. GQ magazine has gone so far as to have fighters do a segment titled “Tattoo Tour,” where heavily inked brawlers explain their collection of permanent life choices. And you don’t really need to do much more than a cursory Instagram search to see just how many BJJ practitioners globally–of any age bracket–are eager to telegraph their belt rank or mat passion while changing from street clothes to gi and back.

Are you someone who has gone long term commitment and gotten a grappling-related tattoo? If so, we want to see them. Sleeves, panels, tramp stamps, drunken mistakes, middle finger dingers, anything goes as long as it’s not on your junk. Just take a photo and send it to, or, post them to Instagram and tag @kimberly_kaye so we can actually see them. If you have a story about why you decided to make your love of BJJ a lasting and skin deep affair, feel free to include that. We’ll be rounding up submissions for a future feature on the site.

Fair warning, however: Hinger may judge some of y’alls tattoos. He feels strongly that coaches who have formed teams get carte blanche to tattoo whatever team spirit they want on their body, but the rest…well:

“That’s the only jiu-jitsu tattoo that I think is acceptable. If you founded the team then there’s no debate about it, if you like tattoos go get that tattoo. But IF you belong to Carlson Gracie, maybe don’t go get two big fat bulldogs on your chest like Michael Carbullido. And then have to cover them up.”

Savage, Hinger.


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