I just had my first experience of rolling with a spazzy person for the first time and it was kind of interesting and weird.

Spazzy means crazily unpredictable. In the context of combat sports like BJJ, someone who is completely new usually freezes when it comes to rolling (sparring) time or just goes full blown spaz.

If you like watching street fight videos, you might have seen what a spaz looks like. For example, when two people who have never taken a boxing class in their life go at each other, they are throwing all kinds of crazy haymakers with poor form, fists that are not properly clenched etc.

Spazzy people everywhere….

After spending a year training in BJJ, I have never rolled with a spaz before because most of the guys in my gym have trained longer than me and even if there were new people came along, they had already trained in other form of combat sports that include sparring.

When I started, I also did not spaz, at least according to my coaches and training partners. Perhaps it was because I had trained in other forms of grappling some years ago before I stopped due to work.

Now, just last night, I finally rolled with a spaz. A completely new guy who went all out crazy during the roll. He, who is also big and strong as hell, tried everything from trying to powerbomb slam me when he was in my closed guard, pressing his fingers into my throat (still in my closed guard) to even headbutting and gouging my eye socket.

Rolling with a spaz had given me some interesting perspective on training in a combat sports.

With a spaz, you must be aware of the unpredictable. When you roll with people who train and know proper technique, you kind of know what their reaction will be. For example; when you have them in your closed guard, you know that most of the time they will try to maintain good posture and try to open your legs to pass your guard. You know what to expect and how to deal with it.

You will never know what a spaz is going to do. I surely did not expect the dude to lift me high up and try to slam me like a pizza dough when I had him in my closed guard. Luckily, I knew how to deal with the situation and managed to force him to land me safely on the ground again.

Sometimes I think that people who train in martial arts and self defense think they can easily get away in the streets just because they regularly spar well-trained people. It is not always the case.

The street is unpredictable and so is some random dude who tries to attack you. This dude on the street does not care about the rule set and regulation of your martial arts style. They just want to beat the shit out of you and in this type of situation, you want to be a savage not a martial arts practitioner or self defense expert.

Anyway, I did not blame the dude who rolled with me for being a spaz. He was totally green and did not know any better. I did not go hard on him nor try to punish him for trying to slam me and rough me up with all the headbutt and eye-gouge (some practitioner will actually punish a spaz if they keep on doing the crazy stuffs and trust me, it won’t be pretty).

I just swept him over and over again before putting some common-type submissions like the arm bar and the Ezekiel choke to show him that moving around wildly would only drain more energy out of him and made him more vulnerable.

After the roll, dude asked me for some advice because he felt like he had given everything to squash me but it did not work and I told him the same ones my coaches always told me when I first started; remember to breathe, be more chill, respect the guard and, of course, keep training.

Hans David
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Hans David

A lifestyle journalist and a student of the gentle art with Alliance Jiu Jitsu Indonesia. Subscribe to my blog for more BJJ stuffs and occasionally, some rants.
Hans David
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