Showing posts in category: Training

What to do if no one wants to roll with you?

This is a problem that affects mostly bigger students. It’s hard sometimes putting bigger students with smaller students because the weight difference does effect the training. 

It doesn’t even matter if there is a difference in skill level. 

Just having a big size difference will put off some training partners. Because they might be afraid that they will get hurt. 

I know that’s the case with me. When I was younger my instructors would often pair me up with the big boy weighing over 280 lbs. 

That was okay in my early 20’s. But now, not so much. 

As a bigger guy, this can be a big issue especially if most of your training partners are smaller so what can you do to work on this?

This is a pretty open ended scenario but one thing that bigger guys can do is to really focus on rolling with technique this means not crushing smaller students or using an absurd amount of power while rolling. 

This is not easy by any stretch of the imagination and will take time to develop. 

Something that will help you do this is to play on bottom more so than playing on top when going with smaller training partners. 

This will allow you to focus on your technique and you won’t have to really use your pressure as much. 

And when you do play on top try to utilize more speed movement versus strength and pressure. 

All that being said, the bigger guy game is a lot different. 

It’s more pressure and to be honest a more gritty form of Jiu Jitsu. 

Techniques that work on smaller opponents don’t always work on bigger guys once you get to the extreme sizes. 

Think football players and freaks of nature that dwarf your average person. 

The only way to develop this is by rolling with other bigger guys. 

So try reaching out to other big guys to roll. Going to open mats at academies with big students, and inviting your big friends to try a Jiu Jitsu class. 

It’s not easy if you don’t have access to a lot of big guys at your academy. 

But where there’s a will. There is a way. 

Drilling technique to warm up

There is a big debate among instructors and students alike as to what is the best way to warm up. 

Even at the academy that I teach at there is no consensus. 

I’m not going to hit all the points in this post but only to state my opinion.

The best way to warm up is to start slowly with drills to move the body and then slowly ramp up from there to positional sparring. Little by little increasing the resistance. 

For instance, if I’m working my open guard. I might use the beginning of the round to review my open guard transitions and attacks just to get my mind in the right space to work on the position and my body loosened up. 

The problem with this and trying to tailor your warm up to the needs of every student is that every student has different needs and what they want out of training Jiu Jitsu. 

Some students want to lose weight so maybe more high intensity interval training would fit their goal better. 

Some students just want to break a light sweat so maybe a running warm up would fit their needs better. 

Some students want to skip the warm up all together and get right down to rolling. 

And you might have many of these different types of students in one class. So trying to satisfy everyone is downright impossible and a lot of instructors take it personally when students give feedback about too much warm up or too little warmup. 

I know my goal as an instructor of Jiu Jitsu is to transmit my knowledge of Jiu Jitsu as best I can while trying to do my best to cover the areas of fitness, health, and competitions etc. 

So I will probably continue to prioritize techniques over everything else. 

The student themselves can handle exactly how they want to warm up.

Over training is real

Overtraining in Jiu Jitsu is a real serious condition that many instructors and students don’t talk about. 

I can’t name too many sports were the norm is be in a constant state of over training as much as the sport/art of Jiu Jitsu 

In fact, this ideal of needing to train twice a day or more has been blown out of proportion.  

Some of the best guys in the world may be able to follow this type of training regiment but they often only have to worry about training and not normal stuff like having to work and the elite guys will often taking extra substances that allow them to train this way. 

It took years of forcing myself to train multiple times a day to understand that I was in fact training too much. 

Focus on the quality of your training rather than just the quantity. 

For instance, now whenever I train. I never train just for trainings sake. I always go into training with a specific purpose of making progress on a position or my understanding of a technique. 

Progress becomes the measure of my training and not how much time I spent rolling and repeating the same movements over and over. 

When you first start training, the more mat time the better. You are always making skill gains whenever you show up because you are learning something new and integrating it right then. 

But as your skill rises, the law of diminishing returns rears it’s head and just showing up isn’t enough. 

Just rolling won’t be enough to grow your skills. 

Mindlessly grinding won’t yield results. 

Of course if you are prepping for a major tournament you need to push hard. 

Ramping up your training 8-12 weeks in advance of your tournanment pursuit. 

However, to maintain this year round with no off season is down right illogical and can actually hurt your athletic performance. 

There are some other reasons students tend to over train but I won’t delve to deep into them because this post is starting to get too preachy.

My advice is to listen to your body. 

If you’re constantly sore, always feel sick, losing weight, losing sleep, or overall not enjoying training. 

Take a day or two off. Hell, maybe even a week or two if you feel particularly run down. 

Renew your self and come back healthier, stronger, and more energized. 

Your training will be a lot better.