You ever roll with the guy who says let’s go light, and then proceeds to grab you and drive you over 3 sets of other people rolling? They then smash you into the wall, grab a heel hook and crank it wildly as hard as they can. Before you can tap, you’re knee pops 5 times. “Thanks knee for tapping for me, I was just about to do that, but this gorilla didn’t give me a chance.” I used to have of trouble with guys like this. Ultimately, it’s the instructors/owners burden to keep everybody safe. Reckless training would lead to unhappy or to injured students. That would lead to bad attendance due to injury. Which would lead to less training partners coming to the gym, which would lead to uninspiring classes. That would lead to guys not progressing as quickly in their training. Not to mention it would lead to less money coming in. No money, we can’t pay for lights, water or a space to even train in.
After years of not knowing what to do, I decided to change it up. Now, everyday before rolling, I do a quick injury check. I ask who has any injuries, which helps people remember that some people can’t go super hard, and lets the class know the instructors are paying attention, and we’re care about safety. After that, I give a speech to the class about our number 1 priority, taking care of your training partners! This is your number one job as a member of the team. If you let them get hurt, you got nobody to help you out. If you injure people, it will spread quickly and soon people will avoid training with you.
The Next thing I do puts how hard you should go in perspective. I preface how hard the roll should be by breaking it down like this:
If you are going to go…
-100%, it’s only if you’re fighting for your life against Nazi war criminals, evangelical leftist rapists or an equally threatening foe.
-80% is for fighting for the UFC championship belt.
-70% competing at a friendly Jiu Jitsu tournament.
-60% solid training for a competition or fight. This is reserved for people who understand the risks of training hard and accept the risks, I keep this separate usually.
-50% good old competitive everyday training. This is for 90% of the people. Under most circumstances, training at this rate, you should be able to get up and go to work the next day, and train again tomorrow. It’s competitive, it’s challenging, yet it’s good natured, and enjoyable.
It works extremely well at our gym. Injuries happen much less frequently at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu now days. It’s not the good old days of MMA/BJJ, we’re much smarter now. Therefore we have to be more responsible with our health.