The BJJ white belt Spazz - you know 'em?

Posted by Jennie Clark

Jan 5, 2013 6:56:00 PM

There is an old cliché in poker that says, “If you can’t pick which player at the table is the sucker, it’s you.”

Believe me, the same holds true with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu more than you think. It isn’t just with “The Spazz”, this isn’t just some Minnesota phenomenon and, I am happy to say, it isn’t something I see very much at Minnesota Top Team.

BJJ SpazzBut 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 can’t 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.

stinky people in jiu jitsu#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 won’t hesitate to tell other students what they are doing wrong, or to “help them along” with their submissions.

#5- While not exclusive, most spaz’s 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, it’s 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: spaz’s often appear more in no gi classes than gi classes).

black eye, mn top team#7- Bruises. This one isn’t 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 doesn’t sound too familiar, at least as far as your technique is concerned.

Advice: it’s okay to lose. It is okay to tap. I know you don’t want to. You ALWAYS want to win, but we don’t learn from winning. We don’t improve and improvise from constant domination of the same guys over and over again. If you can’t figure out the technique to escape half guard, or spider guard, or a berimbolo roll, please ask for the love of God.

Don’t go to Youtube. If you can’t figure out a cross pass on your own, that guy pretending to be a blackbelt online isn’t going to help.

Jon Grilz


Topics: bjj st paul, jiu, bjj minnesota, jiu jitsu mn, BJJ MN, jiu jitsu st paul

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