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  • Writer's pictureJess D

5 Awkward and Gross Things That Happen in Jiu-Jitsu

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Things happen on the BJJ mats that you just got to get used to including sweat and bodily functions. Here are some of the awkward stuffs that can happen in BJJ

jiu-jitsu woman bow and arrow chokes jiu-jitsu man

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has been the more popular choice for martial arts and self-defense in recent years. Although it has started as a male dominated sport, you can find everyone frequenting Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms from men, women, children and even dogs (obviously this one is a joke but not surprising these days).

Most people know that BJJ is about the self-defense aspect, and it is physically demanding aka you will most likely sweat. There is nothing sexual or disturbing about it, but you can’t deny some of the awkward parts of doing jiu-jitsu, especially because of the proximity of some of the techniques with other people. As a beginner, once you get over these aspects, things become less and less awkward as you continue the road to being your best BJJ self.

That being said, here are some of the awkward and gross moments in BJJ you’ll have to get over.

1. Getting Close in BJJ

bjj men grapple with jiu-jitsu gis on

Unlike other martial arts, the majority of what you’ll do in jiu-jitsu is close contact. Yes, in martial arts like Muay Thai, Boxing and Judo there are techniques that will require you to be close to someone for a moment but in jiu-jitsu, you are basically aggressively cuddling for most of your training session. Many of the techniques in jiu-jitsu require you to manage your space for escapes, transitions, and submissions. Your training partners could even be sitting on your head at times. Sometimes this proximity is a motivator to get out of awkward positions. For me as an upper belt and a woman, I sometimes end up getting held for a long time or end up under a bigger dude in mount or side control. So, I’m always looking to better my position, make frames, and get out.

2. Sweat Dripping Everywhere During BJJ Rolls and Training

very sweaty and hairy arm and hand

As I mentioned before, because of the physical demand of jiu-jitsu, you will most likely sweat. Depending on if your coach is influenced by the Brazilian training atmosphere and will crank on the heat in 90-degree (32.22 degree Celsius) weather then you will be rolling in what feels like a sauna which will turn the place into a slip and slide fueled by your and your partners’ sweat. Sometimes that sweat will get on your face and mouth, which depending on your partner’s diet and hygiene can be the most disgusting thing that can happen to you (I have a story that I’ll mention on my Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj if you follow me on there). If you bathe regularly and are at least not eating tons of garlic and onions right before you train, you don’t have to worry about being the smelly sweat guy or girl on the mat. In addition, if you buy good quality rashguards that absorb sweat well and that clean easily, you don’t have to worry about massive amounts of sweaty sweat dripping onto your training partners.

3. Farts and Other Bodily Functions

asian girl holding nose because of smell with sweaty armpit

Along with proximity, there is one thing that goes with BJJ and that is pressure. When it comes to making sure that your securing positions to get to submissions, you’ll need to use pressure. Also, when you’re trying to escape or roll, there is pressure that goes onto your stomach. That pressure will sometimes lead to farts.

There’s not much to do about it except make sure you don’t eat too close to training time and if you have no choice make sure you tell your training partners to be mindful about doing positions like knee on belly or a tight full mount. Also, don’t be embarrassed if you do fart. It really does happen and sometimes you can’t help it.

4. Awkward Grazing or Kicking of Intimate Areas

unhappy eggs representing gonads

With the proximity of being close to people and having to grab and frame your body using your hands and feet, it is more likely than not that you might touch an intimate body part without meaning to. Sometimes, in an intense roll, a private area can be kicked, grazed or touched. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rolled with a dude who accidentally touched my chest and was profusely apologizing for doing so.

These things ultimately happen and I think most people can tell when you’ve accidentally touched them or if you’re being a creep. But, if an accidental graze or kick happens just apologize, move on, and don’t make it more awkward than it needs to be.

5. Feet in and Around Your Face

no gi grappling heel hook submission jiu-jitsu

If you’re an anti- foot person, I hate to break it to you, but dealing with feet is a major thing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, especially when it comes to no-gi grappling. With options such as foot locks and other leg related submissions, it is most likely that a foot is going to end up flying somewhere near your face. People also invert a lot, so their feet go from being down to being up and sometimes it’s unable to be helped.

I won’t lie to you; I’ve even gotten a toe or two in my nose and mouth. It’s disgusting but it does happen, and you just get used to it. Just make sure that your feet are clean: there’s no dirt at the bottom of your feet, you wear clean socks, and you bathe regularly, and you won’t be the smelly foot guy.

Awkward Things Happen in BJJ, No Matter What

lady with short hair looking through finger tips awkwardly

Being in close contact is unavoidable in a grappling sport such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and awkward things will happen because of this close contact. If you’re able to roll with the punches, apologize, and/or laugh it off it makes life a lot easier for everyone involved.

What are some of the most awkward things that have happened to you when rolling in BJJ? Let’s talk about it on my Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj


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