Effective drilling just might be the most neglected part of most BJJ students’ training programs.
Many students would prefer to skip drilling and head straight for free rolling. I would guess for the reason that drilling can be just plain hard work!
Many BJJ black belts stress how important drilling is for the development of your jiu-jitsu, and some even ascribe a figure of 60 – 70% of your training time should be devoted to drilling.
World and ADCC Champion Andre Galvao authored an excellent book titled “Drill To Win” containing hundreds of movements and the training methodology that BJJ fighters can use to develop their jiu-jitsu in 3 main ways:
1) sports specific conditioning
2) training the body for basic movements required for moving on the ground (ex, shrimp)
3) drilling specific techniques for repetition
Today let’s talk about #3: performing repetitions of a new sweep, submission, or submission that you are looking to add into your game.
How do you drill effectively?
Get in your repetitions.
This is not the time to teach each other or stop after three reps and dissect and discuss the technique. That is a different type of training. You want to repeat the skill at the speed and precision that you would apply in real sparring. Drill that movement into muscle memory.
A few reps before talking about the UFC isn’t going to cut it. If you are performing spinning armlocks from the guard, you should be looking to bust out 10-20 consecutive repetitions before breaking.
Drill into you get fatigued.
It is easy to perform a technique smoothly when you are fresh and your body has explosiveness. But in rolling, your muscles will start to fatigue and you no longer will have the same ease of movement.
Your technique will fall apart at some point and this will provide valuable feedback to the sticking points of a technique.
When you are tired, your abs will no longer curl your body and your spinning arm lock will become difficult as your back drags the mat and creates friction.
This is where your technique fell apart. Now you have become more acutely aware of each individual portion of the technique and where you need to pay special attention when executing it.
Grab your favorite training partner and put in those reps. You will shave precious fractions of a second off of your execution and remove space that your opponent can use to escape.
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