The Problem With Just Rolling

Kroyler’s Pro-Tip on just rolling in BJJ:

I was asked to discuss a little bit about the “Just Roll” guys/gals. Meaning the people that only want to roll, they don’t care for working out or feel the need to drill techniques.

So, where to start?

What is the value of learning new techniques? Well it makes your arsenal and your technique repertoire much more complex. Which makes you far more dangerous. That is if you can physically perform the wishes of the mind.So,learning new techniques is infinitely valuable, there are also downsides to this,and I can do an in depthKroyler’s Pro Tip on it in the future if its desired.

What is the value of not learning new techniques but rather just drilling the knowledge you already have? Well the best tools are the ones that are maintained and sharpened.So,drilling only leads to very concise and small arsenal of techniques but they are usually hyper efficient as they are drilled into you so much you don’t have to think about them anymore.Again,there are down falls and upsides to this which could be discussed later in a future Kroyler’s Pro Tip.

Now what about the people that only want to roll, but they don’t want towork out, they don’t want to drill or even learn new techniques?


To put it bluntly they are nincompoops….

I understand that rolling is the most fun part of jiu-jitsu. More fun than learning a new technique, more fun than drilling anddefinitelymore fun than working out.

Infact,I will start by discussing the benefits ofrolling...

1.It puts you in a situation where you must execute a technique against a resisting opponent

2.It puts a challenge in front of you that must be overcome

3.It in a very real sense shows you how well you can recall and perform your techniques

4.It is physically demanding

5.It is also mentally demanding

6.It is very immediately rewarding

7.Jiu-Jitsu must be felt, and rolling is key in that feeling

Notice also that the people that ONLY roll usually tend to roll only with people that aren’t as skilled as they are.

So that people that roll are looking for the immediate reward of overcoming an opponent and of benefiting from the aforementioned benefits.

However,there are downsides to only rolling too…

1.There is no knowledge growth

2.There is no benefit to your teammates as you are no longer presenting new challenges only the same old ones

3.There is an artificial toughness created. Meaning that if you only roll, odds are you have 1 or 2 people in your school that only roll as well, and you probably roll with them all the time. They learn your stunted game and you learn theirs and then you and them can shuteach other’sgame down. Makes you feel as if they are getting tougher or as if you are getting tougher. But its artificial. They seem that way because they know your few tricks. Creates a paper tiger toughness… This is very much a real issue and problem because to the people that roll only this feels like the benefits mentioned above and it feels like progress, its not.

4.Eventually it becomes boring,you’rehaving the same rolls over and over with the same 1 or 2 guys. This is always incredible to me. There is a nearly infinite number of techniques in jiu-jitsu but because we are only rolling and never learning new techniques we are limited to a handful of them. And because of that we have very few tools to solve the puzzles our roll only partners present to us. And in turn we have very few tools to create puzzles to present to our roll only partners.So,you are forced to do the same thing over and over.

5.Rolling only may cause you to become tough but not necessarily good. I can expand this topic in a future Kroyler’s Pro tip.

6.It causes you to come in to your school/academy less and less. Because you feel you are artificially tough against your favorite roll only partners there is less and less of a need to even roll.

7.Number 6 can lead to anover expandedego and a big head. IF you continue to come into the school/ academy regularly but you only roll you could develop a big head or an arrogant ego,you’reabove drilling or learning new techniques because you may be able to tap a few people that unlike you drill and attend class. This too is short sighted because the people that learn, drill and roll are in the end better than you could ever be just by rolling. Meaning they went much further in their jiu-jitsu journey than you. Or they will anyways.

On a side note, once I was participating in a class where this particular person didn’t want to warm up with the class, refused to sit through the instructor’s lesson, and said he could use his time better with hitting a bag than with drilling the move he didn’t care to learn.After the drilling session ended and it was time to roll said person put their gi on and wanted to roll with the class. He was allowed. Said person wanted to start on their feet, since he wanted to show off that he could hang with everyone else. The technique we had learned that day was a throw combination. Well 5 seconds in said person decided that they were going to flying armbar their opponent. Said person performed the move very poorly and landed collarbone first. Loud pop and a scream later we cut his gi off of him as he couldn’t move, and we see that his collarbone broke in 3 different spots… Karma is a bitch ladies and gents. The kicker in all of this is that said person never drilled or learned how to do a flying armbar, he simply saw it and felt he could do it.

Don’t be that guy.

Also, I want to congratulate everyone that competed in the tournaments this past weekend, I believe we brought home more medals than we had people competing. Its amazing to see how far people have come in their jiu-jitsu journey and I am excited to see where their individual paths will take them.  Also, congratulations Kip on your 4thstripe... You are no longer just a white belt… now you are just a 4-stripe white belt…

Kip Dice