Joe Rogan Explains Why He Doesn’t Compete in BJJ

Joe Rogan Lex Friedman
Joe Rogan Lex Friedman

In addition to being a comedian, UFC commentator, actor, and popular podcast host, Joe Rogan is an experienced martial artist. Rogan holds black belts in BJJ and taekwondo, and he has experience in kickboxing, boxing, and Muay Thai. In other words, Joe Rogan is a very tough dude.

Joe Rogan Lex Friedman
Joe Rogan and Lex Friedman

Joe Rogan on BJJ Competition

Despite his background as a successful taekwondo competitor, Joe Rogan has never competed in BJJ. On episode 127 of the Lex Friedman Podcast, Lex Friedman asked Rogan why, despite being a BJJ black belt, he’s never competed in BJJ. In response, Rogan said that the primary reason for his reluctance to compete in BJJ is his obsessive nature. Specifically, Rogan said:

“[The reason I don’t compete in BJJ is] I don’t want to get obsessed. That’s my number one concern. I had to quit video games when we were playing video games at the studio. I had to quit because i was playing five hours a day like out of nowhere. All of a sudden i was playing five hours a day. I was coming home late for dinner. I was ending podcasts early and jumping on the video games and playing. I get obsessed with things, and I have to recognize [that]. [T]hese competitive things, especially like really exciting, competitive things like video games—they’re very dangerous for me. The ultimate competitive video game is like jiu jitsu, and if i was young, I most certainly would have [competed in BJJ] if i didn’t have a very clear career path….”

Joe Rogan Lex Friedman
Joe Rogan and Lex Friedman

Joe then explained that part of his reason for quitting competitive taekwondo was to focus on his career as a comedian:

“[When I was 21], I quit my job [as a taekwondo instructor]. I knew i couldn’t do it right and also [do] stand-up comedy. I knew i couldn’t do both of those things. There was no way.”

Joe Rogan kick
Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan’s BJJ Game

Friedman then asked Rogan about his BJJ game. Joe described it as follows:

“I’m very flexible, so i have [a good rubber guard]. I have good armbars and good triangles off my back, but I also have a very good half guard. [M]y top game is my best. I have a very strong top game.”

Check out Lex Friedman’s entire conversation with Joe Rogan here:

Lex Friedman Podcast Episode 127

Who is Lex Friedman?

Lex Friedman is an AI researcher whose work focuses on autonomous vehicles, human-robot interaction, and machine learning. Friedman also happens to be a BJJ black belt and the host of the popular Lex Friedman Podcast.

The Lex Friedman Podcast focuses on a variety of topics, including artificial intelligence, science, aliens, robotics, consciousness, and the universe. The Lex Friedman Podcast has hosted several notable guests, including Joe Rogan, Dan Gable, and Elon Musk.

Lex Friedman
Lex Friedman

What is the Rubber Guard?

The rubber guard, also known as mission control, is a BJJ technique that utilizes extensive flexibility to control an opponent’s posture. To apply the rubber guard, the attacking BJJ practitioner uses one arm and one leg to achieve control over his or her opponent. After applying the rubber guard, the attacking BJJ practitioner can use his or her opposite arm to throw strikes, apply submissions, and initiate sweeps.

Rubber guard
Rubber guard

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