Nick Name Culture /// By: Jared Weiner
World Champion Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida, or "Bochecha," has one of the more infamous nicknames in BJJ. Literally meaning "cheek" or "big cheeks," Almeida was given this nickname when he first began training as he was a bit overweight and his cheeks were prominent.
Photo credit: @marcusbuchecha
The nick name is not a new thing. Nicknames have been getting handed out since the begging of time. From the gangsters of the 20's to the sports stars of modern day and everything in between - nicknames are real!
The nickname culture is strong in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. Some the the biggest stars in Jiu-Jitsu are only known by their nicknames and I can guarantee many people do not know the real names of a lot of these guys! In my academy, BJJ United, we have so many amazing nicknames that came from the most simple thing to very complicated things... for instance "Bear Trap" was a famous nickname because every time he got arm locked it sounded like he got his foot caught in a "Bear Trap." Then you have "Lobstor," who was named after a He-Man character for his savage handshake the first time I met him... and the name has stuck forever. How about "Suarez?" He may or may not have accidentally bitten someone in training so he was named after the Colombian soccer player who was biting people in the World Cup. We have, "Dirt," which is pretty self-explanatory, to the more complicated "BK Broiler" from a unreal incident that took place in a Dunkin' Doughnuts. Then the more simple approaches like "Lil Mike" or "Big Greg" which is pretty obvious, but sometimes the sizes are the opposite just to throw people off. I have one guy named "Kosher Tamale" because he is half Israelie-half Honduran and the "Basketball Mike" cause he played college ball but ended up being a high school wrestling coach??
Nicknames bring people together and give a good laugh for everyone to share. Nicknames should be embraced on the mats because it's a true sign of love and brotherhood. If you don't like the nickname you were given, go talk to your professor or friends in private and I'm sure they will not address you by the nickname if you request that, but just remember nicknames are fun and usually brought on by your own actions! Embrace the nicknames and stay CREATIVE!