beginner BJJ question

swegin

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I have just started and have a question about rolling. I rolled with a guy yesterday who was a blue, but a lot smaller then me. He was maybe 18 years old, I am 33, and I would venture to say i have 70lbs on the guy. Now the kid was clearly better then me, my significant weight advantage was the only thing that kept me from getting slaughtered, that and I think he was taking it easy on me. My ego is left at the door and I fully expect to be tapped and tapped often by men and women much smaller then me. I welcome it, because I figure I will learn more that way from my mistakes.
But my question is this. They say in BJJ to rely on technique and not just strength because you are going to run into people stronger then you and when you try to escape by using strenght at that point, you are toast.
So i was wondering, especially in the beginning, if I am caught in a position that I can escape with pure strenght and not technique, should I do it or not? Should I just let myself get tapped in that instance to avoid bad habits, or should I use a size/strenght advantage if I have one?
I want to learn and I also want to be a good training partner and not a mat spaz so I would like your input.
Thanks is advance and happy holidays to all.
 

Tez3

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I have just started and have a question about rolling. I rolled with a guy yesterday who was a blue, but a lot smaller then me. He was maybe 18 years old, I am 33, and I would venture to say i have 70lbs on the guy. Now the kid was clearly better then me, my significant weight advantage was the only thing that kept me from getting slaughtered, that and I think he was taking it easy on me. My ego is left at the door and I fully expect to be tapped and tapped often by men and women much smaller then me. I welcome it, because I figure I will learn more that way from my mistakes.
But my question is this. They say in BJJ to rely on technique and not just strength because you are going to run into people stronger then you and when you try to escape by using strenght at that point, you are toast.
So i was wondering, especially in the beginning, if I am caught in a position that I can escape with pure strenght and not technique, should I do it or not? Should I just let myself get tapped in that instance to avoid bad habits, or should I use a size/strenght advantage if I have one?
I want to learn and I also want to be a good training partner and not a mat spaz so I would like your input.

.
Thanks is advance and happy holidays to all.

I would say in a training situation always use technique, as you said it'll make sure you learn good habits. If /when you compete though it will be against people the same weight so yes you can use your strength. As the smallest person in our club by a long way I get very annoyed and frustrated when the big people just use their strength which is considerably more than mine! I just console myself with the fact that they will get into the habit of doing it and when against someone the same strength or more as themselves they'll be knackered!
 

fangjian

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I wouldn't say 'let myself get tapped', but maybe just try to defend against the submission attempts. Pure strenghth won't truly help you either. Use that for tourneys. I routinely give up position so I can work my defense.
 

Steve

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But my question is this. They say in BJJ to rely on technique and not just strength because you are going to run into people stronger then you and when you try to escape by using strenght at that point, you are toast.
So i was wondering, especially in the beginning, if I am caught in a position that I can escape with pure strenght and not technique, should I do it or not? Should I just let myself get tapped in that instance to avoid bad habits, or should I use a size/strenght advantage if I have one?
I want to learn and I also want to be a good training partner and not a mat spaz so I would like your input.
Thanks is advance and happy holidays to all.
Welcome to the addiction! :)

For what it's worth, here's my take. First, you're there to learn technique not strength. You're paying your instructor to teach you what you don't have, not what you already do. So, work on technique, and when you roll with guys who are smaller than you, consider this an opportunity to use less strength. Doing this, you won't learn any bad habits for when you're rolling with someone who is as big and strong as you. Technique always works, but muscle only works if you're stronger.

The key is to mix things up if you can. Roll with guys who are smaller and guys who are bigger. Try to roll with guys who are as strong or stronger than you often. Where I train, we have a lot of really big guys, which is great because it means that big guys can't cheat their technique. When you train under a 260 lbs black belt, you don't get away with anything. But, again, roll with guys who aren't as big, so you can focus on other parts of your game.

