Is this you?

Every school has at least one Takes It To The Limit Guy, some schools I’ve been to are filled with them. You know the type, he only has one speed and every roll is like the Mundial finals. Having a lot of energy and a high intensity approach to training has benefits. It can help get you outside of your comfort zone and help push you past your limits. High intensity training can get you physically ready for competition and really sharpen your technique and timing.

But pushing too hard all the time creates problems too.

If you roll at 100% every time, you are going to get injured a lot. It doesn’t matter how tough you are, competition pace rolling is more than the body can handle every day. Injury time is lost training time that you’ll never get back.

Another problem with always rolling at high intensity is how your training partners will react to you. If you are trying to kill them all the time, their natural instinct is going to be to hunker down, tuck their chins, tighten up their elbows, and stay safe till the buzzer goes off. You’ll miss out on lots of opportunities to try out different positions and techniques because your training partners are just trying to survive your epic assault.

So, to quote John Candy from the movie Stripes, “Lighten up Francis!”. There’s a time and a place for rolling at a 100%, and there’s a time for flow rolling. You need to be able to turn that switch on and off when appropriate if you ever want to reach your full potential in Jiu-Jitsu.

- Bill Thomas