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Roll, Don’t Troll
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Roll, Don’t Troll

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There’s something peaceful about rolling. 

And, yes, I’m very aware that “peaceful” is a strange word to use to describe simulated combat.  But I chose that word deliberately. Everyone is immersed in their own roll, and no one is concerned with anyone else’s business.

To me, this is a welcome change from the rest of life, where everyone has to worry about what other people think of them.

When you’re rolling, everyone else is rolling, too, so they’re not paying any attention to you.  You don’t have a boss expecting your expense report. You don’t have a spouse nagging you about painting the house or when dinner will be on the table.  You’re not worried about impressing your friends or whether wearing your favorite cargo shorts will mortify your easily embarrassed teenager.  

So much of life feels like a performance for other people’s benefit.  We put on a fake face when we deal with our boss or the office today. We exaggerate the events in our life to impress our friends.  We try to be the perfect spouse or the cool parent because—even with the people we are closest to—we are worried about gaining or keeping their approval.

But rolling is a world of its own.  You are what you are. There’s no opportunity or necessity for putting on a mask.  There’s no way to exaggerate during a roll. Plus, everyone is wearing the same outfit as you, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing (unless you’re the stinky-gi guy).  

If you have to tap, so what?  Everyone will have to tap at some point, so no one will hold it against you.

Rolling may leave me tired, but it’s nowhere near as exhausting as all of the masks I have to wear during a normal day.

That’s why I don’t understand why so many people feel compelled to put on masks and spend their free time as social media trolls.  Don’t these people get enough of this in their real lives?

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Even in groups dedicated to BJJ on social media, I’m amazed and dismayed by the number of people who feel the need to don a tough-guy mask and trash other people.  Considering how genuine, friendly, and generous my teammates are, I expect better from the folks representing BJJ on social media.

But there’s something about being watched that brings out the worst in us.  On social media—just as in real life—we know people are watching us, so our worry makes us act differently.  We become self-conscious and debate our every act or word. And we inevitably start to exaggerate. And overcompensate.

I understand why people overcompensate.  But, geesh, it’s exhausting.  

Especially for people in the BJJ community—people who’ve had a taste of the freedom that comes during a roll—I just don’t get why they would rush to put on another mask.

I’m making a simple request: if you’re part of a BJJ community on social media, drop the mask.  Stop worrying about scoring points at someone else’s expense. If you can’t say something nice, keep your fingers off the keypad.

Let’s make our social media communities as friendly as our academies.

 

Check out Gordon’s “Systematically Attacking the Guard”, and while you are at it, you should probably pick up “Getting Swole As A Grappler” his complete meal plan and workout strategy that allowed him to pack on insane amounts of muscle and functional strength.  Besides, does anyone not want to be shredded? Yeah…. Didn’t think so.

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