Your first time rolling/sparring!

So the time has come! You've trained for a few weeks, done many classes and you've watched everyone else spar after class, now its your turn to dive into the deep end and join in on ALL THE FUN!!! That's right FUN!!! Rolling is honestly great fun, While also trying to be the one in control, avoiding submissions, countering moves and even submitting, but don't worry it's not all that difficult though it can be daunting to some beginners! FIRST THE GROUND RULES OF ROLLING! no eye poking / hair pulling. no picking up and slamming training partners. no pulling at fingers / or choking someone with your actual hands avoid smashing your hands into their face also! try not to massively over power smaller people if you're much bigger. (keep it playful) definitely don't try to submit them by manipulating their legs or feet. It can be dangerous when you don't know what you're doing. You'll learn leg techniques soon enough. stop as soon as someone taps you and not a second later, for any reason. relax and breath. Take it easy or you'll be worn out in seconds! tap early and tap often! That's how we learn. So now that we've gotten those rules out of the way let's move on! just keep those in mind and as a general guideline rolling is not supposed to be rough. So take it easy! Moving on swiftly! Getting down to business. It's time to put all that practice to work and see how well you can really defend yourself. Remember you're best rolling with people a similar weight and size to you. This will give a good indication of your actual skill level. Usually rolling begins straight after all the technical/ drilly stuff. It's likely if you're a beginner that the coach has actually partnered you up with someone your own weight and size, or similar. So for your first roll stick with that same partner. when the timer begins (round times can vary depending on the class, competitively rounds are usually 5 minutes but can range from 2-5) you'll slap and bump your partners hands and then it's time to start rolling, your goals as a white belt who is starting to roll are quite simple, especially when rolling for the first few weeks and against people who have a higher skill level! (definitely learn the belts of jiu jitsu to know how far ahead your training partners are from you, but don't worry, as a beginner they'll help you as much as they can!! Don't be afraid to ask them questions too!! they've got the knowledge) LEARN TO RELAX. LEARN TO KEEP SAFE FROM BASIC ATTACK CHOKES ARMLOCKS AND SWEEPS. STAY ON TOP. So as simple as those things may seem, it can actually be difficult for people to get comfortable doing these things. It just takes time (a couple of weeks at most) and a little bit of focus. Until then you'll find yourself more tired than you should be and it can be difficult during this phase to pull off some of the techniques you'll have been practicing in class. Eventually you'll relax enough and when that happens you're jiu jitsu will come on leaps and bounds and you will start pulling off some of those techniques you've drilled a million times in class!! It is very important not to get too hung up on doing badly and getting tapped out lots when you first start out. Here's a tip: 'You are always going to get submitted by more skilled opponents (until you're the best in the world) so just let it happen and look to learn from it each and every time.' The important thing is every time you roll, you will get more comfortable in these new and difficult situations, which means you get better at dealing with the problems you are presented with! Stick to what you're able for So you've completed your first roll! Well done! How did you do? Depending of course on your physical attributes and athleticism you may have done great or you may not have had the best time. No matter which of these it is important to acknowledge what you are here to do, LEARN!! So if you did great don't get cocky! figure out why you did great and keep working on it because it's definitely not perfect. If you didn't do so great than that's honestly EVEN BETTER! Straight away you have your first opportunity to learn and really embody the sport of jiu jitsu!!! sit out the next round, relax get your breath back and think about what you've just done. Try and identify one or two things that you did right or possibly even wrong and try to improve upon them. Here's the thing it can be very tough rolling for the first time, especially those that are too worked up and tense. So you need to learn your limits. if you can only manage one round then that's all you need to do. just nicely let the coach know that you've done all you're able for today and they will appreciate it. Definitely don't just walk off the mat and leave. If you do choose to roll on then if you can ask someone else for help during a round off. Ask them about those one or two things you're trying to improve on! Now, you have to build it up, build it up and keep working towards you're goals. Keep improving one or two aspects of your jiu jitsu game and one day you'll become a blue belt, all of your hard work will have paid off and you will be over joyed having worked so hard. Then its time to get back on the mat, rinse and repeat until you reach your black belt.

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