Why You Roll Worse against White Belts in BJJ

Are you a White Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu who feels better when they roll with a Higher Belt?

This is the question I received from Brianda who asked,
” I’ve been training for four months and I know I’m improving a lot (everybody tells me), but when I roll with white belts. Why do I feel like I can’t do anything? When I roll with higher belts everything goes better and I can practice all the movements and submissions I’ve learned, is it normal?

In this Chewy ramble video I discuss this common situation in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. When it boils down to it this is caused by a couple things.

A higher belt (Blue Belt, Purple Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt) is in much better control of the roll and is much more relaxed. And oftentimes higher belts will play down a little bit during BJJ training to allow the newer students to move around and attempt their techniques a bit.

This relaxed state is usually fueled by the fact that the higher belt can finish the roll and gain the upper hand at any point.

In contrast you might roll worse against a White Belt. This is because a white belt does not have the security of being more advanced technically. So, instead they are fighting life and death when pitted against another beginner during a Brazilian Jiujitsu class.

The roll then takes on a much more aggressive nature and makes it more difficult to execute techniques.

I go into more detail in the video and share a few stories. But in short, yes this is a normal situation.

If you’re running into this as a BJJ White Belt. I hope the video is helpful!

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