How To Flow Roll In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Consider these wise thoughts from excellent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach, Nick “Chewy” Albin aka @Chewjitsu:
“What is BJJ Flow Rolling? Is it a good way to rep Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques? Defining Flow Rolling is a tricky thing because people go about differently. I have a basic two part definition which is: #1 – You’re rolling without any intention of winning the match. #2 – You’re rolling with no resistance while giving your partner a good look. It’s an exchange of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques. Also, along with this, I go about rolling on a turn based system. Meaning, you go, then I go, then you go, then I go. So if I catch a submission. I will get to the point where I know I have it secured and could finish it. Then I release and let my partner move. This allows a back and forth exchange of techniques. For Spazzy white belts in BJJ. A couple of benefits for flow rolling is that it allows people to let go an over competitive nature. Because you are rolling without the intent of winning. It allows someone to learn to roll at an easier pace at times and at the same time come to grips with not winning every time.
Another benefit is that it helps people learn the positions better because of the passive more calm nature of the training. During a full on rolling session in Brazilian Jiu jitsu. The environment is intense and is not forgiving. During a flow roll. Someone is in a much easier situation which allows them to make mistakes and tinker with the position which allows them to become more educated with the positions.
Flow rolling has a number of different benefits to more experience grapplers as well. I focused on BJJ White Belts in the video since the question was asked from a White Belt. Again, every stage of Brazilian Jiu jitsu presents unique challenges and opportunities. The challenge for most White Belts is learning how to relax in training and be more technical.”
Check out Chewjitsu’s BJJ Flow Rolling For White Belts and Rep Techniques in the video below
Now that you understand what flow rolling is, let us explore some tips on developing a good “flow.”
#1: Practice flow rolling and flow drills
It takes practice to find a nice flow. Cyclical flow drills will help you tighten up your movement and transitions, allowing you critical time to focus on your technique.
#2: Find the right training partner
Everyone is out to get something different from their rolls. You want to look for a training partner who is ready for a light roll focused on technique. It helps if it is someone you know and are familiar with how they roll.
#3: ‘Catch and Release’ flow
A great way to work submissions is the concept of catch and release flow rolling. This is a great way to move your body in and out of submission positions, focusing on the use of technique rather than strength. The goal is to keep a rhythm going with continuous movement.
#4: Relaxed environment
There are classes where flow rolling feels more appropriate. Some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools with have classes in which the environment is more relaxed, perhaps on a Sunday when everyone is showing up a little late, and maybe a little hung over. Take an opportunity like this to put some music on and keep things playful.
Check out this video on how to enhance your live rolls using a long cyclical flow drill for partner and solo practice. It is a great warm up or for end of class drilling. It will help you work transitions and precision of movement.