Super aggressive new guys

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu' started by PiedmontChun, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Purple Belt

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    I've been training less than a year and still feel like the new guy most of the time, but we've had some new people start lately, one brand new guy in particular I'm going to talk about. It was a normal class - we drilled some passes and passing defense, then when we rolled, I end up partnered with this new guy. I didn't get mad when he dug his elbows into my inner thighs to break my closed guard, but I immensely dislike that, and so I opened my guard and swept him to move on to something else. Later in the roll and after a weird scramble, he had a bit of a window and took my back like he was fighting for his life, which surprised me. This guy didn't have leg hooks in very good, but he went for a rear naked choke immediately, except his choking arm was across my chin / jaw. I tried turning my face toward his wrist (versus turning into the choke) to take some pressure off while grabbing his choking arm. I was going to try and clear the leg hook and walk myself around and into him (the main escape I know from here), and then I realize this guy has locked it up with both arms with all his strength like he is trying to crush my face. I felt like my face was being bear hugged from behind, but low and tight enough that I couldn't slip my head out. I don't know if he legit somehow thought he had the RNC in and was finishing it, or if he actually knew he was across my face and was just trying to use the pain / discomfort to make me tap. I lost focus on my escape attempt and ended up tapping versus try and fight his grip on my head, which makes me mad. Moving forward, I guess I'll have to be on my toes with this guy, but it seems like not giving him an inch when we roll or trying to shut him down doesn't make for a good mutual learning experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Some folks are maddeningly competitive. They're used to dominating with strength and athleticism, and don't understand the idea of technical rolling/sparring/randori for learning. They come in thinking every free interaction like that is meant to be won whatever way they can, and have a hard time understanding why that's not correct. In the example you gave, for instance, that guy didn't get to practice good technique because he simply applied enough strength to make bad technique uncomfortable. This is what I try to teach folks: hold strength in reserve, so when technique isn't enough, you can add it in. "In reserve" means you shouldn't use it most of the time in drills and technical sparring.

    As an instructor, I take it upon myself to handle these folks as soon as I spot them. If I can afford the focus, I'll work with them personally, because I can normally shut them down gently as I explain they're working too hard and missing the point of the exercise. I've only ever had two results from this: they learn quickly or they quit after a few classes. Only once has my shutting down had to become less than gentle. The good news is that these guys are (if they stick around) good for testing your skills against, and often good at challenging the principles.
     
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  3. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I would advise the instructor. Its his job to put order in the class.

    That new guy may be aware or not he is being sill... ultra-competitive. Anyway, it does not help learning (much) and will lead to injuries. Be careful; and avoid him until you some progress in his side (I would do).
     
  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Harden up.

    You can't cheat your way out of BJJ. If he is beating you get better. Don't blame him.
     
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  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The guy who comes in just using his strength will find out that there's always someone stronger which is why you should learn proper technique. The guy who comes in with a big ego is in the correct place to learn how to lose it when he comes into a BJJ class. :D
     
  6. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I'm not a grappler, so this may or may not be entirely relevant...

    When I started sparring I hit harder than I needed to, I knew it and the instructors knew it. Before my first sparring session I spoke to the instructor about it - better than waiting for complaints...

    Because of that, I was mainly paired up with (much) higher ranks with much more experience - the ones who had sufficient technique to work with me. In the instances where I was paired with 'equal' grades to me, I was basically running non contact (but they could hit me).

    Now (even though I'm still not a particularly high rank) I'm one of the ones that gets lumbered with the overenthusiastic newbies :D I've got to the stage where I can control what I do to be slightly above them without taking it too far - and on the whole I'm capable of shutting them down completely if they go too far.

    I'm still essentially non contact with a few though, but now that's my choice (there's no fun in beating on a 16 year old...)


    In essence, talk to your instructor if you feel you can't speak to the 'problem' student yourself - it's entirely possible they (the student) just don't realise.
     
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  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Drop Bear is correct harden up, shut down his attempt at advancement and dominate. The big question I have is that if you have been training this long why would you be bothered at all with someone trying to dig their elbows into your inner legs? Must happen all the time, right? Also it sounds like he was doing a neck crank on you which in my experience is a pretty normal precursor to transitioning to a rear naked choke or simply just forcing a tap. Defend it, reverse, dominate and utilize your skills to take advantage of his lack of skill sets! Work hard and get better!
     
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  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    My money is on a face crush on the sub. Which is a legitimate sub. It is just low brow.
     
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  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I agree with the harden up advice, but quite truthfully that’s not the complete answer IMO.

    I have no BJJ experience, but I’ve seen the same basic thing with new wrestlers and new karateka in sparring...

    A lot of new guys aren’t sparring/rolling; they’re trying to win. There’s a difference between competing and practicing. If both guys are on the same page, then all’s good. When they’re not, that’s another story.
     
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  10. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think part of it is the assumption that after a while of BJJ you will be able to handle a noob. And it is not always the case.

    Aggressive guys is a different mechanic. And can catch you out. It has happened to me a few time. Especially MMA where people can be a bit competitive. You can be humbled by anyone.

    For me personally it is part of developing my discipline. So I might want an easy roll but if my partner steps it up. Then I have to. Or I get caught and tap out.

    Which I also think breaks these mood issues people have with self defence. When people say they are scared or whatnot.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I agree with all of that. But there’s a time to go all out, and a time to practice and work on specific things. If you’re in competition mode every roll or sparring session, you get into a routine of doing the same conservative stuff in order to win and not taking any chances.

