Why go to an Open Mat?
Make new Grappling friends from different academies
It’s a great opportunity to meet other grapplers from different academies in a relaxed setting. The only opportunity you would have to face them would be in a competition, but here you can roll in a friendly manner. You might learn a thing or two also.
0% politics 100% Jiu-Jitsu.
This is the perfect time to try out the techniques that you have been working on in training. The open mats are the perfect place to test your skills against new training partners and why not discover a new transition. Your everyday partners know your game inside out so this is the time to try them out against your new friends.
Your academy doesn’t teach much takedowns? Wrestling and Judo are an important part of Ju-Jitsu which are too often overlooked. At an Open Mat you may come across a Judo black belt or a Wrestler that will make you improve your stand up level.
Your academy doesn’t teach No Gi? You will always find a No Gi guy or girl in an open mat to roll with.
Consolidate your game
Unlike the previous paragraph, open mats can also be useful for you to use and abuse the same submission, pass or sweep. If you have ten rolls, you’ll try this kimura from half guard 10 times. Perfection comes from repetition, just like the famous saying says: “fear not the man who has done 1 time 1000 techniques, but fear the one who has repeated 1 technique, 1ooo times.”
Improving the overall level in the city, region
Apart from competitions, open mats are great for improving the level of BJJ in a city- for example in some countries, rolling sessions are organised every month (unless there is an important tournament coming up), are free of charge and open to everybody regardless of level and academy affiliation. The idea behind it is to provide practitioners with an opportunity to roll with people from other schools / cities and learn in a friendly atmosphere without the stress of a competition. While an excellent preparation for such, they are a good option for the people who for some reasons (stress, lack of time / money) don’t want to compete but who do want to learn and improve their skills. It provides an opportunity to meet new people and above all to learn new trick and test your game. It’s not the same to roll with the guys you know from your academy and to roll with somebody you see for the first time or only meet occasionally. The atmosphere is great- competitive without losing it’s friendliness.
An Open Mat is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone, see what people in other schools are doing and have a better understanding of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. It is important to know what others are working on and what is their style.
It’s an experience where you’ll reap the benefits in the long term so do not miss this chance.
Written by Quentin Brunier