BJJ Progress Plan Part 3: Intentional Drilling

Our third segment of the BJJ Progress Plan is written by HYPERFLY ambassador and purple belt no-gi world champion, Pablo Perez. Pablo is a dedicated BJJ competitor and has found success in competition through mindful and intentional drilling sessions. 

He explains the benefit of structuring your drilling with intention, and exactly how to get the most out of every session. Once you’ve learned his methods try applying them into a routine with the previous suggestions from parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 explains how to self-analyze to expose your weaknesses, and part 2 explains how to build an improvement process around fixing these weaknesses. Now, you can take what Pablo offers and apply it directly to a drilling session to improve.

Let’s continue to work!

Intentional Drilling

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

This is by far one of the most important quotes that any martial artist should live by. It is easy to defend countless techniques that are executed in a sloppy manner, but the real danger comes from a single technique that is methodically set-up and applied. 

Jiu jitsu is one of the most technical sports, with a variety of moves from all positions, and many more to be explored. Although that is a great aspect of our art, athletes need to set time apart to refine their skill set through repetitions.

If your gym offers competition training, make time to be there at least three times a week. Competition training is structured around intensive drilling and training. There is usually little to no technique. If your gym doesn't offer comp training, or you simply want to become a deadly assassin, get yourself a good training partner and breakdown your favorite techniques. 

However, it is not enough to just find the time to drill, but to drill with intent. The intent of drilling is to transform your game into muscle memory, keep you a step ahead, and to make it feel realistic. 

 

Here is a great way to structure your drilling sessions in order to avoid it from becoming dull. A typical drilling session can begin with a couple hundred reps of any given technique to ingrain it into your brain and muscle fibers. Then, go through every possible position - stand up, sweeps, passes, submissions, escapes, leglocks, etc. Go through sequences that flow through realistic situations that you encounter in practice and in competition. 

The more you drill through sequences and partner reactions the better prepared you'll be for the possibilities in a live situation. None of your opponent's reactions will be something you haven't seen already. 

After getting a good sweat you can combine drilling with sparring. For example, if you're doing takedowns then you can spar at 60% -but only spar takedowns, no ground work. You can do this with every position like playing guard, working only sweeps and submissions.

 This is a great way to try these techniques with realistic defense, and the best part about it is that if you are able to successfully hit any of these moves on your drilling partner, who should know what's coming, then you're probably getting pretty good at it and can hit it in training or competition.

If you incorporate this type of intentional drilling to your training I guarantee that in competition you won't have to think twice before a move is locked in.

The gentle art is getting more technical and more efficient. It's no longer enough to be the strongest or to simply train everyday. The majority of BJJ athletes are not setting time apart to drill. It's all about ‘Porrada.’

If you want to stand out from the majority then act differently. Drill as many reps as you can with intention and your techniques will flow effortlessly when you compete.

Read part 1 and part 2 of the BJJ Progress Plan.
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