Do you turn down sparring requests?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Calibur, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Calibur

    Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

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    I started under a Carlson Gracie school. Pretty tough. Vale Tudo based. Make it hurt if you can. Take a heel hook if you see it. That kind of place. It was close to a nice university, so half of the students were average sized med-students and pharmacists. Not just the "where do I sign up for dat UFC" types.

    Even than, everyone was expected to roll with everyone, and if you got beat you got beat. If you got injured you got injured. Our gym had an atmosphere of "no pussies allowed" so no one really complained about things. They just said "I'll see you next week" and never showed up again.

    Back than there weren't many places to train in Houston, and this was my first "proper" introduction to BJJ, so I thought this was what BJJ was supposed to be.

    If someone asked you to roll, you said "yes". The 125 lbers rolled with the 280 lbers (and often won) and the dainty girls would roll with the juice head guys. Countless times I would roll with people that not only did I not feel like sparring with, but with people I had a very good reason to deny, but I simply didn't.

    I carry that mentality today. Now I train in Japan where at 155 I am a pretty big guy. A lot of people turn me down for rolls. Not just that, but I go to English speaking sessions where one guy will say, sorry I don't want to roll with you, you are just too big *at 40 pounds heavier*

    this is COMPLETELY foreign to me. The Brazilians I have trained with will say the same thing. ie: "I can't roll with you. You are too heavy."

    I've always felt that you can't have complete jiu jitsu unless you spar with everytype of person. A small guy who knows what they are doing will present very different problems to a big guy who knows what they are doing, and even if a spazz is annoying, I don't think you can be well rounded if you know how to roll against a spazz.

    Just my thoughts.

    Do you turn down offers to roll? Why? How often?
     
  2. Oliver Geddes

    Oliver Geddes Amateur Fighter

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    I do, yup. Generally, I will turn down particularly heavy blue belts in favor of brown belts close to my weight. What I will almost never do is turn down someone and then go and sit out. The way I see it, I need to do as many rolls as possible, and I will end up rolling with a heavyweight or larger blue belt if there's no-one else who is likely to provide a good roll.

    But from my perspective, I'm training to be a lightweight world champion. It's nice to be able to beat bigger people, but I'm not going to win the absolute, pretty much ever. So I will turn down bigger people who will purely outmuscle me some of the time in favor of smaller, more technical guys where the skills I am working on are more applicable to what it is I want to achieve.

    As a rule, I won't turn down people I don't know (visitors, etc.), but if I've rolled with someone, I know what they bring to the table, and they are just significantly bigger than me, then I'll often turn them down and go looking for someone else who will give me a roll closer to what I want/need.

    If the person is persistent and I'm in the mood, I'll often end up saying yes on the second or third ask, but if I'm not in the mood, I'll just save them until next session. ^_^

    Take care,

    Oli

    P.S. Injuries are bad, and help neither of us. >_<
     
  3. Hellboy31

    Hellboy31 Brown Belt

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    The only time I turn down a roll is if I already have a partner or my gas tank is running on fumes - All training partners no matter what weight or skill level offer a lesson to learn.

    Now if Buakaw wanted to practice the thai clinch with me, I may have to fake an inflamed vagina or something.
     
  4. BatBoyJG

    BatBoyJG Brown Belt

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    Ill roll with big dudes, that I know, & that have the understanding that were not training to win. Otherwise, it would be stupid for me at 145 pounds, and like my coach likes to say no man strength to roll with a 210+ pound dude who is trying to kill me. Just my opinion.
    Oh and I agree with Oli I always roll with visitors
     
  5. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    I only turn people down when it's already the end of class and I'm sweaty and exhausted and want to go home.

    Otherwise I will roll with anyone, white belts, black belts, 300 lb. guys, 100 lb. women, anyone who wants to roll.

    I'm a 25 y/o 190 lb. guy myself, so that probably helps.

    I usually only ask other people to roll if they are blue or purple belt and somewhat near my size though.
     
  6. platfox

    platfox Silver Belt

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    The only times I have ever turned down a roll with a bigger opponent is the days leading up to tournament. Just don't want to risk the injury. The bigger opponent being turned down were also whitebelts. I have never turned down a roll with a purple or higher regardless of weight.
     
  7. pailum117

    pailum117 Blue Belt

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    Only if I'm totally gassed,to the point where I wouldn't be able to use proper technique.

    But I NEVER turn down a roll with a Professor or Coach. Those are the best times to work proper defense even if you're exhausted.
     
  8. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest Orange Belt

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    I only turned one person down and that was 10 years ago and they were a spaz. I wasn't risking myself getting hurt when I had a competition 4 days later. Aside from that, I have never turned down anyone regardless of sex, weight or experience. I can learn something from everyone.
     
