Having trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a number of years, it’s clear that there are good days, and bad days on the mats. It can’t be helped. Last night turned into a bad day on the mat. I had some really good fun rolls, with some absolute beasts (Ahmed, Danny, Frank, Marley, Ronnie & Sloany spring to mind). That much is good, but after running out of bodies, I asked a white belt I’d never seen before if he wanted to roll. New people don’t approach me, because they think my belt means I’m going to swallow them alive. That’s not the case.

I never go mental with a new guy. Fuck, I never go mental with people I know and trust, because it’s just not how I roll. I’m lazy, lethargic and then POW! You’re dead, or something. It’s also because I’m not a fucking prick when grappling (well, not a total prick – more on that later). I like to play a relaxed game, and find opportunities where I can, applying pressure when needed, etc.

New guy was athletic, jumping all over the shop, as you do. We had some fun scrambles, and back and forth exchanges before we found ourselves in leg lock territory. Now I’m not sure whether it was ill intent or ignorance that lead him to the position he landed in, but the Devil himself reared his ugly head. With that I snapped, I saw red and stopped him calmly by delivering the following line, “If you heel hook me, I will break your fucking leg.” His reasoning was that he was using it to roll me over. What happens if I don’t roll? Snap, crackle & pop.

Let’s forget the logistics for a moment. If he’d heel hooked me, I probably would have been rolling about the floor in agony, screaming like a baby – but there’s a distinct reason why we don’t toy with such dangerous moves. My legs are my primary mode of transport. BJJ is my primary stress reliever. If someone puts me out of action for a year or even toys with doing so – from an educated or otherwise approach, I’m going to fucking snap. Similarly, I’d expect the same in return if I were to do the same to someone else.

As an example, last Friday my coach had a heel hook position locked in, and I still actively looked for the toehold, like a fucking idiot. This was a glaring error on my part. It wasn’t until he pointed it out that I realised he could have had the heel hook at any time, but had the dignity to stop when he had the position, it’s part of our unwritten code in the club (although it might be worth getting a sign). I’d crossed the line. Rightly so, I felt like shit, but Paul being Paul handled it with better diplomacy than I delivered last night to the new guy.
The new guy being new should be excused for his error, and I don’t think I handled it well at all, but in that very moment I just reacted. It’s not something I intend to do again, but I guess we’ll find out when someone else tries to heel hook me.

The rest of the roll was fucked with new guy. I gave him nothing. So little energy that whilst he was able to play, and attack from anywhere without me giving a single shit what he was doing. That can’t help your learning, I basically became a grappling dummy. Afterwards, I told him I wasn’t being serious about breaking his leg, because I didn’t want him to be deterred from the club, and complimented him on his grappling/athletic prowess. However, it’s made me entirely wary of ever rolling with him again. There’s a level of trust in this sport, and whilst you have to branch out from the same rolling partners, time and time again – it becomes all the more difficult when people just don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. It’s dangerous, and the onus is on you to avoid that danger.

That’s enough rambling for one day. Bleurgh. On to the next class, hopefully it’s a good one. Peace out.


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