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Saturday, March 7, 2015

BJJ Concepts: Drilling vs. Not Drilling

Hello everyone, I finished training today and had a very good conversation with my instructor as we were cleaning the mats and getting ready to leave. As those of you who are taking the time out of your days to follow my blog I hope that one thing is fairly clear... jiu jitsu is quite complex while being equally mental and physical at least. I'd even argue that it's more mental than physical.

So, if that's the case, then its a given that concepts of some kind are bound to come up. And now is that time...

I've read and watched video on the debate to whether or not drilling positional situations and submission techniques were necessary. First I will give insight into the difference for those of you who may not know the difference, then I will weigh the advantages and disadvantages only to leave you the reader to decide for yourself how, if deciding to train, will train.

Let's start with drilling, in my mind the word drilling implies breaking a sweat and intense repetition. It's usually timed like how circuit training is. A person might do positional transition drills where the objective is not to employ any finishing chokes or joint locks. The other way of drilling would implement some finishing techniques into it.

There are two things involved with jiu jitsu training that is not considered drilling, one is detailed technical instruction on any one movement or submission and the other is live sparring widely known as "rolling."

The advantages of drilling are that you will develop what I like to call "jiu jitsu cardio," and what I mean by that is, you can have really good running/weight room cardio and get completely gassed out (exhausted). The reason for this is the jiu jitsu specific bio-mechanics along with learning how to breath while doing such, and trust me breathing while running, riding a bike, or rowing is a piece of cake in comparison to breathing while doing jiu jitsu drills.

Other advantages to drilling are getting execution timing, and if you train with different body types it's even easier to figure out the timing differences per body type and getting used to successful body mechanics. You also get to pick and choose what part of the positional hierarchy to work on.The only disadvantages I can think of to only drilling is that it is not as fun as rolling and if you only drill and don't roll then you may miss out on some breakthroughs that are had through a great session of rolling. And most drilling encompasses a more lackadaisical approach to the fine "minute" details of the techniques.

The advantages to not drilling simply work on the disadvantages of drilling as far as how detail oriented the instruction is and it's just a whole lot of fun rolling. And rolling is just like competing only not quite as intense.The disadvantages to only doing repetition of techniques are that timing in relation to a more well-rounded movement is not quite there and you won't get much cardio improvement.

The disadvantages to rolling is that while it does work on cardio, it can take more of a toll on your body. It may be known as "The Gentle Art" but it's not hard to get injured rolling and if you're not careful you can run through a string of injuries and before you know it you've spent a year only able to work certain techniques and that's it.Some people prefer to pick and choose which of these training elements to partake in and others will actually implement drilling, repetition of detailed technique, and rolling into every class.

I'll be the first one to admit that there are several variables involved structuring a lesson plan that can get in the way of being able to do it all in one class. However, most of us living the jiu jitsu lifestyle have plans to do it well into old age so keeping these concepts in mind is pertinent and again it's all up to the individual on what they find important. Til next time..


“Man masters nature not by force but by understanding.” - Jacob Bronowski


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