With Global Grappling Day rapidly approaching (December 12th), we’ve been fielding lots of questions from people wondering how to go about their 60-minute roll.
A couple of the more common questions are:
- What do I do if I don’t have a partner? We wrote a blog post about that!
- Are you allowed to take breaks? Yes, of course. As many as you need.
- Is it Gi or No-Gi? It can be either or both, if you want to split the time.
The great thing about Global Grappling Day is the flexibility to have it fit whatever you want the hour to look like. There are no referees or judges there to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. This is a self imposed challenge to fundraise on behalf of Tap Cancer Out and push yourself to be active for an hour. Unless you’re a pro-athlete or the Energizer bunny, you probably can’t roll hard for an hour straight with zero breaks. If you do happen to be that type of cardio fiend, more power to you and you probably don’t need to put much thought into how the hour will go. You might just be looking to see how many times you can submit each other in the hour. For the rest of us mortals, there are plenty of options to make the day suit our needs and goals.
1. Split Up the Round
If you know you’ll need breaks, you can plan ahead of time with your partner to split the hour into two half hour rolls, three twenty minute rolls, four fifteen minute rolls or as many small blocks of time as you need to get through it.
2. Do Some Flow Rolling First
This is a great opportunity to work on your flow rolling. You might be used to rolls in class where people are at full intensity and like to go for the kill the whole time. This is particularly common in lower belts who don’t have as much technique to rely on, so compensate with strength and energy. Flow rolling doesn’t focus on “winning” which seems to be the goal of a lot of people in class sparring. Instead, it is an exchange of techniques. It is about working on your movements and transitions, not forcing anything and not resisting your opponent’s movements. Most of the time you catch and release submissions instead of fully locking them in and waiting for the tap. When you get to a dominant position like mount or back control, you don’t try to hold it the whole time. Instead let your partner work to escape and progress through positions until they are in a dominant position. It’s this back and forth flow that helps open up your game, get creative, and try new techniques.
3. Focus On Specific Aspects of Your Game
This could be a time for you to work on weak parts of your game. You could break it down into time blocks where you work on takedowns, then guard passes, then sweeps, or whatever else you want to work on. It can be a time to drill techniques with different levels or resistance from your partner. This type of intentional and targeted training can really help your game progress to the next level and can be more productive than just free rolling for an hour with no goals in mind.
4. Just Have Fun!
You can also try to focus on making this a time for fun. An hour is a long time to roll. You can try out fun new guards and submissions. Try to make up new moves or try that 360 flying omoplata you saw on Instagram. If you are trying some flashy moves, make sure to record it and share it with us!
When it comes down to it, there are really no restrictions to what your hour roll will look like. Raise some money for a good cause, challenge yourself during the hour, and have some fun!
And of course, if you haven’t registered yet, go do that now at globalgrapplingday.com!