Jiu Jitsu Tattoos – BJJ Culture

Jiu Jitsu Tattoos

If you practice Jiu Jitsu, then more than likely you have or have teammates that have tattoos. Jiu Jitsu tattoos have become embedded in the culture of the martial art with numerous grapplers tatted up.

Here is a full breakdown of Jiu Jitsu tattoos from common types of Jiu Jitsu tattoos to famous tatted grapplers.

Why Are There So Many Grapplers With Tattoos?

No one really knows why tattoos have become so popular within BJJ. In modern culture, more people are getting tattooed more than ever. 

Before it was just small sub sets of people that got tattoos, but now any type of person has them. This includes grapplers that get their own Jiu Jitsu tattoos.

Tattoos that symbolize their love of the grappling art and what they dedicated their life to.

Types Of Jiu Jitsu Tattoos 

There’s a wide variety of Jiu Jitsu tattoos out there that grapplers put on their bodies. Here are some of the most common types of Jiu Jitsu tattoos.

BJJ/Jiu Jitsu Scripts

Jiu Jitsu Script
Jiu Jitsu Scripts

Many Jiu Jitsu practitioners will merely just get the words “Jiu Jitsu” tatted onto their bodies. You’ll commonly see the words Jiu Jitsu or BJJ tattooed onto a grapplers body in various types of scripts/lettering.

Jiu Jitsu School Crests

Jiu Jitsu School Crest
Jiu Jitsu School Crest

All Jiu Jitsu schools have their own crests that represents their schools. Instructors and students of these schools will often pay homage to their gyms by tattooing the crests onto their bodies.

Any Jiu Jitsu academy/affiliation you can think of has numerous students that have tattoos of the school crest. 



Along with the words Jiu Jitsu, many grapplers have gotten the kanji lettering of the term tattooed on them. Usually in black coloring, so it can be seen.

Arte Suave

Arte Suave
Arte Suave

The Portuguese nickname for BJJ is arte suave or the gentle art. You will see many Brazilian grapplers with this term tattooed on their bodies.


Jiu Jitsu Animal Tatoo
Jiu Jitsu Animal tattoo

Animals like bears, sharks, gorillas, and lions are associated with Jiu Jitsu. Seeing one of these animals used in Jiu Jitsu tattoos is very common to see when you’re on the mat training.

Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces
Chess Pieces

Many grapplers view Jiu Jitsu as a game of chance, which is why they tattoo chess pieces on their body. King or Queen pieces blended with the words Jiu Jitsu or a black belt are a common type of Jiu Jitsu tattoo.

Black Belts

Black Belts
Black Belts

Whenever a grappler reaches the rank of black belt, they will often commemorate it by getting a tattoo. Something like a black belt somewhere on their body along with the date they received the rank.

BJJ Ranks

BJJ Ranks
BJJ Ranks

To go along with a black belt tattoo, many Jiu Jitsu practitioners will get every rank tattooed on them. They will tattoo an outline of the ranks on their body and fill them in everytime, they level up. Once they earn their black belt, the tattoo is complete.



Many grapplers love saying “OSS.” So much so that it’s common to see BJJ practitioners have tattoos of the phrase.

Warrior Tattoos

Warrior Tattoos
Warrior Tattoo

There are a lot of BJJ athletes out their that like to think of themselves like warriors. To show this side of their personality, they will get a tattoo of some type of famous warriors. The most common Jiu Jitsu tattoos with warriors often include either samurais or vikings.

Religious Tattoos

There are alot of Jiu Jitsu practitioners that are religious. They will often get tattoos that demonstrate both their devotion to BJJ and their religion.

Portraits Of Famous Grapplers

Gracie Tattoo
Helio Gracie Tattoo

Seeing portraits of BJJ pioneers like Helio, Carlos Sr, and Carlson Sr. are normal to see in the Jiu Jitsu world. Grapplers like to pay homage to those that created or helped grow the martial art.

Famous Jiu Jitsu Athletes With Tattoos 

  • Gordon Ryan: The current best grappler on the planet Gordon Ryan is covered in various tattoos. Including the words Jiu Jitsu on his arm.
  • Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu: Multiple time BJJ champion Cyborg Abreu‘s most noteworthy tattoos are his gym and name on his forearms. He has also added a full arm sleeve to go along with these Jiu Jitsu tattoos.
  • André Galvão: GOAT grappler André Galvão has three distinct tattoos on his body. His daughter’s name on one forearm, equilíbrio (equilibrium) on the other, and a dragon on his side.
  • Frank Mir: Former UFC heavyweight champion and BJJ black belt is covered in tattoos. The most noticeable one is his samurai back piece. 
  • Jeff Glover: Darce choke expert Jeff Glover has quite a collection of tattoos on his body. Probably his most noticable one is the words Jiu Jitsu that’s tattooed on his knuckles. 

Guide For Training After Getting Jiu Jitsu Tattoos

If you train and decide to get a tattoo, just know there is a certain protocol you’ll have to follow. Remember to follow these steps before training again.

No Training

After getting a tattoo, you should not under any circumstances immediately train afterwards. A fresh tattoo is a giant wound that needs to heal before you do any type of training.

Training with a fresh tattoo will lead to bacteria entering the wound and causing a staph infection. Prolonging your time off the mat.

To prevent this from happening, you will need to wait until your tattoo is fully healed. The bigger the tattoo, the longer the wait period will be.

Keep The Area Clean And Dry

In order to prevent getting an infection, you must keep your skin dry and clean. Moisture or rough texture can open the wound back up. 

Possibly leading to an infection that could affect your health and ruin your new tattoo.

Remember to put antibacterial cream and lotion on your tattoo during the 48 hours after getting it.

Should I Get Jiu Jitsu Tattoos

Here at LowKickMMA, it is not our job to tell you what you can and can’t do. If you like Jiu Jitsu and want to get Jiu Jitsu tattoos to symbolize your passion, then go right ahead.