Saturday, July 18, 2015

Resources for Lifetime Jiu Jitsu Training, Flow Rolling etc.

I put this together for my Wing Chun instructor and BJJ Brown Belt, Rick Spain, as an adjunct to efforts he made to make the stand up sparring in his academy more productive in terms of skill development, and less likely to result in injuries, current and prospective students being scared off, and so forth.

Methods of Rolling

  • Blindfolded or with eyes closed
  • Roll with a sip of water retained in your mouth - great for developing effective nasal and diaphragmmatic breathing patterns
  • Roll with one hand in your belt - arm goes inside the belt and hand grabs the two ends
  • Roll with both hands inside the belt
  • Roll with senior coaching junior - stopping the action when junior makes a mistake or misses an opportunity
  • Roll with senior practising on junior - stopping reversing repeating the action when senior wants to work on a technique or correct a mistake
  • Situational rolling, starting in a specific position with a specific objective, e.g. start in De La Riva guard, the passer trying to pass the guard, the guard guy trying to get the back

In all of this, remember it is a drill. Not a deathmatch. There are no prizes and no one is keeping score.

Try to use it as a cooperative drill more often than not. If you are bigger or better than your sparmate, let them get out occasionally, or work towards a sweep or submission. Work primarily on defense.

A few rounds in full competition mode every now and then are necessary for cardio and to keep your defense tight. But probably no more than 10% of your sparring and certainly less than half ... ramp it it up a bit if you are preparing for a comp, but ... too hard all the time leads only to injury and overtraining.

It is about learning, not winning and losing. If anything, err on the side of not going hard enough rather than going too hard.

Article by Steve Maxwell  - Jiu Jitsu and the Mature Athlete

Mainly about Jiu Jitsu, but applicable to other martial arts. Basically train smart so you CAN do it after age 60, 70,80, ... rather than being too banged up to do anything physical effectively when you reach 40.

Keep it playful - by Rener and Ryron Gracie




The Art of Sparring - same two guys


5 Rules to Roll Till 95 - same guys




How to learn slow rolling in BJJ - a progression to get you into a form of slow rolling which means you can literally wrestle and learn for hours without getting exhausted or injured. If you watch nothing else, watch this.


Rolling with the Opposite Sex - By Ryron and Eve Gracie. This is LONG and gets a bit nicey-nice to the threshold of embarrassment in parts, but does have some good insights into the male/female dynamic on the mat, including quite a few issues I hadn't considered before. Mainly for instructors, but all can benefit.


The Spirit of Jiu Jitsu. This is just an awesomely cool Jiu Jitsu documentary. It appears it was made pretty soon after Nic Gregoriades went to Peru and drank Ayahuasca (which is legal! No freak outs please) so it is a bit out there ... in a good way. There is good info on flow rolling and good footage of it being demonstrated. Inspirational.



This is off topic, but ... this is an excellent doco on the history and development of Jiu Jitsu in Southern California. Really great.


This is not a video. This is advice from Kurt Osiander.


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