What’s Your BJJ Style?
When you’ve been in the jiu-jitsu community long enough, you come to recognize that there is no single “jiu-jitsu style”… Instead, there are several different BJJ styles.
Both on and off the mat, we as humans like to differentiate ourselves via our style choices. Even at academies that have strict uniform requirements – which, boring as it may be, you gotta admit makes for nice group photos – we find ways to demonstrate our individuality. On the mat, we define our style via our choice in gi color or brand, patch style and placements, no-gi kits (plain, outlandishly designed, or somewhere in between), and even our hairstyle and toenail polish color. Off the mat, our style choices span the spectrum of street style… but there still tends to be a bit of jiu-jitsu melded in.
There are outliers, of course, but most of us fall into one of the following five BJJ style categories:
Just as it sounds, you’re all about that classic – but “very now” – well-tailored look.
- On the mat: You like to wear a crisp, clean, almost new (if not new) gi, from a well-known jiu-jitsu gi brand, for which you likely stood in line and paid way too much for. Your gi color is always white, black or blue (none of that tie-dye business), but it will NEVER clash with your belt color. No thread is out of place and you can’t abide a single tear or stain. If your rashguard and shorts aren’t black, they’re probably black. Or black.
- Off the mat: You look like you belong in a team picture with the Mendes Bros.
You’re an athlete, through and through... and you like to show it.
- On the mat: Your gi fits well, but it might be a tad too tight… to give yourself that slightest edge against your opponent and to show off those magnificent glutes you’ve been working on. And your rashie and shorts will absolutely be the same... for the same reason. You're less strict about gi color – grey and camo might show up in your collection – but also none of that tie-dye shit. You might even take pride in a few holes and rips, because it shows that you train hard. Hoo-rah.
- Off the mat: You prefer a t-shirt (ALWAYS with some jiu-jitsu related design or logo plastered across it), casual joggers in sports fabric, and athletic shoes… just in case you need to pump out a quick high-intensity workout in the middle of the parking lot or grocery store.
In jiu-jitsu, us weirdos thrive... and we embrace it to the extreme.
- On the mat: Tie-dye gi? You betcha. Niche, collectible, or custom-designed gi from your dude in Pakistan? Absolutely. Avant-guard patches featuring anything from aliens to unicorns, mushrooms, blunts, and a replica of your child’s drawing of a shark (at least you think it’s a shark?). Sure enough! But you probably spend most of your time in a matching rashguard kit featuring flying cats pooping rainbows.
- Off the mat: You’d fit in at any 10th Planet gala or Eastern European rave.
Bold BJJ Boaster
You live and breathe jiu-jitsu, every day, every moment, and everyone needs to know about it.
- On the mat: You have, probably, every gi and no-gi kit from every known jiu-jitsu brand on the planet. And every single one is patched up like Nascar with the logos of your academy and every sponsor and jiu-jitsu product you’ve ever had or tried (and some you hope will recognize you with a sponsorship if you tag them in enough pictures). You always tape your fingers with that itty bitty finger tape, whether you’re training gi or no-gi, and whether your fingers hurt or not.
- Off the mat: You’re probably still wearing your gi pants, asking some unsuspecting cashier where the acai is at your local supermarket. You’re definitely wearing a t-shirt that says “Jiu-Jitsu."
Style? What Style?
You’re just trying to survive life (okay?!!) and jiu-jitsu is the only thing that’s keeping you from going all Dexter on everyone.
- On the mat: You’re lucky if your gi pants match your jacket. Actually, it’s a surprise when they do. You’re not sure where you got them either… from the Fighters Market sale section, that friend of a friend of yours, or from the lost-and-found box at your academy.
- Off the mat: Meh, who cares.
You might be one or more, or none of these at all... What's your BJJ style?