If you do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a long enough time you will notice something. Purple Belts, Brown Belts and Black Belts arrive to class at different times, rarely at the beginning of class.
Why is this? You might ask.
There are a few reasons and it took me until purple belt (quite naturally) to realize them.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. The BJJ warmup is comprised mostly of movements replicating what we do while rolling.
We shrimp down the mat, drilling the hip escape into our neurological pathways until it becomes second nature and we are literally doing it in our sleep.
We bridge side to side to get our hips more explosive for escapes.
We do leg circles simulating windshield wiper movements and locking up triangles.
We do forward and backward rolls to get used to rolling over our shoulders for granby rolls and other escapes.
We roll sideways from shoulder to shoulder to replicate the butterfly sweep.
The list goes on and on.
By the time the BJJ practitioner has made it to purple belt, they have all of these moves mastered. Therefore the repetitious movements are not nearly as necessary for the white and blue belts who are still developing their bodies to move in particular ways that they aren’t used to.
Warm ups in general are to get the blood flowing in order to prevent injury. Injuries are fewer when the person is warmed up and sweating with adequate blood flow coursing throughout the body.
By the time you reach Purple Belt you realize that once the warm ups are finished, technique begins (not sparring, where injuries occur). So in the mind of us Purples, why should I warm up only to immediately cool down for the technique lesson, when sparring is at the end of class.
DISCLAIMER: This notion of higher belts skipping the warm up is not recommended, nor is it universal. Some academies are strict on attendance and time and some higher belts like to go through all of the motions of class. This article is to explain the mentality of the other 90% of us.
You will notice brown and black belts showing up even LATER than the purple belts! I am not one yet but I imagine it is because you have mastered the warm up moves, you have seen most of the techniques being taught and are now formulating YOUR individual Jiu-Jitsu style; which cannot be taught but must be born of practice.
Therefore some Black and Brown belts will basically show up when the sparring is about to go down.
Long story short. We have earned our right to not do forward rolls and get vertigo because we have spent years and years on the mats doing what you newer belts need to do to get where we are.
Sound good? Good. Now go shrimp back and forth down the mat white belt! OSS!
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