    Most of us have been there in our early days - sparring to win vs sparring to learn and try to apply new stuff. There’s a time and place for both. Better yet, there’s a balance. Most newbies haven’t learned that yet; it takes some time. Most people who’ve just gotten out of that phase forget or don’t realize they were “that guy” too.
     
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  12. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Doesn't sound aggressive to me just sounds like he didn't understand the technique well enough yet and sounds like your ego just got bruised more than anything. You had to tap so what get over it
     
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  13. dunc

    dunc Green Belt

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    There’s a balance I feel
    When not very experienced grapplers roll aggressively, use a ton of strength etc then the risk of injury is quite high
    & that’s bad for everyone

    If you have to roll with someone like that then you either need to dominate from the get go or play safe and get them to burn out before you turn the tables. It’s the stuff in between these approaches that can result in injury
     
  14. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Purple Belt

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    Agreed. Lesson learned. I need to pay closer attention to someone's intensity and not assume since they are new that they aren't going to 100% commit to stuff they don't really know how to do, or they learned off of YouTube. Doesn't mean I have to like it though. I consider most of the guys in my school friends, and we roll really hard sometimes but we always look out for each other too.

    As for other comments here - I'm not bellyaching about a new guy "besting" me. I tap when rolling with guys at the same level that just get the best of me sometimes; who doesn't? When someone catches me in a submission and I look back and see where I screwed up and they capitalized on it - I have nothing but respect for that, and that is part of the learning experience in BJJ that I love. But a guy who tries to immediately tighten up a RNC when its not even in the right placement whatsoever and he either doesn't sense that or care - that's a guy I don't really trust at all. That's not controlled, and outside of a tournament - there's just no reason for it.
     
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  15. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Purple Belt

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    Maybe because we literally just spent time drilling ways to pass someone's guard, and rolling is a time to experiment with that against some resistance? Its not like he tried things and then resorted to digging in the elbows out of frustration - he went straight for it. Like I said, when I realized he was going to just sit there and continue to dig in and not try something else - I swept and moved on.
     
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  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Nobody said you have to like it but you have to expect that newer people may be rolling with high intensity and lack of care and concern for you. I remember rolling with a bigger, elite collegiate wrestler once with GI and he was inexperienced with it. I slowed him down and was forcing him to tap regularly and he spazzed on me with open fingers pressing in the eyes, fist throat pressing with all his weight, etc. Really trying to alpha and utilize a lot of nasty stuff. I just let him over extend and submitted him more as he became more frustrated. The guy was a beast but with no Gi experience he just didn't know what not to do. I had bruises from him for a few weeks around my neck but that is the price you some times pay in BJJ. Sure, I was pissed with him but you will run into those kind of people. It's simply going to happen! Not everyone is going to be smooth when rolling or play nice and when first rolling with a new person you should be prepared for this.
     
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  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's pretty much what I was getting at.
     
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. But there's two other points in this. First, if the roll/sparring is supposed to be soft and technical, then amping it up without agreement (unless there's an ongoing rule that doing so from time to time is part of training) is just changing the rules to win. The guy rolling soft will (unless he's a lot more skilled) lose to the guy who decides to bring it all, so it's not really a test of skill or even being competitive - just taking advantage of the situation. Now, if someone's training for defense (instead of competition), this is probably a good thing to have happen from time to time. Maybe for competitors, too, but that's not my area.

    The second point is that there's learning being lost. Mostly for the person who's not following the drill, but also to his partner. To me, this is similar to the guy who, when they're feeding a single-leg drill, purposely shifts their weight to make the assigned single-leg a poor choice. (Change the technique to an arm bar, wrist escape, specific sweep, or whatever, and the point is the same.) There's a time for each level of resistance, and bringing high resistance to low-resistance work loses the intended result of the drill.
     
  19. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you only work with sparring partners who do things "technically correct from a BJJ standpoint, then you are going to be underprepared for a real encounter. Working with aggressive, athletic, "non-technical" newbies is an important part of learning to deal with a real-world assailant.

    I'm a big fan of relaxed, technical flow-rolling, but you have to learn to deal with aggressive pressure as well. If I go into a roll slow and relaxed and find that my partner is going fast and aggressive, then I have two options. I can try to match his speed or I can try to move efficiently enough to beat his speed with technique. Win or lose, I learn either way.

    Safety is important, but it doesn't sound like your partner was necessarily being unsafe.

    There are counters to elbows digging into thighs. There are counters to aggressively leaping onto the back. There are counters to the face choke. If you can't execute those reliably, then this training partner is giving you something to work on.

    I do encourage newbies to relax and work on technique, but I do it only after I've beaten their athleticism and aggression with efficiency. If I can't demonstrate why my way is better, then I don't get to tell them to change what they're doing.
     
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  20. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    To me it still sounds like you're just upset you got beat by a beginner. You're upset because a guy went for a submission.....that's the truth of it. Okay he was doing it wrong but he's beginner he's not going to do perfect technique. You say you don't trust him....um pal he's rolling you're rolling accidents happen that's bjj for you get over it. If he held on a submission after you tapped or punched you in the face or dug his elbow into your face that would be bad but if a beginner goes for a submission....well that's what he's meant to do, fair play to him for giving it a go and not being timid your fault for not defending it or escaping.

    Bjj rolling is different to sparring because in sparring someone goes hard you've got to take it and it'll hurt if hit. In bjj anything hurts you can quit straight away. That's the good thing about bjj you can go hard without as much risk of injury
     
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