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The Importance of Taking Care of Your Training Partner in BJJ

taking care of your training partner in bjj

Jiu Jitsu is a close contact sport we all know that and we love nothing more than getting a good all out roll.

That 5 minute round when we can just forget everything and focus on our jiu jitsu.

But when we do this we do have to remember that we have a responsibility for our partner.

We know that we have to release when they tap, but there is a little more to it than that.

There are other people on the mat most of the time so we have to look after each others safety during this time.

When we are rolling there is a good chance that you could collide with another pair, the wall or the edge of the mat. If you are playing on top then you are essentially the eyes of whats going on. So if you are a bit to close to the wall or the edge of the mat, you’re the one that has to pause the roll and move to safety. The same also applies to other pairs, if arms and legs are flailing keep an eye out to make sure they don’t connect to anyone nearby. Just because you are on bottom doesn’t mean you’re exempt either. If you’re on the bottom looking to sweep. Be aware of where you are intending to sweep you and make sure it’s not into a wall or another pair.

It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes your fingers or toes may become caught in the sleeves or twists of a gi. Most of the time it will be easy for you to notice these situations. Once again just pause things and make that all important re-adjustment, doing this can save a sprained or broken digit. I’m sure that any training partner would appreciate that.

You should also be prepared to bail on your sweep or takedown if one of your partner’s knees or any other joint is in danger. Being conscious of what you are doing when you apply techniques as this is what is going to keep your partner safe. We always get reminded at my club not to pull people back over their feet in to back mount.

Let’s get one thing straight first: it is YOUR responsibility to tap if your limb is trapped in a submission.  Having said that I have also asked partners if the submission is on, if I thought I had a legit submission and they weren’t tapping. Firstly just to check they are ok and secondly to figure out that I am doing something wrong. I have also released submissions without my partner tapping. You may say if someone is too stubborn to tap they deserve to go to sleep. But if someone is gurgling and changing colour, you know the submission is on and you have nothing to prove. So save the first aid issue and just let it go like Ella (yes I went there!)

Obviously all of this is reciprocal, you expect your partner to do the same for you as you do for them. Taking care of your partner in this way is almost like karma in the bank.

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