How Should You Roll With Someone That You Don’t Know?

How Should You Roll With Someone That You Don’t Know?

If you’re a higher level BJJ belt, it is likely the case that you often go easy on the lower belts or someone new at the academy and probably for a good reason – you don’t want to get their spirits crushed and discourage them. That’s especially the case if they’re (fresh) white belts, that you want to motivate to keep coming to the gym and train.

However, while it is never a good idea to just go all out in an attempt to „prove“ something to those with a lower skill level than yours (in which case you need to check your ego), it’s also not a good approach to let them think that they’ve gotten it „all figured out“. And that can happen if you go too easy on them, too often.
So, once you see them getting warmed up for BJJ and that they’re getting some concepts and techniques down, it’s time for you to smash them – it’s your obligation both to them and to yourself.


Yes, you owe it to your lower belt training partners to smash them. They need to make progress, and after a while, after they’ve gotten a feel for Jiu Jitsu, it is your duty to train more aggressively with them.
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that you should go full beast mode and risk injuring them, far from it. What it does mean, however, is that you need to go hard against them so that they can see what they need to focus on in order to become better.

Just imagine: if you’re always going easy on them and letting them submit you, escape your pins and so on, there’s a good chance that they’ll think they’re better than they actually are! And that is not good, as they’ll stay ignorant of the possibilities and potentials for their improvement.
So, if you want your lower belt partners to progress at a more significant rate, you must smash them occasionally. Let them know where they stand, what they can and cannot do when somebody is going hard against them; and then offer them solutions and techniques that they can utilize to become better.


And let’s not forget that it is also your obligation towards yourself that you smash lower belts. You need to do it, so that you can test the diversity of your skillset and to get down the newly learned techniques with more finesse.

Importantly, it is an opportunity for you to develop further. To observe the techniques you thought you already knew and that could use a little bit of help… For, if you’re not capable of executing them properly against someone who’s a lower belt, how can you then expect to perform well against someone who is on the same level as you are?

BJJ black belt Chewy talks about this situation that he often encounters:

“I share a couple of stories about times I took it easy on people and they mistakenly thought I couldn’t do anything to them. Then I also go into how I do things now to help people understand the level of skill that exists but also be helpful at the same time.

If you’re in a similar situation as the Blue Belt when you’re rolling with new White Belts then I hope this is helpful.”

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