Crossing The Line

Last week during live rolling at the academy, a new white belt thought he was being funny. 1) He and I aren’t very close. 2) He just switched academies and maybe this kind of behavior is acceptable at his old academy. 3) He claims to be training for just about a year, so he should know rolling etiquette. 4) You just don’t do this to someone you don’t know well enough and haven’t joked around with yet. 5) You shouldn’t be joking around while live rolling.

Now you’re probably making up stories and imagining what had happened in your head. I told my roommate who doesn’t train BJJ and he called it straight up sexual assault. My other roommate who has been training with me for about two weeks chuckled and said it was messed up. I personally don’t see it as sexual assault because in BJJ or any close contact sport where there are positions called “Mount”, “Side Mount”, and “North-South”, you’re bound to be in uncomfortable positions around parts you don’t want to be around.

Now I can’t say why my rolling partner did this because I’m not him. For the first minute or two of the sparring session, I controlled him in the mount position and worked my submissions from there. While I was choosing my positions and openings, I couldn’t get anything, but he also was huffing and puffing trying to bench me off of him (not a sign that you’ve been training for around a year if you ask me). We ended up rolling near the wall, so I let go and told him we’ll reset in from our feet in an open area. We went to another area with room, slap and bumped fists and resumed rolling.

Disclaimer: I’m probably going to lose many of you at this point with technical terms, but I’ll try my best to keep it simple.

At white belt, we’re not allowed to jump guard, he did, I went down, he then grabbed the back of my head and thrust his hips into my face while audibly saying “boop boop”. He followed this action by saying “I immediately regret that” as I grabbed his lapel, shoved my fist into his throat, stuck my right arm between the opening in his guard and my hips, threw his feet aside and gained side control. From side control to technical mount to submitting him with a kimura key lock.


As much as I wanted to intentionally elbow him in the face, punch him in the face, and crank the mess out of his shoulder, that’s not what being a good teammate and BJJ practitioner is about. If I acted on my emotions, what good was that going to do me? I’m sure I’d get sent home for the night or terminated from the team. It’s not about who can hurt who, who can tap the other, or who wins during practice. It’s who can be healthy for when the time comes (hopefully it doesn’t) when we need to use the techniques we learn in training in a real life self-defense situation.

I’m not trying to say that I’m a better practitioner or teammate than him or anyone else out there, but if it were any situation outside of BJJ, it would not have ended peacefully. BJJ has helped me control my emotions and not act out if they’re built up. BJJ is a stress reliever and my emotional reservoir is emptied at the end of every therapeutic session. There’s a saying in BJJ that can be said in many different ways. “Take care of your partner and they’ll take care of you” or “The most important person in the academy is your training partner”. Above all, respect your academy and your teammate. Be it bowing to the center when you enter and exit the mats, shaking hands (slap and bump) before and after a session, etc.




2 thoughts on “Crossing The Line

  1. Thank you. His face was priceless when he realized he shouldn’t have done that and I held back from telling our professor because he quickly apologized and I just told him not to do that again. I didn’t feel the need to let the professor know because the mats have a way of working situations like this out. I’ve had another incident with this same person where he kept going after I let go of a choke at the sound of the bell.


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