5 Common Mistakes Beginners Make in BJJ Rolling

Two BJJ beginners sparring

For beginners, live rolling can be daunting and humbling. Without technical experience, new BJJ students often develop bad habits that hinder their development. 

Let’s look at 5 common mistakes white belts make during rolling so you can avoid forming bad habits early on:

Gripping Too Tight

White belts tend to squeeze with all their might when gripping the gi. This gasses your forearms and makes it easier to strip grips. Keep a firm yet relaxed grip to maintain leverage.

Holding Breath

It’s easy to hold your breath when intense scrambles happen. Make sure to exhale and continue breathing. Tapping to “lack of air” is perfectly acceptable. 

Muscling Through

Don’t rely on strength and speed. Use proper technique to advance positions. Forcing techniques will gas you out quickly.

Failing To Cut Angle

Cutting an angle when sweeping or passing is essential. Don’t drive straight into your opponent – use angles to avoid stalling.

Not Having a Plan

Approach rolls with a game plan. Don’t just randomly react. Have go-to grips, guard attacks, and a passing sequence in mind.

Rolling exposes holes in your game. Embrace these revelations and focus on incremental improvements. Over time, rolling will become more instinctual. In the meantime, avoid reinforcing bad habits by identifying these common beginner mistakes. Oss!