Marijuana in BJJ: Top Competitor Mirza Karac Speaks Openly On 10 year Smoking Experience

Marijuana in BJJ: Top Competitor Mirza Karac Speaks Openly On 10 year Smoking Experience


One of the most controversial topics in Jiu-Jitsu has to be marijuana. It seems to divide the community.

On one side, Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan are advocates for the legalization of both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, and on the other prominent members such Rodrigo Comprido are against it.

Comprido expressed his opinion on marijuana use in BJJ in this interview with BJJEE.com. he also been very critical of Eddie Bravo’s support of marijuana:

What do you think about other substances such as marijuana, alcohol or cigarettes?
Those are all substances that we could do perfectly well in life without. I never smoked a cigarette or used marijuana in my life, and I never will. First of all, I do not want to put myself in a position to become addicted to something besides jiu-jitsu, and something that has negative effects on your whole life. Secondly, marijuana is illegal, and I will not break the law just to have a couple of laughs. I have drank alcohol in moderation on a few occasions, but you have to be careful because one person under the affects of alcohol can majorly impact the lives of others.
These are not the kind of people who come to work with me.

Marijuana usage is quite common in sports. According to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, and even UFC president Dana White, marijuana use within UFC fighters is extremely common.

The prevalent use of marijuana is not unique to MMA fighters. Various other professional athletes also use. It is speculated that as much as 60% of NFL players regularly smoke marijuana.  It is used for enjoyment but also as treatment for the aches and bruises caused by professional sports.

BJJ black belt Joe Rogan

BJJ black belt Joe Rogan

So where does this leave the UFC fighters?

On his latest podcast episode #683, Joe Rogan’s guest was Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York City-based non-profit organization working to end the War on Drugs.

Rogan talked about the issue:

“A tremendous amount of UFC fighters smoke pot… I mean, a MASSIVE amount. It’s a huge issue for them involving drug tests, they have to stop smoking weed for the last 4 weeks or so.”

Why would a grappler smoke marijuana and what are the effects both positive and negative on performance and recovery?




Mirza Karač is a Super heavyweight purple belt from Bosnia who is a frequent competitor on the IBJJF circuit. In 2014, he came third at the IBJJF Europeans, and came first at the Munich, Copenhagen and Zurich Opens. Mirza contacted BJJ Eastern Europe and wanted to share his story of having smoked marijuana while maintaining a rigid training schedule and competition routine.

Mirza is a huge guy with and does not look like a stereotypical ‘stoner’. He wants to break down the barriers since he knows that many grapplers smoke in secret. Here is what he has to say about why he smokes, how he smokes, when he smokes etc..

Bosnia’s Mirza Karac takes double gold at Munich winter Open

BJJ and marijuana by Mirza Karac.
It is possible to smoke and train, no doubt about that, only question is about your mental state and how you feel in the moment! A lot of guys don’t like to be slowed down and they don’t like weed, but during my BJJ journey all over Europe I met a lot of BJJ guys (from white to black belts) and they also smoke and train.
I competed several times high, but I gave up on that. The main reason is that I was too relaxed. I missed that dose of adrenalin. I reduced my marijuana smoking to days before tournaments and stop on fight day to have a sharp mind. In striking sports it is little different because you need one exchange and you will be like new.
I remember my days as a white belt and every time when I smoked somewhere, I remember really good that I found solutions for problems when I smoked, and I learned faster then other guys in training! The point with weed is that you can open your mind and get in another dimension of your brain, and not just go forward like an idiot in one direction, you can relax your brain and try some new concepts and improve your Jiu-Jitsu.
For example if somebody has a really good guard game and everything is locked what ever you try, you can think completely different and find a way to open that guard. That is the power of marijuana.

What and how to smoke

Also what is important, is what you smoke. Sativas and Indicas are not the same! During the day you should smoke some sativa to keep focus and that’s it. After training you can smoke some strong Indicas to use like sedative for better sleep and muscle relax after hard training sessions. Keep in mind that, there a lot of different plants and try to find the best for you.
Of course you can have some problems if you smoke something strong before training. Keep that for after! You can also smoke just after training. It is also really good option. Just find what is the best for you!
Listen your brain, listen your feelings and that´s it. If you feel anxious, stop a few days and refresh you brain.. just listen to your brain! If you feel better when you don´t smoke, then don´t smoke!
Addiciton to marijuana is bearable, much lighter then for cigarettes!
Relationship between coach and student (smoker)
A  lot of guys are hiding that they are smokers and I think that is not good way. I am not one of them and my coach knows how much I smoke and when I smoke. The best thing what a coach can do is to keep talking with his student and find a solution for every problem. A coach should just talk with his student and help him if he needs to reduce smoking but never ask him to stop smoking. If he wants, he will stop.
I want to say this because I saw one situation in a gym where a coach made lot of tasteless jokes in front of everybody because the guy was a smoker, and that is not a good way! That guy left the gym and never came back!
That is good way if you want to loose students, and maybe that smoker is your best one!
If you have something against marijuana smokers then you should prohibit training to those who smokes cigarettes and drink alcohol.

Marijuana is an option, but it is not good for everybody, you can try it, but nobody can guarantee that is good for you, because we are all different. It is possible to smoke and train, just find the best way of smoking for you and take the benefits from it!

Mirza Karac competing (white Gi)