How to Roll During BJJ Sparring: Five Principles

Mat time is the best time. You should — and almost always will — feel better about everything after a solid night of training. In order to get the most out of mat time, it helps to think about your approach.

One of the rarest but smartest questions I get from newer people is, phrased one way or another, “How do I roll?” Sometimes people are looking for a technique to start a sparring session with, just to get the game going. Sometimes people don’t want to be jerk people complain about having to roll with. Often, people want to know how to maximize the value they get from rolling sessions.

All of these are great reasons, and they hint at an important meta-principle about jiujitsu: don’t be afraid to ask questions! People want to help you progress. Besides, we’ve all seen problems created when someone erroneously¬†assumes they know the rolling culture of their gym without having to ask.

Here are five principles that should help, especially for newer people.

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