Keeping Jiu Jitsu Safety a Top Priority in the Dojo.

April 23rd, 2014 In 10th Planet Van Nuys, Theory | Comments Off

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.

What Makes a Good Jiu Jitsu Training Partner part 4

November 24th, 2012 In News | Comments Off

Don’t have long finger nails. This is my personal pet peeve. I will never show you the secrets of how I use deep half guard or how I dim mak ninjas, if you slice me open with your talons. It’s really easy to cut somebody inadvertently, make sure you keep and extra set of nail clippers in your gym bag. Hell, bite your nails for all I care. Just get it done. I have a scar right between my eyes from a disrespectful training partner that forgot to trim his nails. I have to be reminded daily when I look in the mirror, of how much I hate this.

No talking to your partner while the instructor is teaching. You can help out your training partner when the instructor breaks to practice back and forth, but don’t distract him before then. You should probably stop talking when the instructor is pointing out details, or making corrections, during the drilling. Not to mention the fact that you are probably distracting the other students from trying to hear what is being said. Everybody is there to learn from somebody who has lots of experience, not the white belt who wants to show off to the other new white belt how much technique he has. (or thinks he has.)

Please don’t roll or drill with mat cooties. If you have nasty on your skin, and you still want to train, you can go for a run or do some tape study. Please don’t go roll around with guys no matter how much you want to. In the long run getting sick leads to people quitting or worse, getting super sick. Don’t be greedy, take a couple days off, go see the doctor and get it taken care of.

Handle all of your open wounds. Nobody wants to get bled on! It’s gross! If you get a cut it’s one thing, you have to expect it a little bit of that, but if you’re bleeding all over and it could have been prevented, people are going to be turned off. Take 3 minutes before hand to cover up any wounds, and tape them up. Band aids always get knocked off when you get all sweaty. I haven’t even talked about how you can get sick from infections, which can lead to other ways to be a bad training partner.


I have another couple blog posts out of this subject. I hope I’m making Jiu Jitsu a more pleasurable sport for you and your team. Please feel free to post this, or tell your partners what I’ve said, just keep the information out there. Problems can arise when you have expectations that the other students already know this stuff. Never expect it’s “common sense” for people to know these things. They’re busy thinking about how they’re going to sweep you, or how to make their technique smoother, rather than thinking about being a better training partner.

Coach Alder Hampel

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys

Training partners are one of the key to you success in Jiu Jitsu/MMA

What Makes a Good Jiu Jitsu Training Partner part 2.

November 19th, 2012 In Theory | Comments Off

In the last article we talked about the importance of training partners, you can check out that artcle here. This is part 2.


Please, be kind to your training partners! These people are the ones helping you get better, train for tournaments, teach you new moves, give you details on existing moves. It’s not a competition to see who can hurt each other the best. This is already a rough enough sport, we don’t need to be getting injured every time we show up to class. This might seem pretty obvious, but don’t bully people. Yes, I am talking to you adults! What does that prove? Ok maybe, you’re entertained at some poor saps expense, but what happens when there’s no more poor saps to torture, because you’ve ran them all out of the gym. A bad training partner can make an otherwise fun sport a terrible experience. I’ve seen people avoid certain classes to avoid problem training partners. I’ve also heard of seen people leaving gyms because the owner or the coach never addressed these bad training partners and people were either injured or abused. At 10th Planet Van Nuys my coaches and I are very careful to address people who may be abusing their partners. I make sure they understand what they’re doing is not cool. If they continue to do it, I wont hesitate to protect my team, and remove that person from our gym.

Another thing to watch out for is the opponent resisting 100% or reversing the position on you during training. I’m not talking about when you’re rolling live, I’m talking about when we’re learning a move and drilling it. If I’m working my technique and the person keeps blocking my technique, chances are they’re, not helping, they’re just being a jerk. Maybe you have all the best intentions in the world by trying to show him what could happen, but first let’s learn the move before we start talking about the options of what could happen when some body does, “this or that.” Let your partner do the move, help them, correct them, but it’s just annoying if you shut them down. Sometimes it can be helpful, you don’t want your opponent getting in repetitionss of something that is incorrect, but you don’t have to go hard and fight them in order to show them what they’re doing is incorrect.

I’ll write some more on this later, you can always learn to be a better training partner. You can’t write enough material on this subject, if nobody talks about it, you’ll continue to have bad training partners. If you don’t want to speak up and tell your training partners about this stuff because it’s uncomfortable, then just link you’re team to this article.

Coach Alder Hampel

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys