When it comes to Brazilian jiu jitsu, different people have different rolling philosophies. Some prefer going fast and hard because diving right in is a good way to learn. Others believe in playing things more moderately, avoiding injury at all costs. And still others think there’s a happy medium somewhere in the middle, splitting the line between training hard without going overboard.
Whatever your philosophy, it can be challenging when you find yourself bumping fists with someone who’s much bigger, much stronger, or much more skilled – or, on the flip side, someone who’s much smaller, weaker, and less experienced. So what’s your move?
here’s the secret
This is an approach that will turn you into the kind of partner everyone wants to roll with – the key is to avoid training on your partner in favor of training with your parter.
It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s an approach that will help you every time you roll. By assessing your partner’s technical and physical attributes, you can automatically adjust your intensity to match. And doing that will make you a valuable partner every time.
When you factor for these attributes, you can level the playing field. Here’s an easy way to approach every new partner – be considerate. Someone is much older than you? Be aware of limited flexibility and mobility. Someone is much smaller than you? Avoid relying on size and strength alone. Someone is much bigger than you? Be conservative in your speed.
These are thoughtful ways to factor for technical and physical attributes that don’t necessarily align with your own. The truth is, you can’t always roll with fellow classmates whose size and abilities perfectly match yours. Look forward to those rolls, but do your best to learn and to teach when you’re partnered with everyone else.
ready to test it out?
Guerrilla BJJ at Freestyle Martial Arts Academy here in Reno fosters this approach in all of our classes. Our goal in every class is to make everyone feel welcome. We learn from one another, and we train to improve each other too. There really is a best way to roll, and training with your partner instead of on your partner is how to do it.
Interested in BJJ? Check out our getting started offer now. We’d love to have you!