There’s been a lot of trash talk lately in Jiu Jitsu.
What is trash talk?
It may be calling out your opponent. It may be talking yourself up in public which it turn makes people think you think less of your opposition. Trash talk may be saying you are going to kick somebody’s butt or flat out challenging someone with ill intentions or cockiness. There is also a line between cockiness and confidence so it’s often up to people’s interpretations to decide if it’s not clear.
But is trash talk in martial arts or Jiu Jitsu new?
There were many rivalries back in the golden years. Without naming names you can see the tension in the air at BJJ events with big names and teams from the 90s in Brazil.
Today social media has certainly magnified things.
You can simply broadcast a video or make a post and instantly everyone knows about it.
Literally anyone can do this.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Jiu Jitsu trash talk below:
Pros: Trash talk gets an audience. Who loves to buy a PPV with two guys who are best friends and boring fighters? There’s no intriguing story. Now if they were best friends and now bitter enemies we may want to see this – especially if they are both very good fighters. Picture Floyd Mayweather in boxing when he fought Oscar De La Hoya. It was considered good vs. evil by a majority of people because of Mayweather’s trash talk about Oscar. So it had a PPV record because of it (even though may consider Floyd to be boring). The point is if you can back the trash talk up and it’s believable (not horribly scripted) then you can generate an audience. In Jiu Jitsu there are a few outspoken figures that many say talk trash. Some have gained viewers and fans because of it and made the spotlight in a profitable manner.
Cons: Depending on what is said it’s potentially negative for the youth and people who look up to the athletes. I’m not sure how true this is in regards to any surveys or stats but I understand the argument and potential. Being humble is said to be an attribute that many martial artists seek. Many people want peace and not what some call “obnoxious rhetoric.” They feel the talk isn’t necessary. Maybe a person against trash talk will unfollow the person who talks trash or root for their opponent. Some people came into Jiu Jitsu for others reasons than competing or winning and don’t want the sport to fall into that ultra-competitive trash-talking route. They want to let their Jiu Jitsu do the talking.
Overall people can say as they choose. Free speech. Trash talk is not people not want to train Jiu Jitsu. Trash talk may not bring the highest “moral principles” to light depending on who you ask. A lot of it may even be comical. At this point in time I think it’s not that large of a part of Jiu Jitsu as it is in other sports. A lot of people are not into watching Jiu Jitsu outside of Jiu Jitsu so the trash talk echoes a bit louder because we are a part of a small community. That’s not to say anyone has to like it – it’s your choice.
What are your thoughts on trash talk in BJJ?