Josh Hinger: “The Rule That Lower Belts Cannot Refuse to Roll with a Higher Belt is Bullsh*t”

Josh Hinger: “The Rule That Lower Belts Cannot Refuse to Roll with a Higher Belt is Bullsh*t”

So, your coach matched you with that terrifying blue belt (again) for your next roll. He’s bigger, stronger, faster, and much more technically sound than you are. In short: he’s way better and way more talented than you are.
You just know that you’re going to be tapped out in the next 6 minutes or so – repeatedly, over and over again. There’s no escape from this fact of life… However, what you could change are your mindset and approach when going into the roll with him.

You need to have a proper, constructive way to go about rolling with those Jiujiteiros who are simply (a lot) better than you are.

You should never try to avoid those kind of training partners as you will learn so much from rolling with them. O the other hand, you should avoid some training partners at all costs:

BJJ black belt Josh Hinger offers great advice:

“Just a friendly reminder to all the newer grapplers, the white and blue belts who might not feel confident about choosing or rejecting certain training partners. You ARE NOT obligated to train with ANYONE no matter what color their belt is. I keep hearing stories about purple, brown or blackbelts telling white/blue/purples that they are obligated to train with them because they are the “higher belt.” Apparently some people think there is a rule that white and blue belts can’t say no to higher ranked grapplers. This is absolute nonsensical bullsh*t. If someone asks you to train and you don’t want to, a simple “no thanks” is perfectly acceptable. End of discussion.

Also, you don’t need to provide a justification for why you don’t want to train with them. You don’t owe anyone sh*t. You don’t owe them training rounds, and you don’t owe them an explanation. Maybe they are creepy. Maybe they smell bad. Maybe they are too spazzy. Maybe you don’t trust them. Or maybe you just don’t like them. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Just say no thanks and that’s the end of it. If they insist because they think their belt rank is special then clearly there is something wrong with this person and in such case you should definitely be weary of training with them ever again.

Personally, if I ask someone to train and I see hesitation in their body language, I clarify to them that it’s perfectly okay to say no. I tell them I won’t be offended if they don’t want to train and that I don’t care to know why they don’t want to. I just want the yes or no so that I can continue searching for the next partner if need be.

It just blows my mind that a brown belt male can feel okay pressuring and insisting that a smaller female blue belt train with him after she already said no thanks. There are countless females around the world who probably really want to try jiu-jitsu but don’t because they don’t want to deal with awkward situations like this.”


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