It's ok to 'lose'...

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Freeform, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    ... when rolling in your class.

    I wish that more people would realise this. This rant comes off my just getting elbowed repeatedly in the ribs and a conversation with some female players.

    I'm training mostly no-gi just now and when we roll in class I see that most of the blokes there are 'there to win'. Whilst a commendable attitude (I mean, who wants to lose?), I can't help but think going out and doing only the things you are good at, is stunting the growth of you AND your training partner.

    What happened to me. I got muscled into a bad postion by a heavier, stronger opponent (my bad, I know). He's got a cray hybrid side control/north south going on and goes for the chicken wing/kimura/figure 4/whatever.
    I see this coming so grab my own shorts waist band. He can't get the lock so trys to smash my wrist into the mat repeatedly to break the grip with his weight. This results in each time he does this, elbowing my in the ribs with his body weight:

    UGAHH! I say and not by choice. Twice this happens, I tell him to 'Chill' it happens a few more time, he's paying no heed to me, so I tap out and start explaining what he'd been doing.

    So many guys, once they have (what they think) is the lock, will hunt it remorselessly. While this can be a good attribute in some cases, in this one my ribs disagree (I seem to get elbowed/knee'd/punched more in sub than I do at MT :confused: ;) ).

    The women I was talking to were feeling quite down about a similar set of circumstances. When they roll with men (which is most of the time), the guys just brute them into submission, no technique, just weight and strength.

    Whenever I roll with a woman (or a smaller bloke for that matter) who is of equal or lesser skill, I try not to play 'the weight game'. I feel this helps both of us to improve (and has led to me getting tapped by girls ;) but so what!). When playing with superior skilled males/females I do use my weight/strength as this is an attribute that I have.

    What I'm trying to get at, is why can't alot of people let go and try something else (when they aren't getting anywhere)? The 'must win at all costs' attitude in the gym is a bad one I think.

    Please discuss.
  2. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    It's worse in Judo than it was when I did gi-grappling (Basically BJJ, class was mainly BJJ guys from a Gracie Barra club) it was a lot mroe chilled out than the University Judo club.

    At the Uni club people are constantly trying to mcule me when they are a good 20 kilos or more lighter than me, it ****es me off no end because I'm always tempted to muscle my way out and they make the same mistakes over and over again so I get to do the same thing over and over again. :rolleyes:

    It doesn't help that I'm bigger than everyone in class either, makes it to easy for me to start with then I get my ass kicked at competition but seriously, they could at least try something clever, I aboslutley refuse to ge caught in guard these days because I know it'll be a 2 minute round of them trying to squeze me to death! At the moment I refuse to close my guard, I'm sweeping people easily at the moment because they just try to explode past my guard every time!

    </Non coherent rant>
  3. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    In sparring, I always try (though not necessarily successful, so something I have to keep drilling into my head) to approach it is a learning tool, rather than a situation to 'win' or 'lose', which is only ever detrimental. Not only is it going to hinder your progress, but it may very well result in injury - same kind of 'win/lose' mentality leads people to hold off tapping, which is an extremely bad idea in class sparring. Even in the best case scenario, you'd be sitting there struggling in a stalemate when you could have just tapped and restarted, trying a different approach and in turn getting more out of the spar. Of course, that isn't to say you should tap as soon as someone grabs your wrist or something, but if the sub is locked in, then its really not worth losing potentially months of training due to ego.

    Very good thread on the topic here.
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I sometimes run into this attitude on the mat. It doesn't usually last all that long as our instructor usually will put a stop to it... quite literally... if someone starts going for broke during rolling.

    BJJ does for some reason attract any number of nut jobs.

    We had some kid show up that insisted on eagle-clawing people (I kid you not) when he thought he was about to get submitted. Finally one of our guys lost his wick after telling this nut-bake about 15 times that 'eagle-clawing' people was not quite the be-all end-all move this dumb-ass thought it was. He promptly got suplexed and asked not to ever come back.:D

    The whole go for broke attitude doesn't make any sense unless it's in competition and even then there are limits to it. Sportsmanship is a big part of BJJ - as is respect for you opponent and commaradery with the guys you roll with.
  5. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    I know exactly what you mean. We now have a small dojo at home and I mostly roll there with mates, not because I don't like a challenge, just that I pick up far fewer knocks that stop me training, so I get more training done.

    The trouble is, its such a fine balance between being committed to a technique and ripping someone's arm off to get a sub. Within a group of friends, people are all happy to tap and give feedback without feeling like they've lost.
  6. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    I see lots of others have the same rant to get off their chests that I do ;)

    I must confess, that my own 'penis-ness' (my term for a very 'hiearchical young male' and his desire to 'win') does occur from time to time. I see this as a roadblock to my own development (ooh, I'm getting all zen ;) ).
  7. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    Sometimes, I have trouble trying not to go all out on a tech that I think I have. In my case it's because I'm new enough and insecure enough about my abilities that I want to prove to myself that I can pull it off at all. I try to stop when I realize this is happening, but it's a problem and I suspect a lot of people are trying to win at all costs precisely because they don't know if they can win or not and are bothered by that. The more I roll, the better and more confident I get, and the less of a problem this becomes for me.

    I also make it a point to put myself in positions I'm uncomfortable in with people I know I can beat from positions I like, just to prevent myself from being "that guy".

