Do you find you roll like a light switch with two settings of ‘on’ or ‘off’? Just like most things, there are other options in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. To give you an idea of the variety of rolls you can bring to your training to assist and broaden your experience, we compiled a list of some tried and true methods for changing up your rolling:


Flow rolling: This is the most common type of rolling different from regular rolling that you will hear mentioned. The aim of this is to connect positions in their transition and movements so you can explore possibilities. Simple rules for both partners to follow to achieve this style: At most 20{92f1572a082317c0570d27e962ee347172df3d87d051e40ee6d5e73ba38ddde9} resistance, at most only 3 seconds in each position, you are both exchanging dominant and non-dominant positions, and what might be hardest for some to grasp; not looking for submission unless you simply fall into it them!

Flow rolling for speed: This is the same as the above but with only 1 second spent in each position. You are still using light resistance and not hunting for submission. The idea is to push the pace and test your cardio and sequences of movements at higher speeds.

Chess: Each person makes one complete move with little to no resistance and then their partner makes their one move. Example: I do a take down, they recover to guard, I open their guard, they transfer to spider guard.

Specific goal rolling: When you identify a hole in your game, get after filling that gap by targeting it. This attention to weakness will help that it evaporate.
Beginning from a certain position for a certain goal: From guard trying all your sweeps, resetting if you get them. Or, ask your partner to only train from one position, ex. “I’m only going to pass X guard tonight”
Only staying in one position: “I’m only going to work closed guard tonight.”
Only finishing with a specific move: “I’m only going to finish with cross collar chokes.”

Disability rolling: These types of rolling are usually used when you are coming back from an injury. One of the great things about Jiu Jitsu is you CAN train while injured much more than in other sports. Here are a few ways:

One arm rolling: When you have an injured arm tuck it under your belt and with your hand grab the tails of your belt. Grabbing your belt will ensure your arm is occupied with something and will be less tempted to come out from the belt. It also means your elbow stays close to your body as a result of grabbing the tails.

No grips rolling: if you have a hand or wrist injury do not grip the other person at all. You can frame or use a monkey paw but the real idea is to begin to use your hips and legs more instead of constantly relying on upper body strength.

Knee injury: If you are recovering from a knee injury now is a perfect time to explore the bottom half game and versions of butterfly guard. These guards leave one of your legs free and thus unloaded and safe if it is injured.

Blind rolling: This is for sensitivity training- specifically maintaining contact and connection without relying on visual cues. Either close your eyes during the whole roll or wear a blindfold. Beginning with your hands on the other person so you know where they are. It’s best to make sure only ONE partner is without sight so someone can look out for others around you and approaching walls.

A, B, C game rolling: If you have tournaments coming up identify your A game- the one you do best and the most, your B game your second best but still successful game, and your C game- all the new things you’d like to incorporate into your game. Rotate between the three games and designate the game you are going to play for each roll.

Got another way of rolling we haven’t listed here? Tell us about it on Facebook or shoot us an Email. We’d love to hear from you.