Rolling with BJJ / Grappling Beginners?

A quick vid of me rolling with Mr Mike Woodhall at The LABS - No-Gi on a Friday evening

How do you treat your BJJ / Grappling beginners on Open Mat Day?

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SkinnyD said...

Wow. You are super nice. I used to think I was nice. Then one day my coach told me that a really small new guy came up to him one class after rolling with me and asked to not be partnered with me again. Apparently I hurt him, even though I thought I was going relatively easy on him. What your'e doing in this vid is what I should have done...grappe at the level of intensity that the new guy is comfortable with.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thank you SkinnyD for the kind words. I try to scale things up. Sometimes I add my weight and pressure for them to work against but most of the time, that does nothing but overwhelm and nobody wins.

I remember when I started Karate years ago, my sensei was bigger than the room, or at least that's how I saw him. He was (and still is) a very powerful man and could move like a tiger (very fast but very explosive so he could change speed and direction very sharply)

But I also remember getting the times wrong one day during the first couple of weeks at his dojo, showing up an hour early and witnessing him teach the juniors (11-15 year olds) beginners class and wow! He would punch at them really hard and fast, but never touched a single one of them. He had control and he understood distance and scaling. That left a very powerful impression on me when it comes to teaching beginners. When I taugh under him, he always had a clear mantra:

"When we leave the dojo, everyone must've learned and gained something. That's how the whole club goes up a notch"

SkinnyD said...

Very wise. The problem with me was that I was reveling in my newfound proficiency in the BJJ basics and I was more interested in showing this new kid what I could do than helping him learn. Everyone should leave having learned and gained something. I like that.

Anonymous said...

I'm so curious as to what percent you were working at. 10% less? a little more?

I absolutely love it when upper belts "give" me something. To just be dominated dominated dominated is very emotionally defeating. Even when I see that they're essentially stalling to give me something I still love it. It makes it more exciting.

Though now I want to challenge the blue belts to do things like: don't do the same submission twice, or don't use your hands. :)

The Part Time Grappler said...

Interesting way of looking at it with %'s. I sometimes roll 100% position and 5-10% submission if I feel they are at a level where they can work on positional escapes, survival and maintenance (white 4 stripes or blue) but with beginners, I'd profile it as:

Postures (where I place my hands, feet, legs, head...etc.) 100%

Pressures (how much of my weight I let them carry) 0-5%

Speed & strength 5-10%

Balance and agility 100%

To sum, I don't make mistakes deliberately (except not employing my weight) and try to move around them.

When I'm rolling with someone who's been there a little longer, I just add more weight and direction.

When I'm rolling with someone who's more experienced still, I use all my weight and direction and add a little more speed.

As for challenging blue belts...that will come :o)