June 2, 2024

Why Rolling Hard is Killing Your Progress

Rolling hard can severely hinder your progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), a point highlighted by Firas Zahabi during his conversation with Joe Rogan. To illustrate this, let's consider two practitioners with different training approaches.

The Hard Roller

One practitioner trains three days a week, rolling intensely every session as if it’s his last. This approach prioritizes explosive power and aggression over technique and control.

The Technical Roller

The other practitioner trains five days a week, focusing on light rolling and technique during most sessions, and only going hard in two sessions. This approach emphasizes skill development, control, and learning.

The Outcome

By the end of the month, the practitioner who emphasizes technique and lighter rolling will likely have:

  • More Training Sessions: Consistent, injury-free training allows for greater overall practice time.
  • Fewer Injuries: Reduced intensity decreases the risk of injuries, leading to more uninterrupted training.

In contrast, the practitioner who rolls hard every session will probably experience:

  • Fewer Training Sessions: Injuries and fatigue from constant high-intensity rolling reduce the number of sessions they can attend.
  • More Injuries: Increased intensity leads to a higher risk of injuries, which can further limit training time.

Comparison to Boxing

Just like in boxing, where sparring hard every day can cause brain damage and shorten a fighter’s career, in BJJ, sparring hard and going crazy can have similar detrimental effects. Rolling hard frequently:

  • Increases Injury Risk: Higher intensity leads to more frequent injuries, shortening your training career.
  • Hinders Technical Development: Focus on explosiveness over technique results in slower skill progression.


In conclusion, while rolling hard occasionally can be beneficial, consistently doing so can kill your progress in BJJ. Prioritizing technique, control, and injury prevention through lighter rolling and focused practice sessions will lead to greater long-term success and sustainability in the sport.