View Full Version : White Belt Hard Rolling Question

8/22/2015 9:55pm,
Hey whats up everyone?

Within the last 2 weeks I have decided to get into BJJ strictly for the exercise. I work out 6 times a week, but feel that actually learning a skill compared to mindless iron lifting would be more beneficial in the long run to keep up motivation. Healthy lifestyle change, etc..

About me - I am a construction tradesman, and the company that I have worked for; for years requires its employees to work a lot harder than the competitors. I am fat, but I am physically capable. I have dropped a little over 30 pounds in the last 2 months, with another 30ish to go. I am not too worried about the weight, but more searching for a better physique.

I have rolled 4 times thus far. 2 x no Gi, and 2 x with Gi.

I have 0 technique. I still do not remember to shrimp, I can hardly remember what I learned in the class before, and I am not flexible enough, yet.

I have rolled with several blue belts, 1 purple belt " that is really a brown belt", and the owner / instructor " who mops the floor with me, obviously".

I am 6', 238, and I wear a A4 Gi. My shoulders are a lot wider than the average person's. I am bigger than the average person. Due to what I do for a living I dare to say that I am stronger than most people who do not weight train.

I know this is a book, but please try to keep reading =D

I tapped a white belt while in side position using the Americana arm lock thing.

I tapped out a blue belt by choking him.

I was triangle choked by the purple brown belt guy.

I was arm barred by a blue belt.

I have rolled with maybe 10 different guys, and I am a complete newb to this.

The person who introduced me to the class is family, and the first day he told me that I am too aggressive, and that I roll too hard. He also informed me that if I continue to roll the way that I do someone is going to get pissed off, and hurt me.

This has given me a complex about even rolling with anyone. I still continue to roll hard, but in all honesty besides being a little winded I can still roll in 5 minute increments for an hour without it really wearing me out physically.

I have absolutely no technique. I try to pass guard, sweep, etc, but I do rely on strength to power out of positions because I do not know any other way yet. I completely suck at BJJ, and I use my strength and my body weight to keep myself from getting destroyed. I tend to go hard because to me I am not really spazzing out, and going crazy violent or anything.

I ask everyone after we roll if I am rolling to hard, etc. I really do not want to be some white belt douche bag spazzoid, but I am starting to get the impression that after I roll with some of the blue belts that they're laughing at me.

After I roll with people they usually tell me that-

1.) I am strong

2.) I am pretty good

but I can almost sense them sneering at me later on in the class. Sure they do dominate me, and I do ask them not to hold back when we roll. I want my ass kickings so that I can analyze what happened, and what I could have done to keep myself from getting caught in that position, etc.

I asked a really, really cool blue belt today if I was rolling too hard. Or if they comments that the other people are making about my strength is a subtle way of letting me know that I am a douche bag, but he told me..

" They're just really surprised that you're as good as you are. There are very few white belts who come in here that are actually good. They expect you to be terrible"

I am unsure if he was just being nice, or wtf. The family member that introduced me to the class is a solid purple / brown belt. He doesn't like using the Gi as much, so he doesn't worry about belt colors.

To sum this thread up ---

I am really considering dropping BJJ, and taking up boxing instead. I get a much better workout from striking than from what I get rolling.

I am basically just asking your advice on if I am a typical white belt doucher. My instructor told me that I am dangerous because I am a strong white belt, but I am really too scared to even try and submit anyone because I have no idea what amount of pressure it will take to injure someone. I am very conscience of that, and I do not want to harm anyone, for any reason. I would rather let someones arm go if they're too proud to tap, because winning isn't worth the guilt that I would feel if I hurt someone.

Thanks for reading my book, and any advice would be very much appreciated. Sorry if I am coming off like a big *****, but if I have planted the seeds of hatred into the other guys at that school then I would rather just go do something else instead of being " that guy " if it makes any sense to you guys..

Thanks again.

9/02/2015 12:14am,
My dude, people will tell you if you're going too hard/fast/using retard strength.

Just relax, and roll.

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9/02/2015 5:20pm,
Bjj only beats size, strength and speed if their technical ability is greater than the size, strength and speed.
Time heals all wounds. If you continue to go I am sure you will form nice friendships. You may have hurt the pride of people that thought they were better than they are.
Also don't count your rolls as matches. If someone smaller can't beat you test yourself by not using strength, or only do sweeps to them. When I roll with my students I will not use my hands so Its challenging for me or I will do two on one matches.
If you like it don't quit.

9/02/2015 6:21pm,
I use to get told that "you are really strong" all the time too, and I'm a lot smaller than you (5'8" 185lbs). I think it helps people save a bit of pride when their technique isn't enough to overcome your strength.

Just remember that strength is a skill too, it's a good once to have in your back pocket for when your technique isn't winning for you. Just remember to work on your other skills too (probably more so). Start trying to use the techniques you get shown in class without strength, and only pull out the strength here and there to keep the dust off it.

