Know Your Roll: Rolling With A... - alldaybjj

Know Your Roll: Rolling With A…

Day One White Belt: Don’t. Day one white belts shouldn’t be thrown into the shark tank right off the bat because they don’t know anything except what they think is how to survive… which could lead to getting injured or injuring others. Stay away.

Other White Belts: They’re going to try to kill you. There’s no other way to explain it. It’s either fight or flight with these guys. Some will try to go as hard as they can and forget all the technique they learned because they get to “test” themselves rolling with others, especially those who outrank them by one belt or four. Others will be intimidated rolling with a much higher belt and will roll submissive. The smart ones will slow it down a notch so they can pay attention to what you’re doing rather than SPAZ out hard core. But for the most part, expect to hear heavy breathing, gi-burning cross faces, and uncontrollable flailing of limbs. Beware of imminent injuries due to uncontrollable flailing of limbs and sudden bursts of movement when stuck in positions such as the closed or half guard…

Blue belts: Basically, a white belt (above) but with an ego. While blue belts can be a little less spazzy than white belts because they’ve been training a bit longer, they are still beginners but with more to “prove.” This is the stage where many “professor blue belts” are born – the ones who think they now know everything and will start coaching people or telling others what to do during a roll. Many are avid YouTube students of BJJ as well, thus, adding to their professor blue belt credibility. Rolls with blue belts can be gritty and what may feel like relentless pouncing on us. Like white belts, they prefer to smash and play from the top because their guards are in development (i.e. their weak spot). Expect to test your cardio rolling with blue belts because they definitely are trying to kill you too. When you start to feel less like they’re trying to attack you, that’s when you know that they are close to the purple belt…

Purple belts: My favorite belt to train with. Purple belts have the technique, have a guard (or a few) in research and development, and can pass. Most know how to control their rolling with others, meaning they know how to conserve energy or explode when they need to. While rolls with them are equally cardio and technique friendly, there also seems to be a bit more understanding of cause and effect when rolling with them. Rolling with purple belts is literally THE perfect opportunity for you to practice your guard or passing systems that you are trying to develop. They will give you enough resistance but also try to keep it technical at the same time – instead of trying to SPAZ or HULK out of like the abovementioned belts. Purple belts know they are in it for the long haul and are close enough to the black belt where they will not quit and are always interested in learning. They have nothing to lose but everything to gain in training.

Brown belts: As this belt is the last step towards the black belt, you will find two distinct types of brown belts in training. Those who have everything to prove that they are going to be the next black belt in the academy and those who clearly realize how much they don’t know the closer they get to the black belt. Rolling with brown belts are usually highly technical and more submission oriented, as they are proficient (or at least they should be) with their guard and passing systems. Many “enforcers” in the academy are brown belts. Some roll hard with lower belts and don’t give any chance, while others tend to like to help. These are usually the ones who will take an active teaching/coaching role when they become a black belt.

Black belt: This should be self-explanatory. Black belts should be able to f**k your sh*t up but also be able to explain and break down the nuances of techniques and positions. Rolling with a black belt is an honor, so treat it as such…

And also, one thing to remember in training no matter what belt color you roll with: If someone is mostly using STRENGTH to roll with you, don’t get mad. Be flattered. That just means your technique is so good that they have nothing to use but strength to try to beat it. #FACTS

Lea Young
 

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