My 5 Commandments of Rolling – Commandment #3

Commandment 3:
Thou Shalt Remember That It’s Not the ADCC/UFC Every Night

Anyone who has done Jiu Jitsu for a while has come across the guy who rolls to hard. Every single time he steps on the mat he thinks that he is defending his UFC belt. In his mind if he taps or gets his guard passed then he gets kicked out of the ADCC and loses all of his ADCC championships. So what does he do? He rolls very aggressively and is always looking to finish regardless of the situation. This is typically the guy who uses a lot of cranks and dangerous moves. I used to roll with a guy like this and when he got desperate he would use small joint manipulation and try to rip your fingers off. Another old training partner was notorious for catching heel hooks and then cranking them as hard as he could. What happened to these guys? They ran out of training partners very fast.

What you need to remember is that every time you train it is not a match in the ADCC or a UFC title fight. Yes those days will come. Yes sometimes you have to train hard. Sometimes it’s necessary to simulate a real match. However rolling hard every single night and acting as if your life depended on it will not help you progress. In fact most of my training partners and I usually tend to role at about 80% of our actual ability. We save that last 20% for times when we really need it. Coach Alder wrote a great series of articles over at 10th Planet Watch talking about training partners and I completely agree with his philosophy. I shouldn’t be fearing for my life while I roll because my partner is trying to rip my head off. Rolling is rather a time for you to try out some of the techniques that you have learned in class.

If you would like to discuss any of the 5 Commandments please leave a comment below or email me at

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