One of my favourite guys to roll against is a three stripe white belt concreter (around 6'2" ~250lbs lean). I really have to work hard to get around his strength and if I get lazy he'll punish me for it, so it keeps me on my toes. It really helps me focus on my technique.

It's good to be a bit cautious with your submissions, especially while you are new, but that doesn't mean you should avoid them entirely. Just make sure you get into a solid position first. If you have cemented a strong attacking position you can apply the submission slowly, which will make your game better and protect your partners.

9/03/2015 8:50am,
You're way sensitive, bro. Just relax.

W. Rabbit
9/03/2015 9:27am,
One of my favourite guys to roll against is a three stripe white belt concreter (around 6'2" ~250lbs lean). I really have to work hard to get around his strength and if I get lazy he'll punish me for it, so it keeps me on my toes. It really helps me focus on my technique.

I closely resemble this comment.

My favorite part about being an enormous white belt is that I know I can provide a (welcome) challenge to my seniors, without knowing WTF I am doing or having a lot to work with. They have to do exactly what you said..focus on technique. That's what they want. Sometimes as I enter a new partners guard they'll even tell me that, verbatim ("I don't want to get hurt, just learn something"). OK I'M IN!

Which is great for me (you), as long as I'm (you're) paying attention I (you) can see where they find their openings etc (which are almost always unintentional gifts from me (you)).

Always laugh it off after, and smile and that's the secret to developing not only BJJ as a big dude, but camaraderie with your partners. You can't have any ego about it. And you don't know what the **** they're thinking unless you ask, and you probably don't need to ask, so stop speculating. Just keep smiling.

A senior half my size/weight can keep me from passing guard for a while, wasting my energy, which is smart when you're fighting a bigger guy. Think about the converse, it teaches me (you) how to better conserve energy, and learn to watch for the maneuvers a smaller person will go to (hint: armbars and triangles), and most importantly how to avoid getting frustrated which can kill your interest in BJJ (or any MA).

That's where the most important BJJ muscles (the ones used for smiling) come in. Don't let frustration get to you, because if you quit BJJ based on what you wrote, and you take up boxing, you'll probably end up quitting boxing too. The most important MA lesson of all is not quitting.

9/03/2015 9:03pm,
Within the last 2 weeks I have decided to get into BJJ strictly for the exercise.

This is really weird to me. I know a lot of people who got into bjj for exercise AND interest, but never met someone who is doing it strictly for exercise. Is it possible you are spazzing out because you are thinking of rounds of rolling like they are tabata intervals? I mean if you are actively trying to get a workout, you are probably being a spaz. And that's why upper belts will just let you gas yourself out and then triangle you.

9/04/2015 12:07am,
If I outweigh people I will not sit on them as heavy as I might. I try not to bench them off me and don't lay and pray. Go for the submissions. The last thing you need is some heffer sitting on you doing nothing for five minutes.

Do the techniques as you have been taught. This is low percentage when you start because it is new.

And boxing is cool too.

9/04/2015 12:23am,
You don't need to do anything to make BJJ more of an exercise.

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9/09/2015 7:16pm,
OP, you are definitely over analyzing your situation. Also, it sounds like you train with some pretty wimpy BJJ guys. If you are rolling with a white belt who is smaller and lighter than you, maybe don't use a lot of strength or all your weight.

Besides that, try not to hurt anyone.

If you're enjoying yourself, forget the rest and concentrate on learning. If not, go train something else.

9/15/2015 9:08pm,
What everyone else has already said plus these simple things:

You're probably doing a number of basic things right, keeping your elbows in shuts down a LOT of stuff unless your opponent is quite used to winging out those arms and attack chaining - it can be really frustrating to get a sub on someone JUST working on keeping their elbows to their sides, arms in, and keeping good posture. On your knees this can look like a funny little T-rex/Godzilla mix (depending on your amount of scales/teeth :p )

Before you roll, let them know you'd like feedback if it feels like you're going too hard, or anything so you can align for them saying you're new and just want to make sure it's a good roll for both sides - As a white belt (and continuing) I always look to preface with new people when starting a roll that I'd like feedback at the end on how it felt, or during if they feel I'm going to hard or anything; this is just so they know they can verbalise their thoughts while we roll rather than having to swallow them and bring them to forums or ruminate too heavily on them ;)

Don't overuse your muscle just to break through someone's technique - it means you're not trying to focus on the learning of what you've been shown, training isn't about "tapping/winning" or "not being tapped" - it's about you learning to know what BJJ is, how it works, and how you can best use it to overcome others.

If you want to push the pace, if this hasn't been outlined by you both, just ask if they're OK with rolling at a higher intensity - very simple way to see if they are wanting to work with you at that higher intensity or may not feel comfortable doing that.

The best work out you'll probably get from BJJ is focusing on your technique, and learning to get off your back and back to top with your shrimping and feet/hips/shoulders movement - big dude that can get that **** together is going to be a monster as they get better and move up the ranks. Even look to start on your back with them in side control if they're smaller white belts so you can really work on that stuff!

And try and keep having fun!