I realize that this is similar to other questions, but this isn't the same.

This new guy just joined my gym, and was already a purple belt when he joined. Since I always try to roll with everyone at some point, I give him a try. I was expecting that since he was a higher belt than me, he would easily submit me. But instead I was able to submit him something like five times withing a five minute period. This seemed a bit strange to me, seeing that he had about three times more experience than me.

About a week later, I rolled with him again. This time he still didn't put any effort, but actually coached me through my technique, which I am still sure I was doing correctly in the first place. This annoyed me, since this is specifically against rolling etiquette. It seems to me that he was sending me the "you aren't good at Jiu Jitsu, so I won't try in order to give you an advantage" message, since he didn't seem to be trying to even consolidate any positions. In fact, it was more like rolling with a sock than a person. How do I deal with people like this?


3 Answers 3


If a much higher belt gives you opportunities during free rolling, then you take those opportunities as best you can. Don't go easy. Force them to dial up their intensity because you're passing their guard, crushing them in a pin, squeezing them out of air with a body triangle from the back, and choking them unconscious. Or, try to get them to submit from knee on belly. That usually makes someone defend.

You don't have to listen to their advice -- if they start talking, keep doing what you're doing. If they say "whoa, hold up, let me show you" then you can either take instruction or respond "I'd rather just roll. Could we just roll?"

FYI, as a purple belt, one reason I'll dial down my resistance with a white belt is if they're sloppy. It's counterproductive to defend if your passes and pins are too loose; it'll dull my reflexes against competent passers. So if they're letting you pass, then maybe after you pass get TIGHT and work carefully instead of quickly.


Is this guy older than you? I roll this way because I am a solid 10-15 years older than most people in my gym. Rolling hard tends to injure people more quickly, and I suspect this person may have had enough of that.

I also started working with a defensive mindset years ago. I let people pass my guard and attempt submissions, because I find the experience valuable.

I wouldn't get upset with the guy over this.

  • I would say that this guy is mid-forties. It's not that he's injured, but more that he wants to give me an unnecessary advantage because he thinks that he is better than me(which he probably is, although whenever I try rolling with him he doesn't provide appropriate resistance).
    – LemmyX
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 21:53
  • To add on to this, the problem isn't that he is "letting me pass his guard" or even anything like that, it's just that there is something about the way he walks me through techniques without my asking and the way that he doesn't try to even work anything himself. Sometimes I even let people pass my guard ect. because I know hat they are newer, but I ALWAYS provide at least a little resistance so that they don't feel like they are being put in the spotlight.
    – LemmyX
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 21:58
  • It is for that reason that this will not be the accepted answer. I appreciate your effort, though!
    – LemmyX
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 22:21
  • 1
    Sounds like he's probably more interested in teaching than putting up a tough fight in his rolls. Maybe he doesn't have the energy to roll very hard for all the rounds that you guys do.
    – tye649
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 22:25
  • Whenever I watch him roll with anyone else, he usually submits them, though.
    – LemmyX
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 15:14

Rather than engage in mind reading, I suggest you simply talk with this person and ask them to give more resistance. Mutually negotiate some level of resistance and intensity that is beneficial to both.

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