Roll always with the same partners

Hello again. The other day i was thinking about it. Here at our classes we are still a few members (15 more or less) and we have been with this number from the beginning (one year and a half more or less).

Rolling with the same people every day makes you to learn the game of your partners and how to fight with them.

Its positive or negative? There are two positions:

negative: because you cannot roll with other kind of styles, levels and so on. You dont improve your game because you fight always the same way with the same people.

positive:because of the reasons i have wrotte above, you cannot use always your main core techniques because everybody knows it. Then you are forced to practice new techniques.

Whats your opinion? which are your experiences?

Where I train has pretty small classes also. The main thing is that everyone is cool and gets on with each other well. I've made some goog friends training in such a small class.

The downside for me is that there are limited people to roll with, and you are never sure of your own ability. You have no idea how other schools are training and how you compare to them.

Here are some things I use, when training constantly with the same partners:

1) Use less of your attributes: I got this from a Rickson article. Don't use your strength or speed, but work only your positioning and timing. This way, you can perfect a particular movement purely by itself, without relying on your own athleticism. This is a difficult exercise, whether you're rolling with a white belt or black belt. He says that once you've mastered the nuances of your specifc movement, you'll find that when you re-introduce your attributes, your technique and performance will increase 5-fold.

2) Take RISKS: it's always nice to tapout a training partner, but it's important to put yourself in risky situations by trying NEW things. If far armbar is your favorite movement from sidemount, start working for americanas. Taking risks will help you expand your game, even if you're getting tapped.

Like Fabiano Santos said in an interview "If you're not tapping during training, you're doing something wrong. It means you're not taking risks."

Hope that helps!

4 Rangers: good advices. Anyway it would be good if sometimes we can travel to other gims to train with other people.

I agree w/ 4 ranges

totally agree with 4 ranges, work on your weaknesses. focus on trying to get a new move to work etc

4 Ranges has hit the nail on the head. Look at Roger Gracie, opened a school with mostly beginners and he is still one of the best competitors out there. He doesn't have training partners in this school that are near his level. He must do something like this to stay so good.

hey, I think you'll find that Roger has excellent training partners. Well till recently when I moved to Mexico. ;-)

There are always a couple of good blackbelts around for him to train with at the academy and there are always lots of visitors however Roger has said that he feels that working with beginners is a really good way of focussing on the fundementals. Also his Dad told me that he loves watching total beginners train because they have no preconceptions or rules drummed into them sometimes they come up with something totally new that works more or less by accident.

Roger Gracie situation is, more or less, like Fabrio Werdum here in Spain. When he arrived to Madrid (Spain), he was a blue belt. He only was able to travel to brasil one time per year. He achieve his black belt here with his students and with his brother. And right now is one of the best on his division.

This kind of examples (Roger or Fabricio) are great examples. But


good threads here lately. I have not been posting for a while now but this week..


You can continue to progress, even with the newest of training partners.

For a little while, I was training at a judo club that was mostly high school kids. They had NO previous experience, and the ONE move they knew on the ground was Scarf Hold.

When it came time for rolling in class, I would lie flat on my back and tell them to pin me. I would work ONE escape, over and over and over. Sometimes I would work on preventing them from fully gaining Scarf Hold to begin with.

I got to train timing and awareness, and refine my escapes for a position most people hate. And these kids had no clue how much they were helping me.

Your partners only need the skill that you are working on countering.

Look at it like this. You are suppose to be improving AND so is your training partner.

Your training partner's improvement should be a constant challenge to you. It should FORCE you to improve and become better.

I personally feel that if you are not getting much of a challenege from your training partner then YOU are helping him enough to defeat you. Tell your training partner the "secrets" to your game.

Each time you spar he should give you a different challenge which will cause you adapt and grow.

When your training partner improves you improve because the more he can challenge you the more you can challenge yourself.

