Preview “Keep Rolling” – The new book about all things BJJ

Get a sneak peek and read an excerpt from “Keep Rolling,” the new book by Jon Jordan about all things BJJ.

Army helicopter pilot and BJJ black belt Jon Jordan has recently released “Keep Rolling,” a not-so-serious but insightful look at the culture and art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The book is out now and available for purchase on Amazon.

To get a taste of Jordan’s book, check out this excerpt:

Article 2 Defensive rolling tactics

 Defensive driving is a common term we use to describe taking a cautious approach to operating your automobile in order to avoid traffic accidents. It means giving people space on the road and leaving yourself a margin of error when unsure about events. Let’s face it, there are a lot of psychos out there and they all seem to try to get to the same drive through as you. We can apply this principle to grappling training to save us from injuries and maybe get some extra training when we are nursing a small injury. And yes, still deal with the psychos in our lives. 

Tame the wild beast. The defensive rolling strategy really comes into play when you are rolling with an aggressive, athletic person, whom you do not have adequate skill to defeat easily. If you had enough skill, this wouldn’t be an issue, you would just beat them. As hard as that truth pill is to swallow, I know it is true. When going against this type of opponent the strategy may be defensive or the technique choice itself may be done in a defensive manner. A common game to play is to pull guard and tire your spazzy friend out by making them work super hard for a guard pass, then put them back in some kind of guard. I like to use the knees to elbows diamond method and make my opponent do mountain climbers. Then once your partner is tired, start your attack. You can usually tell when the time is right when they are breathing heavily and start taking longer pauses between movements. That is your go signal. If they have a humongous gas tank this may take the whole match and might not be much fun for you. It always stinks when the buzzer goes off just as you have mounted your glorious come back on an unsuspecting opponent. Boxers call it the “rope a dope” many Jiu Jitsu guys just call it “weathering the storm.” Also this is a very risky move for tournaments as you are even more time limited, would not recommend this unless you are in a submission only, longer format type of tournament. Safety may be the main concern here. If that overzealous training partner has injured you in the past, the defensive strategy can help you steer clear of that. 

Careful stalling. The other option is to be defensive while trying to maintain any advantages you have gained. This can lead to what is often bemoaned as “Stalling”.  A lot of times I find MMA guys will roll this way. They play a very careful game that purposefully allows them to avoid their opponent’s ability to throw strikes. This means keeping the head close, controlling arms even if there is no clear sweep or submission available and avoiding big loose movements where a scramble ensues. You can win while being defensive, but you must be careful. The MMA guys are also masters at running out the clock. Often, I have had a big dude work to pass my guard only to lock down in side-control and wait out the rest of the match there. I had a purple belt who had never passed my guard do this to me for 3 solid minutes the other day, it felt like an eternity. Stalling can be penalized in a BJJ tournament and can cause you to be stood back up in an MMA fight, but in the gym there is no ref trying to keep the action going. Big guys can lock you down and stall all they want. This is where I lose my patience and do something stupid to keep the match moving. I will feed them an arm or half a choke if I think it will allow me to escape. Unsurprisingly this has led to me getting submitted or in a worse position as a punishment for my lack of patience. I try not to stall when I am the player in good position, but I’m not gonna lie, if I’m rolling with a 250 lbs bubba and I’m on his back with a minute to go, I’m not doing anything crazy that is going to let him get one more shot at me. It is strange how when you are tired in a match, rolling around, you still have a sense of where the clock is on the wall when you look up to check the time. 

Taking a defensive strategy to carefully stall out the match can help you save some gas in the tank for the next round and avoid an injury from a last minute hail Mary submission from your opponent.  Playing the defensive game in general may be a key to long term success in the sport by avoiding time consuming injuries. When you are run down and don’t feel like training you can also tell yourself “is ok, I’ll just practice my defense tonight.” But we all know that only last until the white belt starts getting dangerously close to making you tap. Don’t skip training, defend yourself from you ego and play a new game. 

About the Book:
“Keep Rolling” serves as a captivating discussion that spans a myriad of topics, from the perennial debates surrounding training styles to the nuanced strategies and profound psychological effects inherent in martial arts practice. It is a fun read that will keep you laughing, learning, and entertained to the last round.

About the Author:
Jon Jordan is an Army Helicopter Pilot and Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is a life-long Martial Arts enthusiast and self-proclaimed “BJJ Nerd”. Jon has been training martial arts for over 16 years and holds a black belt in Wado-Ryu Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has competed in and won many local and regional level martial arts tournaments. Due to the nature of his military career, he has trained with many Professional MMA and Jiu
Jitsu competitors all over the world. Currently he trains at Combative Sports Center in Manhattan, Kansas under Sean Roberts, and Joe “The Nose” Wilk.

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Instagram at: Jon Jordan @RotorBladeSamurai

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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