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Should I Roll In Jiu Jitsu?

Should I Roll In Jiu Jitsu?


Well, the simple answer to this question would be yes. Rolling in Jiu Jitsu is an essential component for developing a proper understanding of what Jiu Jitsu really is. From dealing with different reactions that different opponents will give you, to weight distribution in every position. And being able to test your skills, at 100% capacity. Weather that is through competition or in a class environment.


This is what makes Jiu Jitsu such an effective martial art. Along with judo, wrestling, kickboxing, Muay Thai and any other martial arts where they have been tested over and over again through realistic competition. 


As opposed to a lot of traditional martial arts, that may look fancy, but as we know, they really don't work. They've built a false sense of reality for people where they haven't been tested and evolved with reactive partners to the extent that other grappling martial art styles like Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, Wrestling, and Judo have. Where with Jiu Jitsu you will be getting tested every class to whether or not your techniques work or not.



Is Jiu Jitsu Hard For Beginners?


If your would like to know the simple answer, then yes. Jiu Jitsu is hard for beginners. Just like anything you do for the first time. But don't worry. Because if you are just starting out and have never rolled in Jiu Jitsu before.


More than likely your coach will partner you up with somebody who knows what they are doing to guide you through different movements, and explain what positions are good, what positions are bad, when you should be looking at attacking, or when you should be focusing on escaping and so on. 


Before you just jump straight in and roll, it is important that you grasp how rolling works and how to do it for the safety of you and your training partners. When I have new student's starting out that haven't rolled before, I usually start them out doing positional drilling, rolling.


Once the students have improved their position they would reset and start again. This can minimise the chances and unlikelihood of a beginner getting injured, while still being able to go a hundred percent and get that realistic feeling of what Jiu Jitsu is all about. From a coach’s point of view i would usually suggest this before progressing to full blown rolling.


White Belt Vs Blue Belt - Breakdown


An example of this could be starting in your opponents closed guard. While the person on top is focusing on opening and passing their opponents guard. The other is focusing on maintaining control, and keeping their posture broken, while looking for basic submissions, along with sweeping their opponent over to get to a top position. 


After a class or two they could progress to rolling. That's once the new student has a basic understanding of the rules of Jiu Jitsu, of what positions are bad, and good, and what rolling is all about.



Should I Roll With Everyone?


Well the simple answer to this is yes. Although in saying that, there have been certain times that I have suggested for someone not to roll with a certain person, or not to roll at all. If you rolling with someone who has no control whatsoever, has the intention to hurt you, or has ill intent, well then no, definitely don't roll with that person.


To roll, or not to roll? That is the question... So lets talk about some other reasons of why not to roll, and then the reasons why you should never refuse to roll with someone, but we'll get to them...Reason number 1 for



Not Rolling In A Jiu Jitsu Class


If you are injured, this is pretty straightforward and common sense, right? Yet in saying this I would be a hypocrite to say that I haven't rolled through injuries many times before. But I've learnt overtime, and I am still learning. It all depends on the severity of the injury. Ultimately the choice comes down to you and if you are willing to take the risk.


What I have personally found has worked for me is if I am unable to roll, I will partner up with somebody that I can drill certain techniques with, if not do more positional drilling. Something that will not aggravate my injury. If I do choose to roll with an injury and do hurt myself further, I know it's on me, and I've got to take full responsibility.


But when I am saying this I tend to find that people don't understand the difference between being in pain and being injured. Being in pain could just be muscle soreness where you can still roll, where being injured on the other hand, could be recovering from a broken bone, or torn ligament, something that if you damage it further it will surely stop you from future training.The second point of 


 Positioning, Controls & Lines Of Defence - Jiu Jitsu


Why I Shouldn't Roll In A Jiu Jitsu Class


The person you are rolling with is much bigger, stronger and has a lack of control...  A simple example could be two beginners partnering up where one is much larger and stronger then they're partner. Where the smaller student doesn't have the techniques yet to deal with this situation.


