MMA fans know Joe Rogan as a comedian, podcaster, and UFC commentator. Some may go back to his hosting days on the hit TV show “Fear Factor,” but, aficionados in the know understand Rogan’s deep-rooted relationship with martial arts. As an avid Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu practicer, fans of the sport often wonder why Rogan doesn’t test his BJJ skill in competitions. But, Rogan isn’t interested in competing at all.
Joe Rogan Speaks on Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu
Rogan earned his black belt both under Jean Jacques Machado and Eddie Bravo under Eddie’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu program. While it’s known that Joe participates in the sport and has extensive knowledge, it’s rare to actually see him perform. Recently, Rogan sat down with fellow BJJ black belt and A.I. specialist Lex Fridman and spoke about BJJ, why he doesn’t compete in jiu-jitsu competitions.
“I get obsessed with things and I have to recognize what that is and these competitive things like competition, especially like really exciting competitive things like video games. They’re very dangerous for me,” said Rogan.
“The ultimate competitive video game is like jiu-jitsu and if I was young I most certainly would have done it if I didn’t have like a very clear career path it was something that I enjoyed. My concern would be that I would become a professional jiu-jitsu fighter when I was young and then I would not have the energy to do stand up comedy and do all the other things that I wound up doing as a career.”
“When i was 21, I quit my job teaching i was teaching at boston university. I was teaching taekwondo there and I also had my own school in Revere I knew I couldn’t do it right and also be doing stand-up comedy. I knew i couldn’t do both of those things. There was no way you have to be cognizant of that obsessive force within you to make sure. Yes I have to know how to manage my mental illness right. That’s a very particular mental illness and i think that mental illness again, in my formative years from 15 until i was 21-ish 22– those years were spent constantly obsessed with martial arts that was my whole day. I mean i trained almost every day. The only time i would not train is if i was either injured or if i was exhausted. If i needed a day off. But i was obsessed and so that part of my personality that i haven’t nurtured is always going to be there under the surface and when you it gets reignited by something it’s very weird it’s a weird feeling and it can get reignited with a video game. It can get reignited with anything that obsessive that you know whatever it is that competitive demon.”
Rogan also shed some light on his Jiu-Jitsu game:
“I don’t have good takedowns. My guard is good. I’m very flexible, I have a good rubber guard. I look for the double underhook half guard to attack with the lockdown and squeeze my way up.”
Making the Correct Decision
Turns out, Rogan believes that if he would have competed in BJJ, he wouldn’t have had time for anything else. So, the current comedian that many have grown to love, would have never existed. Although Rogan enjoys the sport, he also admitted his obsession with martial arts at a young age. That led to Joe wanting to train even if he was severely injured.
Ultimately, the decision was to manage himself and his obsessive personality. Turns out, that decision was for the best. Now, Rogan is known in the jiu-jitsu community, has time for other things, and can admire the sport from afar.