Three Types Of Students Instructors Can’t Stand

Michael Cowling and his students participate in Roll for ROWW in 2015. Photo Source: Chantelle Martin/ Roll for ROWW

There are a lot of different personality types in the world, and many of them are on full display in the BJJ academy.

The vast majority of students are enthusiastic and good training partners. There are a notable few, however, who are…er…a challenge for team mates and instructors alike.

Here are a short, but by no means exhaustive list.

The Resister

You are merely showing a move to some students and the demonstration partner decides that the best way for everyone to learn the technique is for him to resist with full power and thrash on the mat like a salmon on.the dock.

“Hey dude, we are just trying to learn the move. Why are you fighting???”

By the look in his eyes, he seems genuinely surprised that his frantic, drowning man clutching is not helpful.

Perhaps some yoga stretches and a scented candle are needed to calm his frantic energy.

The YouTube Hotdog

This student can’t escape a mount correctly or demonstrate a technical guard pass, but by golly last night he saw Keenan Cornelius’ new Invisible Ninja Lapel Guard, and this is the missing piece to his BJJ game!

All of those elbow to knee escapes are boring. Let’s get right to the Double Reverse Berimbolo because that is exactly what this two-stripe white belt needs to really elevate their game to a three-stripe level!

Clueless In Class

The instructor demonstrated the basic guard collar choke three times in the center of the mat and the students pair off to drill.

One student waves the instructor over.

“Am I doing this right?” he asks.

The student proceeds to grab both sleeves and flail about with his legs, trying to do some ersatz sweep that would cause Helio Gracie to spend the afternoon in his room with a cool washcloth across his forehead.

“How can you choke without a collar grip?” the instructor asks.

He replies with a blank stare. Zero idea of what he just saw.

What odd ball behaviors do you see in the academy?


  1. I’m but a one-stripe white belt, but I’ll tell you, “The Resister” is a pain not only to instructors. Recently had one as a partner while drilling the Hip-Heist/Kimura Sweep. He decided the best way to help me was to bear-hug me around the waist and put all of his weight on me while squeezing. Worth mention: that was the last time he came to class, so maybe it was his version of “giving the finger” to jiu jitsu!

  2. Yet another blue belt hating on white belts, as if they were never that guy. Thank you for your 18 months of mat wisdom. Keep grinding, brother.


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