Keeping It Real: Different Personalities In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academies

There is an entire zoo of different personalities in every Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy. Most are harmless and much of the time humorous in their idiosyncrasies.

I recall training with two vastly different personalities at one academy that illustrate a difference in how someone approaches training jiu-jitsu.

Guy #1 had a selection of BadBoy & Jaco fight T-shirts, several expensive limited edition kimonos, and enjoyed sharing his expertise to all who would watch the UFC fights. However, his dedication on the mat did not match his purchasing of fight gear.

So sporadic was his attendance, that even after coming to classes spanning a period of more than five years, he had not pieced together a long enough training streak to graduate a single stripe on the white belt. He just didn’t accrue the skills in his intermittent attendance.

However, around his non-training friends watching the UFC in the bar, he would make frequent references to his “training” and occasionally threaten to choke his buddies.

Dude was not “keeping it real”.

Guy #2 was a stoic Eastern European who had been in the striking martial arts for decades and put on a white belt for jiu-jitsu. “Hard as a coffin nail”, he would dutifully show up to training sessions week in and week out, barely saying a word to anyone.

“Hey man, how are you?” you would say when greeting him.

He would stare unblinkingly and simply answer “Good.”

He would put on his plain, white, non-designer kimono and JUST TRAIN.

A great training partner who gave no quarter and asked none, you knew your techniques were solid if you could catch a tap on him.

I was really happy to see him get a purple belt tied around his waist over a shorter interval than Guy #1!

Vastly different approaches to jiu-jitsu.

Guy #1 focused on all of the superficial aspects and specialized in talking about training.
Guy #2 did not talk about training, he actually showed up and trained!

Jiu-jitsu Times – That Guy You Hate To Roll With


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