If you're planning to compete, you should amp up to competition. Roll with guys who will push you, but who can handle all of your game. Strength and size is a funny thing, and just as someone who is athletic or flexible has to learn how to incorporate that, you need to have an opportunity to use your size effectively. I know a couple of big guys who just feel lighter than others. One guy is 220 lbs, but feels like a 2 ton truck. Another weighs almost 275 lbs, but he just doesn't use his weight effectively.

Bottom line for me is this: you'll never hear anyone say, "Don't use your athleticism! Technique... stick with technique." Or tell someone to ignore their other natural gifts. So, in the same vein, learn to use your strength, but use it to complement your technique, not to cheat and replace good technique.
 

arnisador

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Definitely use technique! Relying on strength is building bad habits. Megaton Dias has said that the hardest people to teach are "strong guys and smart guys" because the former rely on their muscle and don't learn the technique and the latter over-think and over-analyze it and don't build the intuition from just rolling. I did BJJ for several years and am a larger guy and could also sometimes out-strength a smaller person (though their flexibility sometimes got me)--don't do it! It's self-defeating.
 

Tez3

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Oh and roll with women too.
 
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swegin

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oh i will definitely roll with and be tapped by women. I know there is one blue who is half my weight but will kick my butt. I got no issues with it.
So I defnitely will rely on technique. thanks guys. But lets say this scenario occurs, where I am on top, attempting a guard pass and leave my arm hanging out too long, he traps it then he throws his legs over and its armbar time. At that point I may be able to clasp my hands together to keep it from getting hyperextended while I try to find my way out of it.
Now against a smaller guy I was actually able to do that and basically yanked myself right out of it. A bigger guy will not allow that to happen. So in that position should I just tap if the guy gets my arm and learn from the mistake or if I am caught, can i try and use some strenght to bide some time til I can technique my way out of it?
 

arnisador

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Clasping your hands together is accepted (if last-ditch) technique, and here your strength will help...briefly. But beware: If you make him have to work too hard to get it, someone (you) may get hurt! Use good judgment.
 

Steve

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oh i will definitely roll with and be tapped by women. I know there is one blue who is half my weight but will kick my butt. I got no issues with it.
So I defnitely will rely on technique. thanks guys. But lets say this scenario occurs, where I am on top, attempting a guard pass and leave my arm hanging out too long, he traps it then he throws his legs over and its armbar time. At that point I may be able to clasp my hands together to keep it from getting hyperextended while I try to find my way out of it.
Now against a smaller guy I was actually able to do that and basically yanked myself right out of it. A bigger guy will not allow that to happen. So in that position should I just tap if the guy gets my arm and learn from the mistake or if I am caught, can i try and use some strenght to bide some time til I can technique my way out of it?
As long as your technique is sound, you are fine, IMO. I agree with arnisador completely.

I've been in situation's where I'm holding out like you describe and have to verbally tap because I know that if I let go, I'm screwed.

At the same time, it's incumbent upon your partner, particularly a blue or above, to help keep you safe from yourself. I let submissions go relatively often because the guy I'm rolling with isn't tapping and doesn't recognize how dire their situation is.
 

Tez3

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Well I get fed up with pepole, okay men, who won't roll with women! And I get fed up with those who do but use their strength against them instead of techniques.
 

jarrod

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Well I get fed up with pepole, okay men, who won't roll with women! And I get fed up with those who do but use their strength against them instead of techniques.

not to steer things off topic tez, but have you ever had a man who didn't have a problem rolling with women, but his wife or girlfriend did? my missus used to not like the idea much. that was early in the relationship though, it hasn't come up in a while.

jf
 
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swegin

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Well I get fed up with pepole, okay men, who won't roll with women! And I get fed up with those who do but use their strength against them instead of techniques.

Tez, like I have said, I have no problem rolling with and loosing to, women. I think for a new person such as myself without much training at this point we tend to fall into survival mode and go with what we know and thats use whatever advantage nature has given you. In some cases its size and strength. Trust me, I dont want to be a mat spaz. I was watching a purple and a blue who is close to getting his purple rolling and it was amazing to watch. All I saw was patience and great technique and flow and....
And thats where I want to be a few years down the road. Just trying to not start my training off the wrong way, hence me asking questions.

