Can you refuse to roll with someone?
With dangerous training partners out there, ranging from the spazzy, fresh white belt to the competition Purple Belt that can never calm down, is it ever okay to just pass on a round with someone? After all, this is a martial art and a combat sport, we should take on EVERY challenge… right? Contrary to what the #PORRADA crowd says, it’s probably a good idea to be a little more choosy when it comes to your training partners, so you can stay on the mats as long as possible.
We all know that a spazzy white belt and even a young colored belt that treats every roll as if it’s ADCC finals is more common in academies. If you’re a small, old, or perhaps female, accepting rolls with these types of people are a good way to get injured. Even if you probably do have enough skills to subdue the spazzy white belt, and survive the competitive colored belt, you might walk away with something hurting. An elbow to the face, a knee to the mouth, and too much ungodly pressure on the ribs eventually adds up to you having to pay your doctor a visit and a prescription of not being on the mats.
Some gyms might have the warrior culture baked right in, encouraging students to accept any and all challengers, it’s probably not the best idea for the longevity of the student base. Sure, it’s important to stress test your skills, but if it’s at the cost of your health and safety, is it even worth it? If I’m spending money on an academy membership, should I spend even more on prescription drugs and physical rehab because someone can’t tell the difference between a roll in the gym and Mundials?
Look, all Jiu Jitsu is built off of trust and consent between ourselves and our training partners. We tap when we get caught, so what difference does it make if we just ‘tap’ to the idea of rolling against a loose cannon?
You can simply say “i'm gonna take this round off” or “i'm gonna find someone more my weight” and this way you won't offend someone when they call you out. (unless it's your professor)
Truly Yours, Anonymous White Belt