Should Higher Belts Always Smash (Cocky) Lower Belts at the BJJ Academy?

Should Higher Belts Always Smash (Cocky) Lower Belts at the BJJ Academy?

If you’re a higher level BJJ belt, it is likely the case that you often go easy on the lower belts. 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.


Rener Gracie: ‘If You Feel Like You Have To Survive Your Jiu-Jitsu School, You’re at the Wrong School’


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?

Nick Albin ‘Chewy’ always has great advice for the BJJ community.

He was asked on his IG ‘Do we smash cocky whitebelts?’ to which Chewy answered:

“Depends if they are getting out of line then yes. Being humbled in the gym isn’t a bad thing. Especially with stubborn guys, we need a physical check to get us in line sometimes. Words don’t just do it, we need to ‘feel’ it. I’m a product of this and I’m glad that I got humbled so that I could get better”