There is an old cliché in poker that says, If you cant pick which player at the table is the sucker, its you.
Believe me, the same holds true with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu more than you think. It isnt just with The Spazz, this isnt just some Minnesota phenomenon and, I am happy to say, it isnt something I see very much at Minnesota Top Team.
But they are out there, just waiting, probably drinking Red Bull and coffee, just twitching to get on the mat and whirl around like the Tasmanian Devil in an old Bugs Bunny cartoon the moment they cant pass guard.
The first step is for the grappler or BJJ practioner to identify the characteristics of The Spazz:
#1- They f***ing spaz!
#2- If there is cursing on the mat, it is usually from The Spazz, frustrated that his exaggerated attempts to do anything even resembling BJJ have failed.
#3- Look for a dirty/smelling gi. Sadly, people that have little awareness of their physical movements have little concern for the physical appearance or stench.
#4- The Spazz is a born Teacher (identified in a future blog). The Spazz is pretty sure that what they are doing is right and wont hesitate to tell other students what they are doing wrong, or to help them along with their submissions.
#5- While not exclusive, most spazs are white belts. I get it, in a sport that is largely dominated by men, there is a lot of testosterone around and a lot of the need to win mentality. Regardless of how stupid that may be. Watch out for the person that spins for no reason, its a dead giveaway.
#6- There will be blood- a fact only slightly less depressing than the movie by the same name. BJJ is technically a combat sport, I guess, so I suppose there is always a chance that blood could be drawn, at least by accident. However, the odds skyrocket against The Spazz that is terrified of having his guard passed and relies solely on the scramble to do anything. (Hint: spazs often appear more in no gi classes than gi classes).
#7- Bruises. This one isnt mutually exclusive to The Spazz, bruises happen, especially at the white belt level, especially in no gi. Forget Minnesota nice. New grapplers will often find small bruises all along their inner arms. It happens. However, black eyes are a lot more common when rolling with the spaz who seems to think his head in your eye socket is a good guard pass.
You may be able to think of a few more telltale traits of the BJJ Spazz, however, I think this list gets the point across. Hopefully, it doesnt sound too familiar, at least as far as your technique is concerned.
Advice: its okay to lose. It is okay to tap. I know you dont want to. You ALWAYS want to win, but we dont learn from winning. We dont improve and improvise from constant domination of the same guys over and over again. If you cant figure out the technique to escape half guard, or spider guard, or a berimbolo roll, please ask for the love of God.
Dont go to Youtube. If you cant figure out a cross pass on your own, that guy pretending to be a blackbelt online isnt going to help.