I roll better against seasoned guys...

When it comes to a more seasoned ranked person (lets say blue or purple) around my size I do better against them, than lets say a really big/strong white belt. Why is this? (No the seasoned belts aren’t going easy on me) 

The blues and purples are doing BJJ, the white belts are probably spazzing and using tons of strength. 

what belt are you OP?

I always use the proverbial million dollars in a suitcase goes to the winner example.  Ive done well against very good grapplers but at the same time I know in those same rounds if that suitcase was awarded to the winner, I would have lost. 

SidRon made a very good point

BigEyedFish -


what belt are you OP?



I always use the proverbial million dollars in a suitcase goes to the winner example.  Ive done well against very good grapplers but at the same time I know in those same rounds if that suitcase was awarded to the winner, I would have lost. 



SidRon made a very good point

4 stripe blue

SidRon - Speaking as a brown belt I am going to let you in on a little known secret. When upper belts roll with white belts they are usually taking it easy on them and giving them opportunities to work things. Most higher belts could brutally destroy white belts in a manner in which they would never want to come into the gym again. They don't do this because it is disrespectful and neither person would really get much skill development from the encounter. When white belts roll with each other these courtesies usually do not apply and it is basically an ugly battle of physical attributes. So in summary you are most likely only perceiving that you are doing well against upper belts because they are allowing it. If you want a reality check tell one of your upper belt training partners that you want to experience their full competition game and ask them to hold nothing back. My guess is that you will get a different experience.

Well Im not a white belt, ive trained awhile. Im by no means “good” but I usually hold my own. 

When you roll with someone that has more skill you never know what they are thinking, they may be working some aspect they wouldnt do against someone more skilled.

I find that a upper belt will engage more while a strong white belt will try to out manouever.   Say if you are sitting and starting a roll.  The purple will play the game of outwitting you with pass combinations and grip breaks.    A white belt doesn't know any of that, so they try and head fake and bull fight with reckless abandon.   

It takes a while to fill those holes in your game when changing between player strategies.  My advice would be to focus on using your feet to reguard and find different stages of range and strategies to defend them.

 

A good practice is to just use your feet, legs, and hips for defending 90% of the guard passes white blue belts try.   You'll find you can stop more that way then you normally may and your defense for the higher belts goes up.    

 

At least this has been my experience.

 

Same for all the positions once you learn to use all of your body.

You aren’t yet skilled enough to limit the white belts options.  He does whatever as strong and fast as he can.

 

An upper belt is limiting himself because he already “knows” what is a good or bad move.  He moves predictably in strength conserving fashion.  He’s learned that most things didn’t work as consistently as we would like, and that doing anything at full strength and speed has a potential downside.

 

It’s the difference between someone who might do anything at full throttle, and somebody who might do one of a few known things at half throttle.

 

The white belts aren’t tapping you.  The purple belts are.

SidRon -
The Closed Guard - 
SidRon - Speaking as a brown belt I am going to let you in on a little known secret. When upper belts roll with white belts they are usually taking it easy on them and giving them opportunities to work things. Most higher belts could brutally destroy white belts in a manner in which they would never want to come into the gym again. They don't do this because it is disrespectful and neither person would really get much skill development from the encounter. When white belts roll with each other these courtesies usually do not apply and it is basically an ugly battle of physical attributes. So in summary you are most likely only perceiving that you are doing well against upper belts because they are allowing it. If you want a reality check tell one of your upper belt training partners that you want to experience their full competition game and ask them to hold nothing back. My guess is that you will get a different experience.

Well Im not a white belt, ive trained awhile. Im by no means “good” but I usually hold my own. 


As a four stripe blue you are fairly experienced. Ask your peers (blues and purples) to come at you as if it were a competition and see how that feels. It should be much more difficult than a big strong white belt.

What I find interesting is in comp class the “loser” of the roll normally has to do push ups, sit ups, sprawls etc. I figure who would purposely lose and have to do that, ya know?

