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Rolling over your shoulder is one of the fundamental movements in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
What is Rolling?
Rolling is when you roll over your shoulder, or roll forward over your shoulder.
The funny thing is that BJJ is also called “Rolling”. You call up your buddies and you say, “Hey man, you want to roll with me today?” That means Jiu Jitsu, we’re going to go and we’re going to roll and we’re going to train Jiu Jitsu.
So it is critical that you understand how to roll. Today I’m going to demonstrate how to roll over your shoulder safely and effectively.
How to Roll
First, I am going to start on my back. Let’s say that I’m going to roll over my right shoulder.
1) I’m going to extend my right arm.
2) I’m going to look at my right arm.
3) I’m going to lift my feet, thus lifting my hips, off the ground while staring at my arm.
4) Then I roll backwards over my shoulder.
Notice this has nothing to do with my neck, and nothing to do with the back of my head.
I am extending my arm, and kicking over my shoulder. My head and neck never touch the floor.
BJJ Basics: Rolling Forward
I want to turn my body, my shoulders, into a barrel. Barrels roll on their side.
1) I’m going to pick a line on the mat that I want to roll along.
2) I’m going to bring my right forearm through my legs along that line.
3) I’m going to drag my shoulder through my legs, as if I am hugging a barrel and trying to scratch the back of my head.
4) I reach underneath my hip, trying to scratch the back of my head, and I roll forward.
My head never touches the mat, thus keeping my neck safe.
This is rolling, an essential movement pattern for Jiu Jitsu.