Billy Jee,

I'd say any of the 3 could be "no-gi". Very little is shown using the cloth. I like them all. :)

oh, and lol @ your screenname. :)

It sucks training with the same guys over and over. Yeah, it makes you better when they know your game, but all it really will ever do is sharpen up your game in only those areas you and your training partners face. You won't be exposed to new facets or positions, and thus suffer long-term. Trust me, I wasted several years in that situation, and progressed so slowly I actually got worse (if you consider how much faster those at other schools were expected to progress). As soon as I changed schools, my game accelerated like it had during my first few years of training.

Tapping out does not matter in practice. No matter who you are rolling with, you should be trying new positions and going for things you wouldn't go for in a tournament. This is the only way to get better IMO.

Billy Jee,

Roy does test for belts. I am hoping to test for purple very soon.

DUDE, I wish I could train with him 3-4 days each week. That would be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

I don't go to other local schools for training. At my school, I have assembled the best training partners I could ever ask for. I have NO crazy guys, NO spazzes...what other school can say that? The students at my academy are friendly, sincere, helpful training partners who don't obsess over who-taps-who. It has taken a lot of effort to create a crew like this, but it's my paradise. I love it.

Besides, I have SO MUCH HOMEWORK from Roy that I could work on my game for the next 5 years and still not be done with the old stuff when I see him next (and that's just BJJ.......). And I'm about to take the Associate Level instructor course! I must be out of my mind! ;)

Let me jump this back to the thread topic. :)

Right now, I am isolating areas in my own training to build parts of my game that need work. One way to get around "always rolling with the same people" is to play different games when you roll. Here are my next 3 projects:

-Develop a game from the turtle (bottom). I want to feel comfortable under the turtle. I want to be able to go there without feeling threatened or worried that I have exposed my back.

-Develop a smashing, pressure-based butterfly-guard-passing game. I want to be able to consistently smash the lifting power out of my partner's hooks. I can do it somewhat now, but I want it to be a skill that I can apply consistently.

-Collar chokes. I play very little with the gi, and I need to begin focusing on my collar choke game. One of my 2 training partners also wants to work gi, so he and I will be getting together to improve our choking game. I have some excellent progressions on the topic that I have been waiting to explore, and now I will get my chance!


Hey Chris:

that's exactly what I'm doing right now: improving by exploring other parts of my game, and testing it against my crew.

Billy jee is no joke, so trying new things against him is rewarding, even if I'm tapping a lot.

Here's what I'm working on:

1) Half-guard: Just trying to get comfortable here for now. Not trying any fancy set-ups, but just getting comfortable and staying safe, and think through transitions. Anytime I try to add a new facet to my game, I always stay SAFE first.

2) Crushing top game: just like you, I'm working on creating a lot of pressure from the top. I'm sharpening my posting to discourage sweeps, and transitioning/scrambling to counter and escapes. I want to develop a MOBILE crushing top game.

3) Whizzer/Angles from guard: I'm exploring attacking angles from the guard, when you switch from one butt-cheek to the other. One thing I'm working on, which worked pretty well against Billy Jee this weekend, was to actually make the movement subtle. This way, my partner doesn't sense that I'm setting anything up, even though I'm slowly positioning myself for a sweep. Flows very well with my half-guard game.


I think you value the same thinks like me: a friendly school where people is not obsesed with who-taps-who.

Anyway, sometimes is difficult to evaluate your progresions because you dont have references. Everybody improves his game at the same time.

one question. Is a insult for your teacher if you visit other academies to evaluate your level? I think afirmative with brazilian teachers.

My friends from NJ,

We should totally get together SOON and work out. I have learned to compress my entire half guard game into an easily learned set of drills. After focusing on it for almost a year, it is now my most comfortable position, and my ability to attack from the full guard has gone through the roof. I've also found that I can teach it fairly quickly (within the span of one 60 minute group class or semi-private).


Some people are very put off by that. Some people are not. Yes, I am under the impression that many Brazilian instructors do not approve of that idea. On the other hand, I have invited other clubs to visit us, and I have encouraged students to go train elsewhere (to supplement the training they receive from me). All of them have said the same thing--"It was an interesting experience, but I'm glad I train with you!" That tells me that I'm doing things the right way. :)


PS to the boyz from NJ - what are you guys doing Easter weekend? Want to come up on Saturday 4/15????