Sean Flynn, a BJJ brown belt from England, has decided to challenge himself with an event called “Roll 66”. The challenge, which took place on July 25, was to do 66 rounds of 5-minute rolls, one after another – with fresh people each time who are ranked from blue to black belt. Gi and No Gi alike. Every 11 rounds, he earned a five-minute break; effectively making it a 55-minute shark tank round times six.
The challenge was done with a goal of raising money and awareness for charity called “Tommys”, the largest charity in the UK that carries out research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births.
WHY… WHY DO 66 ROUNDS?
The initial inspiration to go for the challenge, explains Flynn, was struck when he read the “Can’t Hurt Me” book by David Goggins. He goes on to explain:
It’s basically about being uncommon among uncommon people and pushing your mental and physical abilities. I’ve decided that I’m 31 now coming up to 32 and I have sort of just been in third gear and I haven’t really pushed the pace. I haven’t been doing enough. I definitely have the skill set and the physicality to do it and I just wanted to push myself with something extreme. I love Jiu-Jitsu so I thought let’s do something involving Jiu-Jitsu… What basically is going to make people think he’s a crazy motherf*cker?
I thought I can’t spar for 24 hours because I will die, so basically what I did was, I thought of a timeframe where I thought most people will think to themselves I could never do that. It is enough to push me mentally and physically. I’ve trained and sparred for probably two hours in the past, so people will think six hours what the f*ck? I thought, six hours? I would probably survive it.
DOING IT FOR THE CHARITY
As he was looking for charities that he’d be raising money for, Flynn opted for “Tommys”. Why?
[I found out that] 1 in 4 babies don’t make it through pregnancy, through all sorts of issues. My son is three years old and his name is Tommy as well and I thought I’m super lucky to have him. And my Mrs had a smooth pregnancy, and he’s just a blessing to us. I just thought of all the families that maybe didn’t end up having a child for whatever reason and all the heartbreak that would cause, so yeah, it was quite poignant for me that it was called Tommys as well. I did the last 66th round with my son.
HOW WAS IT LIKE TO ROLL FOR 66 ROUNDS?
Flynn thought that the training partners would take it easy on him during the 66 rolls… But he wasn’t entirely correct.
I’ve been training super hard and I knew this would be the biggest physical challenge of my life. I kept a decent pace and I expected to cruise at like 30% – I’m not going to lie, but everyone was not having that and wanted their moment to tap me. It was like a competition for three and a half hours. Some slowed down a little bit because they were well aware of the situation but I would say the majority did not.
“I’LL BE HONEST: I NEARLY SH*T MYSELF”
Reminiscing on how it was to endure the grueling six hours, Flynn doesn’t hold back his honesty.
There was a couple of moments where I exploded into action again but there was a moment in the fourth hour where I couldn’t walk and I was eating so much glucose gels, and lucozade sports, I’ll be frank with you I nearly threw up a couple of times and I’ll be as honest as possible – I nearly sh*t myself. Because I was carb loading like three days before. I was eating everything so it was tough, my stomach was not having a good time.
And how did it feel to get through it all… To reach the other side of suffering?
There was a lot of people there by the end, and I’ll be honest with you, I’m glad I got through it because there were a couple of moments where I did doubt myself I’m not going to lie. I’m just glad I got through it. It was pretty extreme, and then I had a bit of an adrenaline dump which was expected so I had about 10 ice bags all over me.
It was just elation really. I was just glad I got through it because it is such a physical feat, probably the biggest one I’ve ever done in my life, it was amazing.
The donations remain open for a few more weeks to gain more funds and exposure for the charity. To donate click here.
The interview with Sean Flynn was originally published on the Grappling Insider.