Have you ever wondered how to make sure you can roll longer and harder without getting tired? Sure you have, there’s not one person training grappling that hasn’t. Well, apart from those that already figured out what the secret is. Is it more conditioning exercises out of the academy? Is it more rolling or focused drills on the mats? Please tell me it’s not more running and roadwork! Fear not, you won’t need to move a muscle in order to get a better gas thank with this secret little trick. All you’ll need is a clear head and some focus. If you think you can do that then you can learn the secret to an endless gas tank for BJJ rolling! If not, stick to your Tabatas, and maybe one day, you’ll catch up.
Getting tired during BJJ rolling is not like getting tired in any other sport. In regular sports, you can stop to catch a breath, no matter how small. IN all other combat sports you can revert to defensive strategies while you recover. But in grappling, you have the pressure of a person on top of you, trying to break a limb or strangle you with all their might. Not somewhere you want to be even with a full gas tank. What usually happens in situations like this is the combination of pressure and exhaustion lead to panicking. This, in turn, leads to the most dreaded tap of all – the cardio tap.
While most people turn to all kinds of modern ways to get them up to speed, the secret to endless rolling lies in another place. Just like with most things in BJJ, this is not apparent and has to do with technique. It is invisible Jiu-Jitsu at its best. don’t get me wrong, conditioning outside the academy is a must. It’s the homework grapplers must do in order to make sure their body is functioning to its maximal potential. Staying calm and preserving plenty of energy during BJJ rolling, though, has little to do with treadmill sprints. At least in the long run. It has more to do with your mindset an ability to apply, or even more importantly, do not apply certain techniques in certain situations.
Old School Wisdom
As usual, all Jedi mind tricks in grappling come from one of the old foxes in a particular martial art. The people that have hugely successful competitive careers followed by even more impressive teaching careers are the ones you should pay attention to. It’s far better to learn from someone who has already gone through trial and error than do it yourself. so, when old-school grapplers talk, make sure you listen. Very often i is the stuff between the lines that are truly worth gold.
In that sense, this secret concept came to me via the knowledge of a legend form the sport of wrestling – Wade Schalles. The enigmatic coach and former prolific competitor are very keen on concepts. As we all know, concepts are essential for a high-level BJJ game, so I listened. Despite laying out his concept for a very different use, one specific to wrestling, something really seemed logical about it. So I went on to experiment.
At firs,t I focused on doing things exactly as Wade demonstrated in an instructional I came across. Of course, the concept worked and it got me a lot of success. As with all things BJJ, I decided to broaden the spectrum. After many attempts, some of them unsuccessful (of course) I managed to find several different uses of Wade’s concept. One of them is never running low on gas while BJJ rolling. Let’s get straight into how the “loosey-goosey” concept works.
The “Loosey Goosey” Theory
Wade’s original application of the “loosey-goosey” method was while standing up. namely, whenever you’re tight while grip fighting for position on the feet, you end up giving your opponent a lot to work with. A tight body means increased leverage for the opponent. that, in turn, means it’s easy for them to control you, or even overpower you, even if they’re physically weaker than you. Let me elaborate.
If you’re all tense during BJJ rolling, your body is working as a whole. While this is what people look for during conditioning sessions, it is something grapplers have to avoid. In terms of standing up, this means there’s no way out once an opponent establishes grips. Staying loose, on the other hand, is going to allow you to wiggle out of every grip the opponent has, no matter how strong. Staying loose is going to make you as slippery as an eel for your opponent.
Not only that but whenever they apply any technique on you, it won’t work. The looser you are, the less a move is going to be effective. Now, this doesn’t mean to play dead, it means to loosen up in situations where it is going to benefit you. If you start attempting it you’ll see that these situations arise multiple times during BJJ rolling.
How It Works In BJJ Rolling
Let’s say you started rolling with a tough purple belt at your academy. You stood your ground but the purple belt just kept moving around. You then went on to roll with the gym’s enforcer, leaving you drained fora tough roll with at op brown belt. We all know how that ends up. Now let’s say that you are going to apply the loosey gosedy principle when you roll.
First of all no matter how much someone moves or attempts to get superior positioning on you, staying loose will make sure you’re immovable. If you’re on top, it ends up allowing you to project even more pressure on to an opponent. Even more importantly when you’re not tensing up your body is not working as hard. Relaxed muscles mean rested muscles. Even better, staying loose means your mind is calm and you can think how to apply techniques instead of panicked movements. The result is that you’ll last longer and be able to deal with all kinds of opponents, without the need for extra conditioning. It’s the magic bullet that black belts know all about. But how do you accomplish this?
Here’s where I’m going to provide you with one more trick to get you all loosened up – smile. Whenever you’re tense, your jaw is one of the first things that clench up. The best way to relax your jaw is by smiling. If you relax your jaw, the rest of the body will follow. Now you’re loose, your mind is relaxed, your breathing is calm and you can fight intelligently and never get tired!