  9. Calibur

    Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

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    I don't even turn down rolls if I am completely gassed. It's a pride thing. I usually end up just stalling somehow, or letting my opponent have their way with me.

    I guess I am trying to say that because of the way I was introduced to BJJ I have a sense of shame turning down a grappling challenge, no matter what the conditions are. I wanted to know if other people were the same.
     
  10. Dead Roman

    Dead Roman Orange Belt

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    I will roll with anyone who wants to roll. Even if I'm gassed and someone asks me to roll I get right into it and don't waste time. It's good practice for being in deep waters. In turn I've been able to push a much harder pace alot longer and I am learning how to reserve energy. I like rolling with guys who are bigger than me cause thy are alot stronger, I like rolling with spazzez cause they teach you to hang back and wait for the mistakes, and I
    like smaller dudes cause thy are usually quick as lighting and stronger than they look. The only time I turn down rolls is if the other person is nasty/unclean.
     
  11. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest Orange Belt

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    The "deep waters" comment is very true. I think it's important to train past what you feel is your point of exhaustion. You may be surprised by just how much further you can go.
     
  12. Deathmonkey

    Deathmonkey Blue Belt

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    I don't turn people down, but I seem to only attract guys/gals who want to improve and who have checked their egos at the door. Yes, every so often we'll roll/spar another who's got 40-50lbs on us but again when everyone's on the same page and they're all there to improve and help others improve it's no big deal. In my opinion it all starts with the coaching staff, if they have a macho attitude the students will too. If the coaches are tough but balanced with humility then you get a good quality school and learning environment.
     
  13. Jagcorps_esq

    Jagcorps_esq Red Belt

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    If it's a matter of someone that is prone to cause injuries, I never roll with them unless to protect another smaller person from them.

    Otherwise, I never turn down a roll. Even if I hate the person and their style, I don't turn down a roll. I get as many as I can, before class, after class....later in the parking lot, I don't care.
     
  14. Jango

    Jango Yellow Belt

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    I never turn down a roll, unless I have to leave for work or class. It's actually rare for someone to ask me to roll with them outside of class, so I take what I can get. However, I never ask people to roll with me for the very reason that the OP mentions - I don't want them to feel obligated to roll with me if I ask, so I let them do the asking.

    Side note: weight differences are not much of a deterrent for me. It also depends on the context, for example I just rolled with a guy 70 lbs. heavier than me, but since I've been training longer, we are evenly matched on the mat. On the other hand, there's a higher belt who is only 15 lbs. heavier, but MY GOD, he knows how to actually USE his weight so he feels 100 lbs. heavier!
     
  15. nefti

    nefti Red Belt

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    i used to think that taking on everyone was a good thing, now after a back injury i changed my mind.
     
  16. Rod1

    Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    Are you American? maybe the problem is that they don't want to lose to the foreigner and be mocked.

    I lived under your same attitude, if you are alive or consciouss you can roll, if you don't you are a pussycat.

    If you are going for a training camp, try going to Cuba to train with the judokas there, they not only are one of the best at newaza, but they also hate foreigners and Americans specially and would love nothing but to try and bend you in unnatural shapes. I freaking love Cuban attitude, its do or die with them.
     
  17. Rod1

    Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    IMO the best and more educated rolls out there is when you are gassed and weak, then you really have to innovate to survive, you may get tapped a few times and some may think "LOL he sucks" but when competition time comes they are the ones biting the dust.
     
  18. cptsteve21

    cptsteve21 Purple Belt

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    Only with people I don't wanna roll w/ because they spazz too hard and might injure me.
     
  19. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    I don't remember having ever turned down a roll... only if I'm really injured or if the sparring time is over, I have to go and somebody who is remaning after class is asking me to roll. Otherwise, I'd rather have my ass kicked because I would feel bad to not roll with a larger or a fresher opponent when I'm totally exhausted.

    And by the way, surviving sparring session of this kind feels damn good after :).
     
  20. Il Wop-O

    Il Wop-O Green Belt

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    I only turn down rolls with one guy. He's getting about to the point where he should be getting his brown, but he's just a menace to roll with. He's well known in our gym as the guy who injures peoples arms. You know how, even when you're rolling hard, once you lock in an armbar or a kimura, you can use some speed to break it free, but you slowly extend the lock until you get the tap? Not this guy. He RIPS the damn thing, regardless of how you're rolling. People are always yelling out during rolling. "AAAGHTAPTAPTAP!!!!" "Oh, sorry man, didn't mean to pop your elbow!" "S'okay." (Walks off clutching arm to midsection...)

    Anyways, after I tore my rotator cuff and I was rolling with my right arm tied into my belt, I rolled with him and he F-ed up my left arm! Is that shit necessary?

    So from that point forward, I turned him down until my right arm was 100% plus 6 weeks. But now I'm injury free so I roll with him again - I just have myself ready to tap as soon as a limb is compromised.
     

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