BJJ Advice?


Green Belt
May 6, 2008
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I just enrolled in a Jiu Jitsu school, everyone is very friendly and helpful so far.

Been use to rolling without a Gi, so i've obviously been getting choked out with my lapelle.

I've been sparring with all level belts so far but i seem much more hesitant and reserved while sparring with advanced blue and above belts. I don't know if it's because i'm so nervous or trying to be too respectful.

Any advice when sparring with higher level belts as a newb?
Don't be hesitant and reserved, because it's going to hinder your learning. As long as you aren't being crazy and spazzing out, nobody will care.

Rolling with higher level people is where I learn the most. If you are hesitant and don't try, you aren't going to fail. Without failing, you won't learn anything.
let them kick your ass over and over again until you get comfortable trying your stuff against them. What's the worst that can happen? they catch you for the 15692 time?
if you arent tapping, then you arent learning. dont be afraid to try things. and make sure you stick to your gyms rules. do that and you should love jiu jitsu as much as any of us.

and dont get discouraged. because you will get your ass kicked for quite a long time.
my experience has been that if you roll with higher belts they will either be looking to try new things out on you that they may not try against other, more experienced opponents, or that they will adjust to your skill level and may let you try some things to get your confidence up. If you come in spazzing or are new to the school and want to "show everyone how good you are" then it creates a different atmosphere for you that you may or may not enjoy, but you'll probably get a target and label on you. You get something out of rolling with the less-experienced (confidence, ability to try things that you might not get away with in open mat, refining technique or mistakes that may not get you caught in submissions) and you also get something from higher belts (you learn repeatedly what isn't going to work, how to defend, what it feels like to have someone who really knows what they are doing working against you). I usually roll at 50-75% and adjust to how aggressive my partner/the class is to inform me of how I should be acting.
Belts don't matter..It's all about the individual.
Being hesitant and reserved is a natural problem. A lot of the time this happens because you either don't want to get caught in something, sense a trap, or don't think that whatever move you are going to try would work against that higher belt. I would suggest that working on just pretending that everyone is a white belt and trying to confidently implement the things that you know would be your best bet. Having this attitude, you will be less likely to get in your own way mentally and will be able to try your moves without hesitating for mental reasons. That will leave you with an easier time diagnosing why your move worked, or did not work.
I'd say pay attention to how they tap you. Either way you're going to lose. At least be aware of it and learn something. A lot of beginners will hold their breath and almost shut their eyes in panic. Just be calm and observant.
As a blue belt I love when lower belts, or newer guys want to roll with me. I get to trey new stuff out and also I get to test myself against unorthodox styles. Most upper belts I know at my school feel the same way. You can get a lot out of rolling with a new guy/ new bjj player/ lower belt, etc. Just be respectful and don't spaz out, using too much strength and such.
watch what they do to beat you and do it to how they defend it! I've learned more by doing this than any class or seminar. I roll with our coach, if i start out sitting I'll see how he passes my guard. after i get tapped I'll play top, I'll try and pass just like he did and pay very close attention to how he blocks.
Just go hard and do what ever your good it.

I personally enjoy when new guys go hard core on me as I get to practice against unorthodox movements.

Go full strength it's all good, it's what separates jiu jitsu from most martial arts, you can train going 100% at each other, just make sure you ease up when cranking on a joint lock. If you can't put it on slowly you don't got it anyway.

P.S. please use common sense taking this advice eg you don't go full strength against girls unless you are a girl, you don't go hard core subs against an 60 year old hobbyist.