Do you wanna roll?

Do you wanna roll?I have a problem. I’m afraid to ask people to roll. By nature I am very introverted, and I don’t really care to talk to anyone (in person, I’m better with communicating through the written word). Someday I might write about how martial arts is helping me to overcome that fear. I’ve come a long way, but I’m not completely over it yet. Plus, I am convinced that most people don’t want to grapple with me, maybe because they never ask me, so it’s hard to approach them. It makes me really sad that I have been in class a year and a half, and there are people who I have never rolled with. I always end up grappling with the same people because I am somewhat comfortable asking them. Then they usually stop coming to jiu-jitsu, and I have to start all over again.

I keep hoping it’s going to get easier, and it has a little bit, but every time I’m sitting on the side of the mat waiting for someone to ask me to roll, because I’m too much of a chicken to ask anyone, it’s demoralizing. I have even contemplated quitting jiu-jitsu because of it. I love jiu-jitsu, I love grappling, and I hate the fact that fear prevents me from doing it. I’ve just never been the type of person who’s comfortable approaching people.

Awhile back, one of the jiu-jitsu students at our dojo told me that others were probably afraid to ask me to roll as well, so I just have to do it. Good advice, but easier said than done. The longer I sit on the side of the mat waiting, the more the fear builds up, and the harder it is to ask anyone. I guess I need to take action at the beginning of open mat, instead of standing off to the side like a wallflower, hoping someone asks me to dance. From here on out, it’s going to be ladies choice.


6 comments on “Do you wanna roll?

  1. I'll roll with you any time. I used to think I'd have to hold back because I'm bigger and stronger than you, but your technique has gotten good enough that if I hold back, you'd beat me every time. We're pretty well matched now — as long as we start on the ground :)

  2. Lol David! I like rolling with you for the fact that you don't hold back. If we did start standing up, I would just try to jump guard as quickly as possible ;)

  3. "I'm not intimidated by anyone. Everyone is made with two arms, two legs, a stomach and a head. Just think about that. " — Josephine Baker

  4. Kick me in the mouth for not shutting up. Seriously. Everybody else wants to. =)At our school, our instructor thankfully assigns all of our grapples. Otherwise I would have this very same issue. I worry enough when Fabio, my instructor puts me with someone who out ranks me quite a bit. I worry that they feel their grapple will be wasted on me since I am not a treat or a challenge. (Though, no one has ever even remotely acted that way… I just feel like they feel that way because I am paranoid.)I've recently struggled with something similar in the way that I had to get out of my comfort zone to improve my training. When I finally just bit it bullet and did it, I realized I'd been scared for nothing all this time, and wanted to kick myself for the potential training opportunities I'd lost.And that note, btw, is hilarious.

  5. We have a lot in common Stephanie, everyone wants to kick me in the mouth, too :)Sometimes I wish we were assigned grapples, but I guess then I would never have to get over this fear, and I would really like to.I feel the same way about asking senior students to roll with me, I think they would say yes out of kindness or duty, but be thinking "Damn, I drew the short straw." I'm sure it's just my own fear, though. Besides, it gives them a chance to work on a different aspect of their game, such as control. Maybe they need to step out of their comfort zone, too.

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