“Are we swimming or rolling??” ::No Gi BJJ/Training Log

BG Beatdown, Bowling Green, KY

Tonight’s session was packed. There were about 30 guys (2 gals) give or take, which was great, but at the end of the night it seemed like we were swimming more than rolling. Today we were joined by a few of the guys from the Elizabethtown school and pro MMA fighter Nate Jolly.

BG Beatdown, Bowling Green, KY

BG Beatdown, Bowling Green, KY- Tuesday's no gi bjj class


“…I was moving to do something when his face had caught the backside of my hand and all I could hear was the echoing of an unfortunate and accidental “bitch-slap” on the side of his face, UGGGHHH embarrassing…” 

One of the guys that I really enjoyed training with was Adam, a brown belt from the Etown School. We were paired up early on and I really liked his willingness to show me different ways to approach the sub or sweep. I’m a journalist and have a knack for “what ifs” so this helped me a lot.

During drills I noticed that I can get out of the closed guard but I need to work on passing into side mount or something, otherwise I try to pass, fail, and we’re in combat base. At one point I partnered with Adam and as I was moving to do something his face had caught the backside of my hand and all I could hear was the echoing of an unfortunate and accidental “bitch-slap” on the side of his face, UGGGHHH embarrassing. I felt so bad but he and a few of the other guys laughed it off, I apologized, tried to refocus and went back to rolling. I’m slightly fatigued so I’m drawing a few blanks on the specifics but it was mostly sweeps, trying to get guard, me trying to avoid slapping him in the face (epic fail), escaping some setups, and he walked me through an arm triangle.

Nate Jolly

I steered clear of the ‘Death Traps’ tonight, which may be another reason why I don’t feel as bent out of shape as I did last week. First roll, Uggh turtle how I hate thee. He kept everything tight so it was harder for me to get my hooks in. I tried for the neck and was barely getting that, I just felt all wrong. I like the idea of having options, so if one thing isn’t working I can just try something else but I just felt like I only had one route and that route was road blocked something terrible. I felt kind of dumb because I just couldn’t get him out of that position but that’s what trainings for.


The second roll I believe was with Nate, and Nate was cool. We rolled and he went for my arms and some subs a few times, I noticed a few setups and worked to get out of them. I just tried to survive lol Overall I think it went ok.

Everyone during drilling (upper left corner, i'm on adam's side preparing to do the kimura)

At one point someone (I can’t remember who) put me in a triangle and thanks to some tweaking I was able to get out of it, it wasn’t easy though. Which brings me to a huge point, there are numerous online resources and flashy youtube videos but early on (at least for me) nothing is more effective then when you are IN the position, STUCK, and you ask for help. The hands-on approach works better for me because I know that even if I watched one of those crazy videos by the time I make the 5-minute drive to practice I’m going to forget everything I just saw anyways. A few months down the line this may be different, but seeing as how I only have a few months under my belt, I’ll do what I do best, dive in and ask questions.


–I’m not sure if I mentioned it in earlier posts but I have since been dubbed “Brown Legs”.

Pet Peeves: I don’t really have anything from tonight’s session other than a PSA to the guys PLEASE put the toilet seat down at the bathroom, Thanks :).

Most Valuable Tip of the day: Ask questions. There are so many ways to execute different techniques. Pair up with a higher rank and ask questions, you’ll feel way more prepared.

I’m pretty worn out from my past few days of training so i won’t be ending this post on a flashy note..ill add in a few things over the next day or two. Good luck to all of you who are also training and thanks for reading!!

One Response to ““Are we swimming or rolling??” ::No Gi BJJ/Training Log”
  1. slideyfoot says:

    Videos tend to be a distraction to people just starting out: so much better to just ask your instructor for help, as you’ve been doing. It’s bizarre that many people will happily turn to some random stranger in a YouTube video, with no idea of the quality, rather than ask the person they’re already paying to teach them.

    Instructional material should ideally be a supplement to what you’re learning in class, so you’re refining what you already know. A lot of people seem to want some random crazy move instead, rather than working on that basic guard pass/side control escape/sweep etc they’ve been drilling in class.

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