Inside the Mind and Mat Savagery of Mr. Jiu Jitsu

“Your Facebook Jiu Jitsu better match up to your Real Life Jiu Jitsu.”- Mr. Jiu Jitsu

The BJJ social media landscape is filled with countless pages, blogs, accounts and sites featuring various aspects of the jiu-jitsu lifestyle. Some are serious, some are selling products like instructionals or competitions, and others are just having fun as they traverse this arduous journey to black belt and beyond.

Falling into this latter category is self-professed “mat savage” Mr. Jiu Jitsu who in a relatively short time has amassed over 125,000 followers on Facebook and nearly 5000 followers on Instragram.  The Jiu Jitsu Times convinced Mr. Jiu Jitsu to stop rolling long enough to answer a few of our questions.

Mr. Jiu JItsu and Tom DeBlass having a friendly roll at Leverage BJJ in OH--photo courtesy of Todd Shaffer
Mr. Jiu JItsu and Tom DeBlass having a friendly roll at Leverage BJJ in OH–photo courtesy of Todd Shaffer

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  First off, what is your real name Mr. Jiu Jitsu?  Tell us about yourself.

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  My name is Michael Mihas.  I am from Youngstown, OH and I come from a super Greek-American family.  We are extremely loud and we must let every single person we run into know we are Greek and force our culture down your throat.  Sound familiar?  My big fat Greek jiu-jitsu mentality.

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  How did you get involved with Jiu Jitsu?

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  In 1995, I walked into a Blockbuster Video with a few friends of mine to pick up some videos from that one section in the store that you have to go in the backroom to see and somehow ended up with UFC 1.  I was immediately amazed by the effectiveness of BJJ and three weeks later, I had my first MMA fight, which was not a good idea (Author’s Note:  This fight was actually the first MMA fight held in Ohio.)  Since that point, I’ve fallen in love with jiu-jitsu.

Here Michael Mihas takes on legend Ricardo Almeida in a superfight at ADCC Nationals in WV--photo courtesy of Michael Mihas
Here Michael Mihas takes on legend Ricardo Almeida in a superfight at ADCC Nationals in WV–photo courtesy of Michael Mihas

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  Who are your influences?

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  Royce Gracie.  He is the martial arts Godfather to us all.

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  Tell us a little bit about your instructors.

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  Well, it was Sensei Blockbuster Video for a few years, then in 1997 I started going to Craig Cramer’s Academy in Cleveland, OH.  I am currently under Craig’s former student and good friend of mine, James Terlecki who owns and operates Next Level Martial Arts in Austintown, OH.

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  If you could change one thing about the BJJ community or experience today what would it be?

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  It would be the hidden ego in jiu-jitsu.  There is always lots of jiu-jitsu preaching by the higher ups and people of influence on how to do things and what we should be doing, but behind closed doors, I see everyone pushing their own agendas.

Hilarious example of Mr. Jiu Jitsu's Meme Skills--courtesy of Michael Mihas
Hilarious example of Mr. Jiu Jitsu’s Meme Skills–courtesy of Michael Mihas

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  You should start a jiu-jitsu page and make posts and memes that will get you death threats once a week.

Jiu-Jitsu Times:   Where did you actually come up with the idea of Mr. Jiu Jitsu?

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  I travel a lot for work, so I started the page just to find gyms and post pics or videos of places I trained in hopes of finding other gyms when I traveled again. I started posting whatever I was thinking and feeling and if I couldn’t put it into words I would make a meme about it, thus why some of my memes make zero sense. People started sharing the page and sending me videos, pics and personal messages. I did not want to use my real name because in reality I’m just a Joe Schmo from Ohio who is a jiu-jitsu fan like everyone else. I post ridiculous stuff and I figure let them hate Mr. Jiu Jitsu and not Michael Mihas. I am still very much confused by the fact that so many people follow the page who don’t even train.

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  So what exactly is this concept of the “mat savage” that you’re always referencing on your page?

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  A mat savage is anyone willing to grind and stick with this martial art even when life’s odds are stacked against them.  People who don’t make excuses, train with injuries and that five-year blue belt who says, ‘fuck it if I don’t get promoted, I’m here for life.”

Advice from a mat savage. Meme courtesy of Michael Mihas
Advice from a mat savage. Meme courtesy of Michael Mihas

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  Since you’re a sort of Jekyll and Hyde with your two personas, Michael and Mr. Jiu Jitsu, I’d like you to answer the next two questions from both perspectives.  If you could go back to the white belt Michael/Mr. Jiu Jitsu and give them a piece of advice, what would that be?

Michael:  Use head gear.  Chicks don’t dig ears that look like unborn babies growing off the side of their heads.

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  Take that shit off your head.

Jiu-Jitsu Times:  As the story goes, Grandmaster Helio Gracie actually trained on the morning of his death.  Flash ahead and tell me how you would like your last training session to go.

Mike:  I would love to roll with my kids and grandkids and be carried out of the gym by them.

Mr. Jiu Jitsu:  Let’s live stream this.

Michael Mihas, as he’s known by day, is a hardworking family man, from the blue-collar town of Youngstown Ohio.  He also happens to be one of his region’s grappling pioneers, who recently earned his black belt in BJJ.  By night, or on social media, he is known as Mr. Jiu Jitsu sharing hilarious memes and tongue-in-cheek advice from the mind of this veteran “mat savage.”  More importantly, Mr. Jiu Jitsu is something very refreshing in this age of click bait advertising.  He wants nothing from us, except a smile and to get our asses back on the mats.

Follow Mr. Jiu Jitsu here on Facebook.





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