We recently received this email from one of you guys out there:
I’m a long time listener of your podcast, and have a question I have been wondering about. Recently I was promoted to the rank of purple belt in bjj, and have heard from some of the brown, and black belts around that the purple belt is like moving from apprentice to journeymen in a trade union. One of the black belts I train regularly with said it that the purple belt is the beginning of the advanced game. With that in mind I had a question that I have been wondering about. When I was a blue and white belt I never approached any belt higher then mine and asked them to roll with me. I always waited for them to ask me, and would jump at the chance to do it, especially from purple belt on up. Mostly out of respect, to the higher belt. My question is:
What is the protocol for asking a higher ranking belt then your to roll with you?
I am an older practitioner (I turn 38 in August), and when I look around my gym for people to roll with I am always looking for a partner who is going to match up well with me both physically and mentally. I like to get a gauge on how that person rolls before I roll with them, I’m definitely trying to avoid the win at all costs type, and go more towards the type that is going to make me work in a smart and safe manner. My gym has no set guideline written on asking people to roll, but I have heard from other higher ranking belts that the higher ranking student should ask, and if asks they have the right to politely say no. I hope all this makes sense, I’m just trying to get a deeper answer.
So what’s it like where you train? Which of the above best describes where you learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu? Vote in the poll on this post to let us know, and don’t hold back on the comments either!
(Congrats on your purple belt, R.! That is an awesome accomplishment! And thank you for the poll suggestion!)