I’m done rolling with big guys

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I’m done rolling with big guys

This was the post of someone that was tired of training and getting injured. I came across this frustrated “rant” on reddit (r/bjj).

The post was titled “I’m done rolling with big guys”. Here is an excerpt of the post below:

“I can’t catch a break. If I have to roll with White/blue belts that have me by 50-60 pounds I always get hurt, it never fails. Its like the spazziest (not sure that’s a word) big guys in the world train at my gym.”

After thinking about his challenge, I responded with what I thought was something we have all faced at one time or another.

In fact, if I look back at my time training, without a doubt I have been injured the most when I was a while/blue belt and I trained with other white/blue belts that had very little in the way of technique.

Lowest Common Denominator

This is more of a white belt general statement than it is a heavyweight training partner statement.

When you don’t have any technique to rely on, we will always rely on our next most reliable asset or attribute.

For some it is strength or our size. Others flexibility. And others, explosiveness.

It is human instinct to revert to the tools we have in our toolbox. The problem, is that if we train to rely on the attributes, then we never develop the technique we need to be our primary method of battle.

It’s the equivalent of having to throw a punch after getting in a verbal confrontation with someone. Without an extensive vocabulary, punching becomes the only way we can defend our ego.

It’s a shitty way to go through life. Dealing with tough situations in life will come. You can’t punch all of them in the mouth to victory.

That’s a fixed mindset mentality to growing as a human. You need more tools and technique in your toolkit.

How to Deal With Larger Opponents

This is the best time to training the foundation of your Jiujitsu. You should focus on Surviving before you Defend; Defending before you Escape or Sweep; and Escaping or Sweeping before you try to turn offensive and Control and Submit.

Its valuable use of your training time to work on surviving, defending and escaping especially against larger training partners.

In fact, depending on your opponent you may need to move up or down the hierarchy to focus on your skills.

For example, if you are facing a new white belt in class with no skill or physical attributes to help them, you may decide to work on your sweeps, control, or submissions.

Against your instructor? You’ll need to move back to the foundation of surviving and defending. This is a useful guide to support optimizing your training efforts.

Often times, we haphazardly train with no order, only chaos to “win” every training session.

Well, a win in my book is surviving the attacks of your skilled classmates, or hitting that sweep you’ve been working on against a peer.

Rickson Gracie has said, “if you are not comfortable to deal with an opponent 50 lbs heavier than you, there is something wrong with your JiuJitsu.”

Unless you only train Sport JiuJitsu, this may not resonate with you.

However, it is a true statement. In a self-defense scenario, you don’t get to pick your opponents size, skill level, or bad intentions.

Surviving, defending, and escaping are most important to train for for this reason.

That spazzy white belt is more likely to simulate a street encounter than they are likely to out point you in a tournament because their skill level is more attribute based (strength and size) than it is based in JiuJitsu technique.

Keep this in mind. JiuJitsu is JiuJitsu.

Everybody applies techniques differently based on their understanding of the art, their body, their individual strengths and weaknesses.

JiuJitsu has the answers to many of the challenges you face, you just need to believe that and figure out how to apply it. Have full faith in the art and don’t put any limits on its effectiveness to help you with your challenges.

As we age, our physical attributes will diminish over time. Therefore, we should strive to grasp training with precise technique and principles over anything else, now, while we can absorb the lessons from a mind/muscle connection and understand how to decompose the skills and techniques needed to execute them with leverage and efficiency.

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