Cheers.
 

Tez3

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not to steer things off topic tez, but have you ever had a man who didn't have a problem rolling with women, but his wife or girlfriend did? my missus used to not like the idea much. that was early in the relationship though, it hasn't come up in a while.

jf


I've never had a problem with that side of it my problem comes when men don't wan't to tap out to a woman. I've had to practically choke out a chap before now because he wouldn't tap, I've had to give men a dig as they were resisting far too much when I was just teaching a move not roling. Some men get far too macho.
I've seen people on MT though who say they refuse to roll with women because they've had bad experiences in the past and won't do it again. It's fairly insulting though to be all lumped into the same basket. If I said I'd never roll with another man or train with one I'd get a fair few replies back saying I was being silly wouldn't I?
 

jarrod

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I've never had a problem with that side of it my problem comes when men don't wan't to tap out to a woman. I've had to practically choke out a chap before now because he wouldn't tap, I've had to give men a dig as they were resisting far too much when I was just teaching a move not roling. Some men get far too macho.
I've seen people on MT though who say they refuse to roll with women because they've had bad experiences in the past and won't do it again. It's fairly insulting though to be all lumped into the same basket. If I said I'd never roll with another man or train with one I'd get a fair few replies back saying I was being silly wouldn't I?

silly, & probably short of training partners as well!

jf
 

allenjp

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not to steer things off topic tez, but have you ever had a man who didn't have a problem rolling with women, but his wife or girlfriend did? my missus used to not like the idea much. that was early in the relationship though, it hasn't come up in a while.

jf

This is my problem, my wife will have none of me getting between another chick's legs. Even if we're wearing Gi's in front of a class full of people.
 

jarrod

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i know, but you really can't blame them.

"honey, i swear! she was just showing me her triangle choke..."

jf
 

strikesubmit

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So i was wondering, especially in the beginning, if I am caught in a position that I can escape with pure strenght and not technique, should I do it or not? Should I just let myself get tapped in that instance to avoid bad habits, or should I use a size/strenght advantage if I have one?
I want to learn and I also want to be a good training partner and not a mat spaz so I would like your input.
Thanks is advance and happy holidays to all.

hello,

i know i've come into this discussion pretty late, but i figure i'd chime in anyways.

everyone has been giving sound advice. i especially like stevebjj's advice on being able to mix it up, and using your strength to compliment your technique.

if you are caught in a situation where you believe you can just use your strength to bulldog out of a hold/position, without any regard to proper technique, then maybe keep those thoughts on the back burner while you think of a technique to slip out of it.

your strength is a gift that--once you build up a decent repertoire of techniques--you can use to further augment and enhance your game. it's definitely a nice combo.

one of the things our head intstructor told me when i first joined, was that strength will always play an important role. sure, bjj was initially designed for smaller frames to be able to handle brute strength and size...however, as more and more bigger/athletic people take up the art, having strength is quite simply going to provide an advantage.

i am easily one of the smallest guys at our gym, so most of the time i do not have that advantage. i have to say it is a bit daunting rolling around with guys the size of horses...who know what i know. but it's helped me to tweak my technique.

one final thought, as you build up your game, and you start putting your strength behind your moves, you'll actually also be helping out whoever you roll with.

anywho, keep rolling.
 

Aefibird

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Trust me, I dont want to be a mat spaz. I was watching a purple and a blue who is close to getting his purple rolling and it was amazing to watch. All I saw was patience and great technique and flow and....
And thats where I want to be a few years down the road. Just trying to not start my training off the wrong way, hence me asking questions.

Cheers.

That's a great attitude to have and good on you for asking questions; that's how we learn, right? Keep on with the q's, there's plenty of knowledegable folk on here (and me ;) lol)

Good luck to you in your training. I'm sure that in a few years time you will be that blue or that purple belt being watched and admired for your great technique by a white belt in your situation. :)
 
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