When Should You Start Rolling in BJJ

Again, I was looking around at questions people were asking on the internet, and this is one that happened to pop up. It’s a totally valid question: just starting out you may not feel totally at ease rolling when you barely know anything, so some may want to hold off on rolling straight away.

My personal philosophy is you should start early- maybe your second or third class in. By then you should have one or two things in your toolbelt, and at the very least start to get used to the idea of rolling around on the floor with another human. I’m sure there are many conflicting thoughts on this and that’s absolutely fine: the way I see it is that rolling that early in your jiu jitsu journey sort of takes the scariness out of it. My concern about waiting too long to roll is the anxiety that may build due to some expectation that rolling is really going to be a bigger thing than it really is. Just rip the bandaid off, jump headfirst into the cold water and then figure it out from there.

Some academies from what I understand have their white belts wait to roll until they are a few months in, ensuring they have some more tools in their toolbelt before letting them go live. And that’s also totally fine: I will admit one of the drawbacks of having someone train that early is sometimes they freeze because they are in an unfamiliar situation and haven’t been taught how to get out of it, or learned how to take advantage of certain opportunities when they are presented, so I totally get why some instructors may want their white belts to wait on training for a little while.

At the end of the day, I would trust what your instructor advises. If they want you to jump in, just jump in and have fun! There’s no expectation to wow anyone or make the highlight reel: you literally just started. And if they want you to wait a little while you build your fundamental skills, great! More time to practice those basics before putting them to use. More than anything don’t build rolling up into something more than it really is: it’s an opportunity to try some things out, and particularly for a white belt, a chance to practice defending and escaping. No one is expecting any flying inverted submission out of you, just that you will follow the fundamentals and work to defend and escape. Just have fun and do your best.

That’s all for now- have a great day everyone!

Leave a comment

Filed under bjj, jiu jitsu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s