Enhance Your Game: Rolling Blind

Enhance Your Game: Rolling Blind

In the sport of BJJ, most people freeze up when they see their opponent going for a submission, a pass, or doing a move they have never seen. Worse than freezing up, sometimes they try to strength out of the position which only creates more problems. The best way to get over these fears and get back to practicing proper technique is to roll blind which means rolling with your eyes closed.

I am half blind and have always rolled with my eyes closed to protect the only eye I see out of from fingers and toes, and one thing my coaches have told me is that I am very aware of how to use my body and do not tense up when in bad situations. Reversely, when I have rolled with my eyes open I can feel my self tense up when mounted and especially when someone is on my back. I attribute this lack of fear, I will not call it confidence, due to me rolling with my eyes closed.

The way it works is easy. However you start off, you want to start off with your eyes closed until you end up in whatever position you are in when you lock up with your opponent. From there you close your eyes and start working your game. You have to react to how your opponent is moving his body rather than trying to see what he is doing. This will allow you to feel how someone moves as the set up a guard pass or armbar, so when you cannot see someone do those things you know how their body contorts just off feeling. Rolling like this will make you better able to defend since you can rely on your sense of feeling to become an extension of your seeing.

Also, this type of rolling helps when you are on the attack. Say you constantly get rolled over when passing guard. Well, using you sense of touch, instead of sight, you can feel how you are moving your body and focus on when you make the mistake that leads to you to ending up on your back. When applying a submission, you will not freak out as your opponent trashes to escape and can focus on applying the technique correctly to finish the fight.

To me, rolling with my eyes closed is a sort of meditation while rolling. Everything is dark, you are not talking, and you are just enjoying the flow of the roll. Nothing outside of controlling, passing and submitting worries you. This is not to say that you always have to roll with your eyes closed, but it is just another way to enhance your game.

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