Last Class and sometimes it may be better not to roll (22)

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Last Thursday’s morning class was relatively small. Four of us were vets (including the instructor Ryan/purple belt) and there were three new people. As I have to arrive late because I teach in the morning, I caught the last half of drill which consisted of setting up an elbow lock from the guard.

The new guy I was drilling with packed up right after the drilling portion of class so I ended up rolling with two people who were in their first week. The woman I rolled with quit within 1 min and so did the guy. My clothes were fresh and I have no hygiene issues so that wasn’t the reason. The woman I rolled with seemed unsure of what to do so I just postured up in her guard and let her work from there. I tried to be encouraging but I think it may have been a little too intimidating.

The guy I rolled with said that he had tweaked his shoulder in the previous class. However, when we begin to roll he seemed to be exerting full strength. We were on our knees so I tried to guide him to his back. He resisted and ended on his hands and knees instead. I grabbed one of his arms and an ankle and flipped him onto his back (gently) and gained side control. After a few seconds he verbally tapped.

It has been a while since I have rolled with pure beginners. Usually the guys and women that I roll with have an athletic or wrestling background that helps them even if they don’t know what to do. Instead of rolling I probably should have just asked if they wanted to review something instead.


3 thoughts on “Last Class and sometimes it may be better not to roll (22)

    neijia said:
    September 11, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    as a beginner what I like to do is get coached at very limited rolling – e.g., one person try to pass the guard with these 3 specific passes. other person try to use these 3 specific defenses. nice and easy but provides resistance under constraints and a fun game. maybe when you roll with beginners you should give them some constraints (also so no one will pull out some crazy b.s. and hurt you with crazy beginner-ness).

    i am also slightly involved with coaching kids’ chess and sometimes with the total beginners i just move off most of the pieces (removes the complexity of the full game) and get them to do checkmates (assuming they know the individual moves) but under some limited resistance.

    Ryan said:
    September 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I have found it awkward to roll with beginners too.

    It my school people need to be cleared to roll – for safety and other reasons. If someone is not cleared to roll they can “positionally roll” – which I found to be a good halfway point. Once we are out of the position we started, we usually reset. I like it because it helps beginners get used to rolling.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    September 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm


    Good points. Setting some parameters is always good.


    Clearing people is a great idea. It is easier to learn the basics that way as well.

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