What’s On Your BJJ Playlist?

For some in the jiu-jitsu community, the only soundtrack they need for a good roll is bodies hitting mats.

Others – myself included – prefer something a bit more complex.

Music can be a potent weapon and tool in the BJJ gym.  Not only can it motivate students, but it can help create the type of atmosphere the professor needs.

Some songs can even help students move more fluidly.

I have an entire library of songs I like to play while rolling.  Some of them are heavy metal, some are classical, a few are rap, and many of them just can’t be categorized.

I would love to list them all, but brevity demands otherwise, so here is a small sample of what is on my BJJ playlist.

Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade

Say what you want about their Marxist propaganda, but I don’t know how anyone who can listen to RATM without getting pumped.

The hard rhythms; Tom Morello’s scratching, hip-hop-inspired guitar; Zach de la Rocha’s angry slam poetry; the images of marginalized people rising up against their oppressors – Rage Against the Machine is practically guaranteed to get you pissed off and ready to tear down any obstacle standing between you and your dreams.

“Bulls on Parade” – the second track off their 1996 album, Evil Empire – is one of my favorite songs to listen to before a competition. It may not help me win, but I’ll be ready to take on anyone standing between me and that medal.

Pantera – Walk

The Cowboys from Hell have blessed us with a lifetime of fight music, and one of the best is the third song off their 1992 masterpiece, Vulgar Display of Power.

“Walk” is a song about telling people with bad attitudes to take a hike (to put it gently). While that might not be the message you want to convey to your training partners, the song’s signature riff and Phil Anselmo’s trademark growls provide a healthy dose of adrenaline to keep you fighting through the toughest rolls.

I would also recommend “5 Minutes Alone” off of Far Beyond Driven.

Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood

This is my take-it-slow jiu-jitsu song. When I’m injured, rolling with someone injured, or just looking to “flow,” few tracks are better than Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood.”

With its slow, groovy rhythms and trance-like electronic sounds, “Clint Eastwood” can not only contribute to the relaxed atmosphere you need while flowing, it can make jiu-jitsu feel like break dancing.

Also, if you ever take a page out of Eddie Bravo’s book and roll while high, the song will definitely accentuate the experience, if not make you stare at shiny objects for prolonged periods of time.

So tell me, Jiu-Jitsu Times readers, what’s on your BJJ playlist?


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