In saying this you cannot blame the larger student as they are still just starting out and may have a lack the control, body awareness, or they don't even understand their own strengths, and until they do, for the safety of everyone this is another reason I would personally avoid them rolling together, and instead get them drilling certain techniques from safer positions.


Or if need be you could just separate these students. Ok now let’s talk about why you should not, refuse to roll...

Reason number 1.



Should I Roll If I'm Tired?


We have all been there before right. As the saying goes - I've got to get fit before I go to the gym. But isn't this where I get fit? I hear the same thing in jiujitsu class. If you are unfit and getting overly puffed out when you roll, I would suggest trying to be a bit more relaxed and try and roll a bit lighter.


It's fine to have a break if you really badly need it every once and a while. But when we are talking about technique, training when you are puffed out and exhausted, this is when it matters the most. You are never going to feel 100% each time you roll, let alone compete.


And pushing yourself will help build your character by knowing you can push yourself to the limits. And then again class time is limited, so my suggestion would be making the most of your break by turning it into a active rest break, of drilling and learning different techniques with a training partner who may also be sitting on the sidelines, instead of rolling. 


but just make sure you're not that guy, who has a bunch of rounds out, resting against the wall, while everyone else has been rolling the entire time, then tries to jump back in and go one hundred per cent with someone who's tired because they didn't sit any rounds out. I mean come on now mate! Reason number 2 of why you should not refuse a roll...


 Black Belt Vs Brown Belt - Breakdown


Not Rolling With A Black Belt


If a black belt ever offers to roll with you, I suggest you take it. It is very disrespectful to turn down that offer, because if you do, you may not ever get another chance to roll with them. Especially if you say no, then go and roll with someone else instead.


Ask yourself this question - why is the black belt wanting to roll with me? Do you really think it is so they can smash you in to the ground? don't get me wrong this could be a reason but is rarely ever the case. Just think about all that you could learn from rolling with them. And this brings me to my final point. Reason number 3



Should I Not Roll With People Better Than Me?


Well now, this is the sign of a beginner, or someone who may need to work on their ego. Because if you have been training long enough you know the benefits of rolling with somebody that is better than you. It's not about winning, rolling in class is not a competition... This is where you are meant to stuff up and make mistakes. Don't get me wrong it is important to have hard rolls.


Yet some people including higher ranks still let their ego get in the way of progressing, by having to win every roll. When you are first starting out you will find that you may be constantly getting beaten up and on the receiving end of other people's submissions. This definitely can be disheartening for some, but it is expected, so don't let it discourage you, it is completely normal. It is all part of not just your journey, but everyone else’s Jiujitsu journey. You will never find a black belt who hasn't been tapped hundreds of times in class before.


My advice is to put your ego aside. Train and roll with as many people that are better than you at Jiu Jitsu as you can. If they aren't, then put yourself in the most uncomfortable positions as possible, and make yourself comfortable in those positions. This is where your Jiu Jitsu will grow. Take notes and ask as many questions as you can from all the higher ranks about why a technique did or didn't work, how they caught you in a certain submission, and so on.


And don't worry about how many times you get tapped out. You are not looking at the bigger picture. Now you get to go back to the drawing board with another problem to solve. It's about being better than you were the day prior... And sometimes this may mean just turning up to class.



Should I Roll With Everyone?


Well the simple answer to this is yes. Although in saying that, there have been certain times that I have suggested for someone not to roll with a certain person, or not to roll at all. If you rolling with someone who has no control whatsoever, has the intention to hurt you, or has ill intent, well then no, definitely don't roll with that person.


Hopefully you gathered some useful information from this blog. Don't forget to follow my social media links, check out my Jiu Jitsu courses, and sign up below for the FREE Jiu Jitsu grappling membership, with hundreds of videos, courses, and breakdowns. And until next time, have an awesome day.




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