As I talked about with the Commandments for Rolling, letting go of your ego and pride is a big part of succeeding in Jiu Jitsu. One way at 10th Planet Van Nuys that we practice letting go of our ego is by having egoless rolls. An egoless roll is when you go about 20-30% and slow the game down. The point of this roll is not winning. If you catch a sub don’t worry about finishing it. Instead hold it in place and let your partner work his defense. If you feel like you might get swept…let it happen even if it means you end up in a bad position. Don’t like playing side control? Force yourself to play side control.
So why should we have egoless rolls? By slowing the game down size, speed, and strength no longer matter. When going at 100% a stronger and faster opponent can win a match based on their natural athletic ability. The only thing that matters when rolling at 20% is technique.
If you watch several high level Jiu Jitsu players they have a very slow and methodical game. They are not super explosive or rely on their strength. For them good technique will triumph all. Having egoless rolls will help you fine tune this technique. Don’t believe me? Let me share a story with you. Last Thursday my training partner David “Stachwell” Alaverz and I were having an egoless roll and I went for a kimura sweep that I have been using effectively the past few weeks. Since we were going slow, David was able to find a counter to my kimura sweep that I didn’t know existed and would allow him to put me in a bad position. If we had never slowed down I could have been forming a bad habit that a higher level player could exploit.
I really credit egoless rolling for my recent progress in Jiu Jitsu. Slowing down my rolling has increased my technique and ability to think on the fly while rolling. It also has allowed me to see openings on my opponent and holes in my own game that I would not have known existed if I was constantly rolling at 100%. If you want to learn more training philosophy or are just looking to train with one of the top Jiu Jitsu gyms in the San Fernando Valley make sure you stop by 10th Planet Van Nuys! I’ll see you on the mats!