    On the flip side, when my opponent is going all out trying to "win" no matter the cost, I switch partners immediately after that round, win or lose. I realize it just plain minimizes learning.
  8. ninjaman111

    ninjaman111 Valued Member

    im there to learn not devestate people, if i want to do that i wait for football :cool:
  9. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    it's not always easy to explain to new guys that we aren't rolling to see who's better, we're rolling so we can each work our techniques against a resisting opponent.

    the next step is convincing oneself that it's ok to let go of a submission, rather than sit there and crank on it. you've *got* the position, no need to finish it (sometimes, anyway).
  10. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Question. Do you ever train half-speed rolling instead of full speed?
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    The Suplex...the true answer to all life's problems. :D

    Thing is, there will always be people/person in a class that will always go all out in every kind of sport/recreation. Its part healthy competitve nature part being a hole.

    A little chat helps. Failing that...belly-back suplex.
  12. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Yes, but a lot of people STILL don't get it. I think it really drives our instructor up the wall! :D
  13. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    I don't think we ever roll half-speed (in the sense of not fully resisting), but certainly you're supposed to put on subs slowly (perhaps that counts as half-speed? Though again, people don't hold off when trying to get them, just when actually locking them in) and conversely not be afraid to tap. I'm assuming this has been followed, at least since I've been there, as I can't think of any related injuries (hyperextended elbows and the like). Then again, its a big class, so might have missed them.

    Also, we start from specific positions in the beginners class, which I'm sure reduces the likelihood of injury, not to mention all leglocks are banned until blue belt, I think (certainly not allowed as a beginner, which is up to third stripe white at RGA).
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  14. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Some people have trouble changing speeds, it seems they have two speeds, fast and super-fast.

    It may seem a bit barbaric, but generally, what can work best is to hit them as hard and fast as they are hitting you. They sometimes have no idea that they are hurting you until they get hurt.

    Can't say if that is any kind of answer in your case, but it has worked for me. Just remember the principles, don't lock/submit someone unless you first stun or unbalance them. I like putting people in choke holds, key locks, and finger locks before submitting them with an armbar. They are in so concerned about the first, they don't see the next technique coming, that is if they don't tap out already.

    Half speed rolling is for working on techniques. It is full resisting, but only at half speed. Basically you aren't allowed to use your speed or strength to compensate for bad technique. It is of course compliant to the fact that both parties agree to go only half-speed. If someone goes faster, and it does happen, generally they are told by the instructor to slow it down.

    Half speed is for learning better technique, whereas full speed is more realistic and is for testing things out and gaining experience.

    One trick is to learn to switch gears fluidly between slower and faster speeds because in certain positions it is better to slow things down whereas in other positions it is better to speed things up, not always go the same speed as that is predictable. This takes time to learn to do well.

    One nice exercise is to gain a superior position on top and slow the pace down to methodically move towards submission while maintaining a superior position. Let the disadvantaged person on bottom go as fast as they want (try to speed up the pace).
  15. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Some people are just more intense than others. Their "taking it easy" can still feel like "full-on" to other people. I'd say that tends to even out the more experienced they are as they need less effort to achieve the same things.

    That said you're better off rolling with people that are pretty intense than people that are just gently rolling (if you can only do one or the other).
  16. RiveraRa

    RiveraRa New Member

    You, and by 'you' I mean all of us, really need to choose our rolling partners carefully if we have that choice. I generally try to stay away from the younger people and the new white belts. The ones that are over zealous.
  17. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Most of the technique training I do has about a 3 to 1 ratio. 3 times full speed (but still controlled as appropriate) and 9 times 50%-75% speed. This ratio changes depending on level we are hitting each other at. Even with padding, I have trouble taking three full (but controlled) contact techniques/hits without needing time to recover.

    BJJ can be easier on the body when the majority of the time strikes are not allowed, but even so, the body triangles, smoothers, neck cranks, and other ways pressure is kept on the on the body can really take a toll on someone and these are NOT the submissions but the setup to submission.

    At beginner levels, I only allow half-speed rolling (which turns out to be more like 3/4 speed anyway). Only more speed is allowed when rolling with a more experienced person... e.g. two experienced people, or one experienced person and one beginner.

    Even at the lower intensities, I had beginners getting elbows and knees in the face, fingers in the eyes, etc.

    Choosing a good partner is very important, as already stated. I also agree that going full intensity is better than half-speed for realism and testing things out... very important for gaining experience. I don't think everyone is ready to go full speed in a training enviroment, they have to gain some experience or roll with someone much more experienced first.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  18. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    i keep telling my training partners (who are basically all significantly larger and stronger than i am) that they're a lot more fun to roll with at the end of the night - once they're tired, they have to be more technical, and we both learn more.

    the full speed stuff when they're fresh is still crucial, though, as that's when i get stronger, faster, and work defenses.
  19. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    Hear, hear!!! I know we've had a lot of new guys (me being one of them) start over the last few months and our coach made a point after class one day to remind everyone that our job in class when sparring is to do everything we can to make the other guy better. That means taking advantage of their mistakes so that they learn, but it doesn't mean punishing them relentlessly. We don't get better if we're injured, and we don't learn if we don't have a chance to internalize what happened. He also reminded all the white belts that the blue belts and above are doing this very thing, and basically not to get cocky. :)

    Have I mentioned lately how much I like my school?
  20. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Contradicting my earlier post, we did something that might be called half-speed rolling in class yesterday. Might not be the same thing you meant, however - we were working on maintaining mount, so the person on the bottom was suppose to bump around, go for your leg etc. In fact, thats probably more like quarter-speed than half-speed, especially as it was very specific (no subs, sweeps etc, just bouncing the top person around).

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