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    sparring with higher belts

    Question for all you higher belts out there. I'm completely new to martial arts having been doing BJJ for a couple of months now. In between the core technique sessions we have these open mat sessions that are for all advertised for all abilities but whever I've been to them there have tended to be me and a few blue purple or brown belts.

    For me it's brilliant, these guys are really patient, explain what they've done to me when I'm tapped and give me loads of advice. But I kind of feel a bit guilty in that they can't be getting anything from me - they can tap me without breaking sweat and I'm just no challenge at all. End of the day they're paying to be there and so I'm sort of wasting their time. They all tell me it's no prob and the guys couldn't be nicer. Question is whether deep down you guys hate turning up to sessions and finding noobs like me there. Should I leave it a bit before before I attend these sessions when I'm a bit better. I've just started the club, don't want to be known as the annoying guy this early on.

    #2
    NEVER feel bad about a higher belt rolling with you, these are a couple of reasons that I was told why:

    1. When they teach, they learn as well, due to having to slow down and think about the processes they have learnt and now know instinctually in order to convey them in a decent explanation. This helps entrench details in their own memory. They also need to try out their new moves.

    2. You get better by training with people (a) more novice than you, (b) around the same level as you and 9c) better than you because (a) you can try out new moves taught in class, (b) you will have a battle and (c) those better than you will make your defences better. It's the "increasing resistance" factor in "alive" training.


    I'm sure there is a better explanation than the one I have given, but I repeat, never feel bad about rolling with higher belts. I roll with anyone, white, blue, purple, brown and if I ever got the opportunity, black. Not one of them has been pissed off with me and the brown I rolled with last night told me that if I ever wanted to roll again, don't hesitate to ask him.
    GET A RED BELT OR DIE TRYIN'.
    Originally posted by Devil
    I think Battlefields and I had a spirited discussion once about who was the biggest narcissist. We both wanted the title but at the end of the day I had to concede defeat. Can't win 'em all.
    Originally posted by BackFistMonkey
    I <3 Battlefields...

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      #3
      Don't feel bad about senior ranks rolling with you. Helping students that are junior in rank is a way for senior students to pay back their instructor for all of his or her help over the years. It's also part of the team mentality.

      Additionally, the quicker you learn, the sooner you'll get to a skill level that will make you more competitive with the higher ranks.

      I have been caught a few times with techniques I taught to some of my guys. It's an interesting mix of intense pride and the usual ego trip about being tapped by a junior rank.

      I prefer to focus on the intense pride bit.

      Welcome to Bullshido.
      Shut the hell up and train.

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        #4
        I'm in a really odd situation. My dojo has a few martial arts available in it. I'm in a position where I am among senior students as peers in aikido and karate (people I consider friends), but they've focused way more on judo and jujitsu (all of obtained shodan by now, whereas I am a white belt). So its an interesting dynamic when training with peers in one martial art who are way ahead of me in another. Maybe its because we have been friends for 10+ years but they are very patient with me when rolling randori. Some go all out with me out of respect for my other training, while others actually dumb down their technique to help me learn. For example, they will leave an opening for me for, say, a triangle choke for a few seconds and won't transition out of the vulnerable position until they deemed I've sufficiently blown my chance to pull it off (sometimes accompanied with a preemptive "what do you think you can do here?"). Other times, if I've started a really solid technique but am missing something (for example triangle choke but I haven't pulled my partner's arm across their body tight enough), they will tell me or show me what to do. These are examples of appropriate ego and training and I am very proud to call these established martial artists my friends, peers, and mentors.

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          #5
          I don't do Bjj but I respect it and enjoyed the little bit I have had, but my point is like the others sparring with higher ranks is the best thing you can do. It gives you the opportunity to run through anything you think might work and if it does hot-damn if not lesson learned. A good buddy and a sandan in goju spars with me and I feel that I have improved leaps and bounds, my speed has increased and because he fights more like a street fighter throwing low kicks and quick combos, it keeps me on my toes. Sparring/rolling with higher ranks is a gift bro.

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            #6
            Tameshi,

            the dojo I train at has a Shotokan style martial art and its always fun to hop in a class every once in a awhile and spar with ya'll (I'm a GoJu guy). Its good to mix it up, in my opinion...I get kicked in the back of the head from my Shotokan friends (while I'm facing them, somehow), and they get drilled on the inside with my knees and elbows. Good stuff.

            In stand up sparring I do the same thing (when sparring juniors) that my more experienced jujitsu friends do for me... I spar just one level above their ability. There is definitely a time and place for the awesome benefit you get from getting owned, but I personally think its just as good, if not better, to compete with someone who is opposing you just a little bit out of your current skill level (by getting owned, I mean like one or two sessions of randori/kumite a class out of the 5 or 6 total randori/kumite sessions we do a class).

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              #7
              Originally posted by daishi View Post
              Tameshi,

              the dojo I train at has a Shotokan style martial art and its always fun to hop in a class every once in a awhile and spar with ya'll (I'm a GoJu guy). Its good to mix it up, in my opinion...I get kicked in the back of the head from my Shotokan friends (while I'm facing them, somehow), and they get drilled on the inside with my knees and elbows. Good stuff.

              In stand up sparring I do the same thing (when sparring juniors) that my more experienced jujitsu friends do for me... I spar just one level above their ability. There is definitely a time and place for the awesome benefit you get from getting owned, but I personally think its just as good, if not better, to compete with someone who is opposing you just a little bit out of your current skill level (by getting owned, I mean like one or two sessions of randori/kumite a class out of the 5 or 6 total randori/kumite sessions we do a class).
              Yeah I know the kick you speak of lol, but I agree it really gives a reality check especially if you do well among your juniors and peers. What is that saying you learn more from losing then winning.

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                #8
                I used to feel bad about rolling with higher belts until one of them told me it helps them from a "slightly more realistic" self defense point of view. I'm a big guy, so I was (and still am) using way too much strength and trying spaz out of holds etc.

                He explained that it's unlikely that if you need to defend yourself it will be against another grappler. It will be against someone who is uncomfortable being on the ground who use strength and don't know what they are doing.

                He said it was good for him to see the possibilities for sweeping/attacking etc. He, of course, would explain to me how I got caught, but it was nice to know that there was something in it for him as well.

                Take people at their word. If they say "No Problem" etc, then take it at face value.

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