To build on what others have said - and I apologize if this is too obvious:

You specifically note that you do well against people your own skill level and your own size.

You mention that you do poorly against big, strong white belts (I take it from context that the white belts you're having trouble with are bigger than you / your more experienced training partners).

If that's the case, then the issue is simple - you haven't developed a game to deal with bigger, stronger opponents, but rather have developed a game to deal with similarly sized (and skilled) opponents.

The requirements to deal with a skilled person your size are VERY different than the requirements to deal with a bigger, stronger, unskilled opponent. Typically it's about moving yourself around the bigger, stronger opponent to take advantage of their lack of understanding of the ground game, vs. catching things in transition / baiting that goes on with more skilled opponents.

velt1 - To build on what others have said - and I apologize if this is too obvious:

You specifically note that you do well against people your own skill level and your own size.

You mention that you do poorly against big, strong white belts (I take it from context that the white belts you're having trouble with are bigger than you / your more experienced training partners).

If that's the case, then the issue is simple - you haven't developed a game to deal with bigger, stronger opponents, but rather have developed a game to deal with similarly sized (and skilled) opponents.

The requirements to deal with a skilled person your size are VERY different than the requirements to deal with a bigger, stronger, unskilled opponent. Typically it's about moving yourself around the bigger, stronger opponent to take advantage of their lack of understanding of the ground game, vs. catching things in transition / baiting that goes on with more skilled opponents.

This is a great point. My rolls in general became much easier on my body and had me in control more often when I started deciding a game plan before each roll. 

My expectations became more in line with each person too eg. I wouldn't expect to sweep a black belt, but work to keep guard.  Funny it helped and I would get more sweeps because now I was staying in the game and using the proper sweep with timing.

SidRon - Speaking as a brown belt I am going to let you in on a little known secret. When upper belts roll with white belts they are usually taking it easy on them and giving them opportunities to work things. Most higher belts could brutally destroy white belts in a manner in which they would never want to come into the gym again. They don't do this because it is disrespectful and neither person would really get much skill development from the encounter. When white belts roll with each other these courtesies usually do not apply and it is basically an ugly battle of physical attributes. So in summary you are most likely only perceiving that you are doing well against upper belts because they are allowing it. If you want a reality check tell one of your upper belt training partners that you want to experience their full competition game and ask them to hold nothing back. My guess is that you will get a different experience.

Although I agree with this 100% there is one other thing to consider. Advanced BJJ guys (Blue and up) move and react like bjj guys. So all of the techniques and counters work because these guys are reacting how a typically bjj taught person would react. Setups tend to work surprisingly well in these battles. 

 

White belts,  spazz,  react in a non-trained manner and generally are all over the place. This is why setups typically work poorly in these battles. The guy turns the wrong way,  he uses an unorthodox escape, he explodes in an awkward manner. Battles like this are much more likely to emulate a real life street fight, than a guy pushing down your DLR hook and sliding to a knee slice. 

well said ^ 

One other observation ... I often read stuff on here (and elsewhere) about how "Upper belts are just so damned good that they're toying with everybody at the lower belts, if you're doing well against them then stay humble because they're probably just goofing around and working on stuff so they don't crush your fragile ego."

And while this may be true in many (possibly even most) cases, I can assure you that there are brown belts out there like me, who do legitimately suck. Who have spent as much time (or more) off the matts than on over the past few years. Who don't have the strength or cardio or stamina to keep up with younger, stronger, more dedicated lower belts.

And for us shitty brown belts, it's not unusual to get tapped by a good blue belt. It's not unusual to stalemate out against a 16 month white belt who's got an extra 20 lbs of muscle and has learned to avoid the most common "dumb beginner mistakes".

It doesn't mean we have nothing to teach, but it'd be the rankest of TMA fantasies to try to pretend that we're always a million steps ahead of people with greater natural attributes but less training.

velt1 - One other observation ... I often read stuff on here (and elsewhere) about how "Upper belts are just so damned good that they're toying with everybody at the lower belts, if you're doing well against them then stay humble because they're probably just goofing around and working on stuff so they don't crush your fragile ego."

