Walk into a typical Jiu Jitsu class and tell me what you see. Students warming up with exercises that may or may not be related to the techniques that day, practicing some techniques that may or may not be related to each other. Finally, everyone’s favorite part of class – live sparring or rolling. Often, the higher the belt rank, the more of a class a practitioner feels he or she can skip. The cliché is the purple belts that skip warm-ups. And by the time some students reach brown belt, they’re skipping techniques all together.
Unless an academy has a glut of upper-belts, it’s difficult to reach the threshold where having an advanced class can be sustained, forcing experienced practitioners to get their technical repetitions through sparring alone. If this sounds familiar to you, you probably need to incorporating more drilling in your training. Many schools are moving away from the “move of the day” model described above, and have a more structured curriculum with defined bench marks to gauge student progress. Additionally, a renewed emphasis on drilling has reached the mainstream of Jiu Jitsu practice.
Drilling is vital for the development of a Jiu Jitsu athlete. Particularly for the advanced belts, where the difference in the success or failure of a technique is often a minute detail or a fraction of a second in timing. Of course, sparring, technical development, strength training and conditioning all play major roles in an athlete’s success, but drilling is one of the often-overlooked elements of training that anyone can do more of to improve.
Andre Galvao on the importance of drilling