Everyone Is Important To Your Advancement In BJJ!
Depending on the rules at your BJJ school, it may be a few months before you are permitted to take part in the live training that your academy offers. A small waiting period before diving into live training can be essential to gaining an understanding of the positions, basic concepts, and the philosophies of jiu-jitsu before putting them into practice on a resisting body. This time of observation and learning can make your transition from instruction to rolling a little bit smoother.
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One of the most frequent concerns that students express to me Is about their goals for live training. Who should they roll with? How can they get better? They often say that they can’t get anything to work, or that they’re always just getting smashed. These are all normal inquires, and concerns, and this is all part of the process. But there are ways to train that can benefit you more than others, and make your live training a little more beneficial to your BJJ progression.
Here are the 3 kinds of people you should train with every time you roll. Especially as a beginner. I believe this is a great way to broaden your horizons and improve your game steadily.
- The person that can kick your ass – Whether this is a higher belt, or someone close to your rank that’s just really good, we all need to feel someone’s BJJ that’s at a higher level than ours on a consistent basis. This keeps our survival in the forefront of our mind. It also helps us keep our defense sharp, as we are constantly forced to find answers to the attacks from someone who is always a few steps ahead of us. Use this time to observe the tricks of the trade. Upper ranks have acquired something that you don’t have yet. Experience. You can tap into this important information by paying close attention to a roll with someone that outranks you.
- The person you can be competitive with – This may be someone you came up with, that’s close to the same rank, or just one of your favorite training partners. You know this person. This is that teammate that you always have those grinder matches with, where someone rarely gets submitted, but there’s lots of action. These kinds of encounters are excellent for your endurance, scrambles, and often times during the roll you’ll get to change positions several times. This can be really positive for developing your style and preferences in all positions. These matches are a blast, and super beneficial to your progression.
- The person you can beat – So, this person may be newer, they may have started a few months after you, or you just possess a higher-level skillset. The idea is not to maliciously pound this person, but to use the roll as a chance to work your stuff. Since you’ll be a few steps ahead, you’ll be able to slow things down a bit, so that you can experiment, and give your submissions and favorite techniques a chance to play out. A lot of BJJ students think the only way to get better is to train with the higher ranks. This is not true. Training with lower ranked students will help develop your offense in ways training with upper ranks can’t.
As you make your way through the ranks, you’ll notice that you can be each of these training partners multiple times per session. It doesn’t make sense to only be one of these partners. You’ll develop an unbalanced game, and certain aspects of BJJ might feel unfamiliar to you if they’re not groomed on a regular basis. Sticking to this kind of format will also just simply make you an all-around great training partner that adds value to your team. If you’re someone that only smashes people, chances are you will only attract one kind of training partner, and this won’t benefit you. If you seek to only be smashed, your offense will not show as many signs of improvement. Make all aspects of your game a priority.
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We all learn in different ways, but this concept might help you ease the process. Going at your live training from this angle will give you the opportunity to create a plan for your rolling, and get the most out of it. It will sharpen your attacks, sure up your defense, and help you develop that BJJ cardio that everyone always talks about. IF you spread the philosophy to others, it will create a helpful atmosphere that fosters learning, and a genuine concern for the progressions of others. If we all make each other’s progression priority, you will have a mat filled with monsters, and that’s beneficial to everyone.
Don’t forget to check out Craig Jones’ widely successful The Z Guard Encyclopedia. This instructional will change your game and frustrate your opponents. You can get it here.