We all have little quirky things that irritate us. Maybe it's people who chew loud when they eat. Maybe it's people who drive slow in the left lane (don’t do that btw). Maybe it’s the guy that can’t stop telling you that he does Crossfit or that he’s vegan. Life is full of pet peeves and the BJJ community is no different. So this top ten list, in no particular order, is the things or people that drive your coach absolutely bonkers.
1. Shoes on the mat/ Bare feet in the bathroom
Imagine this. You arrive at your gym and step out of your car. When you step out, your foot lands directly onto some strangers chewed bubble gum. You then take a few more steps and land into a pool of warm dip spit. You then travel a few more feet and flatten a turd that was dropped off by the local mangy mutt. I could keep going but you get the idea. So, after all that, what makes you think it would be a good idea to step your nasty shoes on the instructor’s clean mats? The mats that you're going to be rolling on shortly. It’s beyond disgusting. This same idea applies to bare feet in the bathroom. You walk your happy butt, barefoot into the bathroom with urine and fecal matter everywhere then decide to step back on the mats? Negative. IT’S GROSS. DON’T DO IT.
2. Bad hygiene
BJJ is a intimate sport. You get very close and personal with your friends on a regular basis. Sometimes, with complete strangers. Personally, I take a shower before every class. It’s not because I want to smell good for myself, I want to smell good for my training partner. Wait that sounds weird. I want to be clean because that’s what I expect from my partner. I also make sure my GI is clean before every class. I own a few HUNI GI’s and make sure that I keep them in rotation. This way I don’t have to wash the same GI 5 times a week. In short, if you stink you could potentially run off other students. So not only could you be costing your instructor money. You’ll stink up the place while you’re do it.
3. Showing up / Leaving late
Showing up late can be irritating if it’s not for a good reason. For years my work prevented me from showing up on time. My instructor understood this and let it by. So if your going to show up late regularly, communicate that with your coach. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t stay late. Seriously. Your instructor has probably been there all day and is counting the minutes to go home. I’m sure your instructor loves your company, but not enough to sit there and wait for you to leave so he can lock up. When class is done, clean up and go home. Or at the very least take the conversation to the parking lot.
4. “But what if I do this” guy
There are only a few martial arts that I consider effective and realistic. BJJ is at the top of that list. With that being said, BJJ is not magical. Every move has a counter. Every counter has a counter. Every counter to a counter has a counter. Etc. The point is, all that is easier said than done. When two high level grapplers go at it, it’s a race to the finish line. The winner is the guy that gets to the (any arbitrary number) counter before the other guy. So when you say in front of a class, that you would perform move XYZ to get out of a certain submission. You just sound like an unintelligent prick that has a very loose grasp on how grappling works. If you truly believe that what you’re being taught is no good, talk to your instructor privately.
5. The “Excuses” guy
We have all rolled with this guy once or twice. He’s the guy that no matter what submission you tap him with, he has a reason to discredit it. Some of my favorite phrases from these guys after you subbed them are “That was a neck crank” and “My (random body part) is already hurt so I didn’t want to push it”. That is usually said right after he was going 100 mph. This student is closely related to the “Coaching you through the submission you have me in” guy. This type of student is one of the hardest people to teach. They can’t admit when they’ve lost. So, they cant accept the fact that they need to improve.
During instruction period, STOP TALKING. Having side conversations while the instructor is teaching is extremely rude, not to mention annoying to everyone that is there to learn. Also, stop talking while you’re drilling. BJJ is a very social sport, but its social at certain times. Drilling is not one of those times.
7. Dine and dash
These guys really chap my buns. These are the guys that come to class and don’t pay. Whether it be the mat fee or membership fees. You’re stealing, plain and simple. Your instructor isn’t there for the fun of it. He’s running a business and you’re robbing him of his time. These students are just slightly worse than the students that skip out on cleaning the mats.
8. Closed mind
I see this a lot with blue and purple belts. They think that they can’t learn something from a lower belt. Which just isn’t true. Just last week I learned a neat little trick from a white belt that helped me get a better grip on an opponents belt. Be a sponge. Soak everything in and THEN you can decide whether it is or isn’t good.
Ugh, these guys. Let me tell you, being an egotistical person is the worst trait to have if you want to learn anything. Your ego will get you into situations that you cant handle. It will cause you to make bad decisions because you want to preserve your ego. Your ego will prevent you from learning. Get rid of it. You will grow as a person.
10. The bully
I saved this one for last on purpose. I don’t tolerate a bully under any circumstances. You could pick on a student that violates 1 through 9 on this list and I still would get rid of you. A bully is the guy that finds the weaker, slower, lower ranked students and rolls with them to feel good about themselves. They are the students that rip submissions and or hurt other students but don’t feel bad about it. These guys are a virus. You must remove them from your gym A.S.A.P.