Martial arts and marijuana collide in this tournament

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A California jiu-jitsu tournament makes marijuana a requirement

A unique form of martial arts is finding its footing in Los Angeles, CA. A jiu-jitsu tournament is held where marijuana isn’t just encouraged – it’s required. Tournament participants must be under the influence of marijuana and must remain that way as long as they’re in the match. Some referees will even carry lighters to keep marijuana cigarettes lit for the competitors during the fight.

The tournament is called the High Rollerz BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). It is led by Matt Staudt, who, coincidentally, runs a PR firm that targets the cannabis industry, as well as MMA, and Lonn Howard, a martial arts and cannabis fan. The goal of the competition is to dispel “antiquated cannabis stereotypes.”

High Rollerz has already held two events. The most recent saw 66 participants descend on LA, including 16 women. There are different divisions – male expert, female expert, male novice, etc. – and each division champ is rewarded with a pound of marijuana.

By now, some readers are probably either smirking or rolling their eyes at the idea. However, it isn’t as crazy as they might think. As Erik Daniel Cruz, a martial arts black belt and actor, tells it, “It helps you to relax and stay focused while you’re in an anxiety combat situation. When you compete so much that you don’t get nervous anymore, that’s when you can start using cannabis.”

Cannabis reduces anxiety and, for many, help them see more clearly. These two characteristics alone could be enough to help some individuals perform better in the ring.