Quick Tips to Get More Out of Rolling
You slap hands, bump fists, and then what? Sure, it is always fun to just roll with no game plan, just one person pitted against another to see who can get the most taps. However, sparring with a game plan can help improve your overall jiu-jitsu skills. Since rolling or sparring is a form of training and not an actual contest you can use this time to practice a technique, position, or any aspect of your game you would like to work on. Here are a few tips for adding a game plan to your sparring sessions.
Go for a move or technique that you so far have had a low success rate with. We all get stuck in our patterns and in jiu-jitsu that usually leads to us falling back on the same things that we feel safe with. After all, who wants to give up a good position with a move that rarely works for them? You aren’t going to get any better at that technique that has been giving you problems if you don’t work on it in sparring. Sure, it will be hard work and possibly some hard times in a bad position. But, after a while, you will start to get that technique down and it will pay off when rolling in a more competitive way.
Work your defense. No one likes to be in the tough positions, getting crushed, fighting out of a choke or submission, but in iu-jitsu you must be able to, it’s part of the game. There will always be a guy a bit better, quicker, bigger, stronger than you, and if not, they might just be having a good day and get you on the ropes. Use rolling as a way to sharpen your defensive skills against someone who is legitimately trying to tap you.
Help your partner out. Set your partner up for a move you recently used or learned and let them see if they can pull it off. Most of the time if you do this, they will set you up for opportunities too. This helps both of you work some techniques that you might not get many chances to work on with some real resistance.
Rolling is one of the most fun parts of jiu-jitsu and is a great way to learn what is working for you (and what isn’t). Rolling with a game plan can help you work on and improve techniques that you aren’t comfortable with. Over time this will improve your jiu-jitsu and expand your game. Don’t get me wrong — you need to still have those competitive rolls, but changing up your game plan can help open your jiu-jitsu game up to new possibilities.