When you begin going to class, you need to be aware of the fact that everyone is not on the same page as you and may not even be in the same chapter. People join jiu jitsu for different reasons and each person wants it to be as fulfilling as it can be for that reason. This factor is something to consider when choosing a school if you have specific goals and atmosphere in mind.
It is important to keep in mind that not everyone has the same goals as you. Choose your partners accordingly. When there is someone who is a high-level competitor getting ready for a competition, they want the most challenging rolls they can get. It’s important to note that you don’t have to compete to be one of their training partners. You just need to be willing to give them your best and know that they are going to bring the intensity of training for a tournament. Also, know that they are going to pick partners who are best for their training prep. Even if you might be willing, they may have other teammates that will be a better match according to their prep.
Another factor to consider is any limitations injuries of teammates. It is each person’s responsibility to communicate any concern about their body and the roll. It is also each person’s responsibility to say no to rolls from anyone who doesn’t respect your boundaries or rolls in a way that makes you feel like you might get injured. Tapping early is your own responsibility to keep your body safe. It’s great to let your partner be aware, yet you still need to tap when needed or adjust the roll.
Naturally, everyone has a different frame of mind for jiu jitsu and engaging with people in general. I’ve heard the saying that jiu jitsu is their therapy. Sometimes that works great for people and other people need to actually go to therapy. The mat time is not enough to help some of them feel better and also their behavior can cause problems for others on the mats. It is important to take accountability for yourself, yet it only works if others do as well. Jiu jitsu is something that people choose to do and get enjoyment from doing so. If someone can’t respect another’s boundaries after you have communicated with them, then you can choose not to engage with them any further. This concept is just a basic rule of thumb in any social situation or any type of relationship.
Jiu jitsu is suppose to be fun for everyone, so make sure you communicate anything important to your partners. It is on you if you expect others to know any limitations, if you are prepping for a tournament, etc. It is also on you to set boundaries if needed and to make decisions based on your goals and safety. The majority of the time I let people know, they are happy to make any adjustments. If they can’t, then there are plenty others who can. If you are aware of people’s differences, then it will make everyone’s journey better. We all want to with happy with our time on the mats and enjoy jiu jitsu as much as possible.