How do I roll with lower belts

How do I roll with lower belts

Aug 15, 2023

The other day I had another fellow blue belt asking me - "how do I deal with rolling with lower belts?" Which was a very interesting question because I always treated lower belts the way I wanted to be treated.

I guess what that means is, I will still smashed white belts but not hurt them to the point they don't want to come back to train. I never enjoyed it and didn't really appreciate it when blue belts just belted me as if we were in a street fight.

But in saying that I will tap them out but only if I have a good grip to get a quick tap. I won't be doing submissions that will hurt them.

For example: If I was chasing a rear naked choke, I won't be cranking on their face to get the tap. I would chase a clean grip around the neck before tightening for the choke.

But in terms of the intensity that I will roll at. It will depend entirely on my training partner. Things like:

  • How big and strong they are. Most big people don't realise how big they are and they don't mean to hurt anyone, but it always happen without them being aware of it.
  • And of course how rough they are from the beginning. If they start off gripping really hard and start off trying to smash.

I will have to turn up the intensity if I feel it's not safe for me to allow them to go rough. This isn't an ego thing, it is simply to protect myself if they decide to smash my face into the mat. If someone really wants to smash you. You have to defend yourself at the very least so you don't get injured.

Your safety is top priority.

But the bottom line is I don't let white belts submit me if they didn't work for it. If they want to submit me I'll give them the chances to get there. But I will attempt to escape with everything I have.

The reason I don't let white belts submit me so easily because they have to earn it. By letting them submit me, I am giving them false expectation that jiu jitsu is easy. I don't want them going around thinking "oh jiu jitsu is easy, I only trained for 2 months and I subbed a blue belt who's been training for 2 years".

Because jiu jitsu is difficult, and if they think it's easy. They won't understand the humbling experience of jiu jitsu. Honestly this humbling experience is the best part of learning any combat sport.

So really I hope they learn something when I roll with them and not just get smashed by me. I also hope higher belts don't just use white belts as a punching bag for them to vent.