And while this may be true in many (possibly even most) cases, I can assure you that there are brown belts out there like me, who do legitimately suck. Who have spent as much time (or more) off the matts than on over the past few years. Who don't have the strength or cardio or stamina to keep up with younger, stronger, more dedicated lower belts.

And for us shitty brown belts, it's not unusual to get tapped by a good blue belt. It's not unusual to stalemate out against a 16 month white belt who's got an extra 20 lbs of muscle and has learned to avoid the most common "dumb beginner mistakes".

It doesn't mean we have nothing to teach, but it'd be the rankest of TMA fantasies to try to pretend that we're always a million steps ahead of people with greater natural attributes but less training.

I don’t know why, but I needed to hear that.

 

 

purplehaze -
velt1 - To build on what others have said - and I apologize if this is too obvious:

You specifically note that you do well against people your own skill level and your own size.

You mention that you do poorly against big, strong white belts (I take it from context that the white belts you're having trouble with are bigger than you / your more experienced training partners).

If that's the case, then the issue is simple - you haven't developed a game to deal with bigger, stronger opponents, but rather have developed a game to deal with similarly sized (and skilled) opponents.

The requirements to deal with a skilled person your size are VERY different than the requirements to deal with a bigger, stronger, unskilled opponent. Typically it's about moving yourself around the bigger, stronger opponent to take advantage of their lack of understanding of the ground game, vs. catching things in transition / baiting that goes on with more skilled opponents.

This is a great point. My rolls in general became much easier on my body and had me in control more often when I started deciding a game plan before each roll. 

My expectations became more in line with each person too eg. I wouldn't expect to sweep a black belt, but work to keep guard.  Funny it helped and I would get more sweeps because now I was staying in the game and using the proper sweep with timing.

Interesting, this is possible too. 

It's easy to play monopoly against someone else who knows the rules of monopoly. 

It's hard to play monopoly when the other guy doesn't know the game, and keeps eating the pieces and throwing the money off the table.  

pcuzz - When you roll with someone that has more skill you never know what they are thinking, they may be working some aspect they wouldnt do against someone more skilled.

This all day

twinkletoesCT - 


It's easy to play monopoly against someone else who knows the rules of monopoly. 



It's hard to play monopoly when the other guy doesn't know the game, and keeps eating the pieces and throwing the money off the table.  



love this

The Maestro - 
SidRon - Speaking as a brown belt I am going to let you in on a little known secret. When upper belts roll with white belts they are usually taking it easy on them and giving them opportunities to work things. Most higher belts could brutally destroy white belts in a manner in which they would never want to come into the gym again. They don't do this because it is disrespectful and neither person would really get much skill development from the encounter. When white belts roll with each other these courtesies usually do not apply and it is basically an ugly battle of physical attributes. So in summary you are most likely only perceiving that you are doing well against upper belts because they are allowing it. If you want a reality check tell one of your upper belt training partners that you want to experience their full competition game and ask them to hold nothing back. My guess is that you will get a different experience.

Although I agree with this 100% there is one other thing to consider. Advanced BJJ guys (Blue and up) move and react like bjj guys. So all of the techniques and counters work because these guys are reacting how a typically bjj taught person would react. Setups tend to work surprisingly well in these battles. 

 

White belts,  spazz,  react in a non-trained manner and generally are all over the place. This is why setups typically work poorly in these battles. The guy turns the wrong way,  he uses an unorthodox escape, he explodes in an awkward manner. Battles like this are much more likely to emulate a real life street fight, than a guy pushing down your DLR hook and sliding to a knee slice. 


This 100%. High level guys are doing jiu jitsu with you. New guys don't know how to do jiu jitsu yet, so it's much more akin to what you'd see in a street fight.