The part that everyone looks forward to most when they train, is Rolling.

I don’t even think this is just making a generalization, I literally think that its true for everyone……………..probably.

I’m no different; now I love learning the new technique, I love revisiting an old technique and really listening to my teacher highlight some oh so subtle but oh so important details, I love listening to my teacher tell me that Royler or Rolker or HICKSON, showed him this detail (man I really love this part), but Rolling is where the world gets real. Everyone want to see how these pieces of information translate to their game, they want the satisfaction of using that technique they just learnt to WIN.

And that is why sometimes when you ask me to Roll with you I will politely say no.

I will not come right out and say “no”, I have no interest in offending, ill say ‘sorry I’m gonna sit one out’ or ‘sorry brother I have to roll with X next’, but what I’m doing is not rolling with you, it doesn’t mean I will never roll with you, but not today.

Ever noticed that high level guys, especially high level Black Belts don’t seem to roll all the time ?

Ever noticed that when they do roll, sometimes its with Blue Belts or Purple Belts ( not necessarily Brown and other Black Belts), probably about the same size, and of a particular temperament ?

Ever really watched two high level Black Belts roll and realized they are talking to each other a lot ?

What they are doing, I think, is training far smarter than some of us. They have worked out over many thousands of hours, over the course of many injuries, many frustrating sessions spent on the sidelines nursing injuries, that…………no one will win a Mundial Medal tonight, Tuesday night, in Alexandria.

They are weighing up a lot of different things and making a smart decision. Tonight is not the night for a war. They might be tired, or sore, or just slightly injured and they don’t want it to get worse, they might have done conditioning that morning or any number of other reasons reasons. They are on the mat, when they roll they will definitely get something out of it, they certainly aren’t “ducking” you, but they have no interest in having to Roll with you as you flail about with frightening ferocity all the time just milliseconds from a silly injury to them or yourselves, as you attempt to WIN.

(Here is the part where I wholeheartedly apologize to people I have annoyed in the past with just this type of behavior, I know about it because Ive done it.)

When I visited Brazil I was taken into the home of a Senior Black Belt under Rickson Gracie, a veritable encyclopedia of Jiu Jitsu, an Elder if you will of the Gracie Humaita Academy, a close personal friend of the sons of, and a student to Helio Gracie. We were watching TV and a program featuring Rickson came on. I asked him a dumb question, he gave me a smart answer.

” Breno is it true that Rickson never lost a fight ”

” No, he never lost a fight …….. in competition …… as a Black Belt “