**Please read the whole post before complaining. Afterwards you’re more than welcome to talk trash.**
If you’ve ever stepped foot inside of a jiu-jitsu gym and have spent at least a few days there, you’ll always notice that one guy. He’s well-known within the gym and some people hope that he decides to take the day off or that he never returns. Some people have patience with the guy, some just flat out don’t like dealing with him, and you have those few kind souls who genuinely want to help the guy but feel like it’s a task easier said than done. If you can’t name him off the top of your head….. I got some news for you.
- Who is “that guy”?
That guy, or TG for short, comes in many forms. For the sake of this article and your brain, we’re going to focus on one evolution of TG that seems to evolve into an even bigger problem the longer he goes with his ways without realizing that he’s THAT GUY.
The biggest problem with TG is that he thinks that he knows every little thing about the martial art. At first it’s pretty unsuspecting, but you begin to question TG after he corrects you during drilling….. except you’re doing everything right and he’s doing the opposite. Then you notice he’s starting to correct the new guys and they listen to him since they have no clue what’s right and what’s wrong. When you think things couldn’t get any worse, you notice TG talking over the instructor and even at times attempting to correct the instructor as they’re showing the technique of the day. (P.S. If you know everything, why are you even here?)
Another common characteristic of TG is his uncanny ability to come up with an excuse as to why you were able to do so well against him during a roll. Almost every sub you managed to get was because he wanted to “feel” it out to see how long it takes to tap from it. If he wants to change up his excuse so you don’t get suspicious, he’ll tell you that you only got that sub because you muscled it instead of using 100% technique. Did he just tap from your knee on belly? It’s because he’s recovering from a rib injury. You know that most rolls with him end a few minutes early since he’ll run out of excuses, I mean get tired due to having issues with his cardio. Even though he has an excuse for every single thing you were able to do to him, don’t expect him to be so light when things go his way during a roll. He’ll be sure to let you know that you’re not improving and that maybe you should listen to the advice he tries to give you during drilling.
The overall issue with TG is he’s creating a not-so-great training environment for everyone else and is blind to the environment that is a result of his behavior. It gets pretty frustrating for everyone in class when the instructor has to direct some focus on TG in hopes of getting him to stop which then leads to less time of rolling after instruction. It also gets pretty annoying when TG finally gets the hint to keep his mouth shut but decides to go back to correcting others because he got tired of being quiet.
- What to do.
If you’re not so sure on how to handle TG, the first thing you should do is talk to your instructor(s). They should be the one(s)you go to for dealing with anyone and anything that makes you feel uncomfortable at the gym, not other students. Be sure to let them know what’s going on with TG and be straight forward. Believe it or not, you can be just as damaging to your gym if you let TG go under the radar and only complain about him rather than speaking to your instructor. The good news here is, your instructor will take care of TG as they deem appropriate and be mindful that change doesn’t happen overnight, so that means it’s going to take some time in order to see change in TG.
Remember that at the end of the day, TG is your teammate, and be sure to show him what makes a good teammate and help him out when you can. If TG is there after your instructor has been made aware of his actions, it’s because they know TG has just as much potential as anyone else and that they just might need a little extra push in the right direction. Don’t take it as a sign to put matters into your own hands, because if it’s that much of a problem for you, maybe you’re better off finding a new gym to call home.
IF you realized that you’re TG from reading this, I got some good news for you…… there’s time to change. If you’ve been able to train at a gym and your team has had the patience to deal with you rather than kick you to the curb, thank them. Those people clearly care about you and want to see you succeed on and off the mats. Be sure to LISTEN to your instructor(s) and just focus on YOUR Jiu Jitsu. In no time you’ll see your knowledge of the martial art expand and then maybe one day you’ll actually be able to teach the newer guys some stuff that won’t set them up for failure. Do yourself and your teammates a favor and work towards becoming part of the team rather than “THAT GUY”.
*Author’s note: I’d like to thank Locker Room Talk for allowing me to write up the inaugural post for LRTLK’s official blog. It’s an honor to have this opportunity and I really hope that you guys liked the post. For all you readers, thank you for checking this post out and I hope I didn’t disappoint. Please be sure to check out Locker Room Talk’s weekly podcast because without that, this blog would not be possible. And most important of all, GO TRAIN YOUR ASS OFF!
Author: Miguel " Migginho" Lugo