Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms follow the same routine: warm-up, drill, then roll.
According to Coach Tom from the Grappling Academy, this has yielded tremendous results. But some are calling to get rid of all the techniques and simply roll.
Is this a good idea?
Probably not. If you roll, you’re going to get stronger, and you’re probably going to get better at the moves you know. However, your skill set isn’t going to expand.
On the other extreme are those black belts who say you shouldn’t roll at all; just drill. Coach Tom doesn’t recommend this path either. Much like the karate practitioner who has done nothing but katas from white belt to black belt, this person is probably going to get beaten down even by beginner level boxer.
So what does Tom recommend? Pretty much what most gyms do — a warm-up, drilling, then live rolling. However, he does not recommend much free rolling. Instead, he says that most of his rolling time consists of positional sparring.
Drilling is also incredibly important. At least 50 percent of his time goes to drilling.
You can watch Coach Tom’s entire talk on drilling vs rolling below: