How They Roll (At PSLPB)

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PSLPB is one of the best BJJ teams in the world, especially for rooster & light feather categories.

I wrote a while ago about one of the most important lessons I learned at PSLPB when I trained there between Feb – early July in 2016.

​This lesson condenses into one phrase – “Don’t stop.”

I haven’t talked much about what it’s like to train at PSLPB in my emails.

So, today…

I’ll write a bit about what their 10:30 am competitor training sessions were like.

Except… there’s nothing “special.” People there just train hard.

A typical session goes like this:

Most people are there on time, warming up on their own.

Before the session starts, almost everyone reserves their desired sparring partners.

I guess many of them schedule up to the 4-5th round or even further.

You can ask anyone to roll with you regardless of your/their belt. This really depends on the gym, but I suppose a general (unwritten/sometimes written) BJJ etiquette is that you don’t ask your seniors to roll with you. I don’t care about it, though. At PSLPB, this wasn’t the case.

The funny thing is, everyone was calling everyone else “mestre” (master/teacher/sensei) at PSLPB regardless of their ranks.

When the clock hits 10:30, sparring starts. There were usually about 10 black belts, 10 brown belts, and 20 purple belts in a single session. So, about 20 pairs would be rolling at once.

The first round is over after 6 minutes. Then you have 30 seconds to find your next partner, whom you probably agreed to roll with already.

Then basically, you repeat this process until 12:00. That’s about 14 rounds.

You are not allowed to sit out and rest unless you got injured.

So… again, it’s rather simple. You try your best against some of the best BJJ guys & girls in Brazil for 1 hour and a half, without much rest during intervals.

Most folks at these competition sessions tend to be super technical and physically strong.

They are not going to go easy on you unless they decide you’re a rest round. But the thing is, if they decide you’re someone they can go easy on, that means there’s a vast skill disparity… meaning YOUR round will be just as brutal and hellish, though their round may become easy.

If you are weak, you’ll be smashed and destroyed with no mercy.

But if you can take a beating like that regularly (many can’t), you can learn a lot… your overall BJJ skills will improve for sure.