Does your Gym teach safety classes to roll Properly?
Safety is a key roll in the survival and growth of a gym. At Carlson Gracie Castle Rock we try to teach a safety class at least once a month or every other month. As new students sign up almost every day, its important to teach them to start and stay on the correct path. Reminding students daily to keep their egos in check is of utmost importance. Jiujitsu is a journey of not only learning new mat skills but also learning who you are as a person and a competitor. We make sure to let our students know the fight is not in the gym but it is in the tournament scene. Taking care of your training partners is of #1 concern. Without training partners there is no growth in the end.
Professors and coaches should always be observing whom training partners are pairing themselves with. In addition, Professors and coaches should know which students like to train harder and have the most strength. We believe the students that train harder and have the most strength should be taught to flow roll and let others work as well. Higher ranking students should already have been groomed to take extra care of the new students and to not scare them off. We believe jiujitsu is a “Team” sport. One cannot learn jiujitsu by themselves.
Teaching safety classes sets a precedent from day 1 to new students. There is absolutely no reason anyone’s safety should be jeopardized. Also letting students know that accidental injuries do happen and how to deal with certain injuries is very important. Distinguishing the difference between a joint lock and a blood choke should also be highly discussed. Going through all the different areas of joint locks such as wrist locks, shoulder locks, elbow locks, knee and ankle locks should be discussed consistently.
Here are some of the key areas we try to focus on and demonstrate.
-Teaching and demonstrating to your students the importance of learning to flow roll. This can take years for some students to learn.
-Demonstrating knee on belly safety, proper pressure, and utilization.
-Discussing and demonstrating the dangers of reaping your partner’s leg. Also discussing which tournaments allow reaping.
-Demonstrating how to properly twist the body when under pressure to prevent ribs from getting injured.
-Demonstrating the proper way to apply pressure to wrist locks. Wrist locks can be very dangerous because they are a highly effective submission.
-Leg entanglement safety is very important to learn from day one. Most do not understand how important it is to work your way out slowly and technically of leg entanglements. One should not simply try to explode out of them.
-Lock down safety. Demonstrating consistently the importance of utilizing and how strong the lock down is. Again, one should never explode out of a lockdown as it can injure the knee.
-Demonstrating how to apply heel hooks and how to slowly apply pressure. Tell your students to release the heel hook after setting the submission. Heel hooks done incorrectly or applied quickly can do a lot of damage.
-Teaching toe hold safety pressure. Toe holds are a very effective submission as the foot bone is not very strong. It’s easy to tear ligaments in the foot with only a minimum amount of pressure.
-Straight ankles are not typically that dangerous and most of the time your partner has plenty of time to tap. If you go belly down on your partner with a straight ankle it can be very powerful. Applying pressure slowly is the best way to go.
-When applying pressure to the opposite de la riva leg, one should not kick at the knee joint as it can cause injury. During drilling and roll time, minimum pressure should be applied to the knee or the upper thigh to push the leg taking away your partners balance.
-The Kimura is a powerful shoulder joint lock that can do a lot of damage. This submission should be demonstrated and discussed quite often on how to properly apply it in class. Some students may have flexible shoulders and some may not.
-Teaching your students not to crank each others face in order to get the submission is good etiquette. Technically sinking in a choke is more important.
-Be sure every student in your gym understands and knows how to properly execute a break fall. Even the higher rank students sometime need to revisit this.
-Keeping your fingers and toes safe. Demonstrating how to properly grip the gi collar, sleeve and pants can prevent injuries. It is important to stay on your students about proper gripping for safety and tournament rule set.
-Be sure to stress to your students about grabbing fingers to remove submissions or in general. Stressing that only the hand, palm or wrist should be grabbed. Something like grabbing a minimum of 4 fingers at once can be ok.
-Jumping guard during class should be taught but not allowed in the gym during rolls. Students should be aware of this technique for tournaments. It is important to teach how to safely jump guard and how to properly reacted to be sure injuries do not occur.
There are so many countless safety techniques that we go over on a daily basis. Please make sure your gym teaches safety techniques at all time.
-Carlson Gracie Castle Rock
Published: June 3, 2022