Drills for Success

3 min read
The basics, fundamental, training methods may be boring at times, but they pay immense dividends in the future… be strong and press on

Drills for Success

The basics, fundamental, training methods may be boring at times, but they pay immense dividends in the future… be strong and press on

Moose Jaw, Canada

It has been said by Rener Gracie that approximately 90% of white belts don’t make it to blue belts, and only 1% go on to black belts. That means that 99% of blue belts never reach black belt, and the reason is rather simple: Jiu-Jitsu is “complex and demoralizing (Rener Gracie, 2016).” If you do Jiu-Jitsu, there is a 100% chance that you have been humbled by it. And if you are a white or blue belt, it is safe to say you are struggling. 

Focus on Training Methods

When we interviewed ADCC Champion Demian Maia, black belt under Fabio Gurgel, he had a lot to say when it came to practical advice for struggling white and blue belts. “Training methods; that is what I focus a lot on nowadays,” Maia says, “techniques are very important, but they are kind of naturally developed inside of Jiu-Jitsu.” He notes that there is always something to improve when it comes to training methods, and within that, drilling is key. Specifically, drilling the fundamentals. And not just one kind of drilling, Maia says that practicing different kinds of drilling is critical. With or without resistance and situational drilling are all important. How you train and how much you train will make all of the difference. While rolling is vital to your Jiu-Jitsu game, without drilling, you will find that your game is lacking. 

Fundamentals are the Foundation

While it is easy and fun to get caught up online checking out flashy techniques where someone goes flying over their partner’s head and lands in kimura grip in spectacular fashion, we need to remember that the fundamentals are basic and effective. Being proficient at the basics from closed guard, passing guard, side control, knee on belly, mount and back position is essential and relevant. The highest submission rates are typically found to be fundamental techniques. Sensational moves have their place, but the fundamentals are the foundation of your Jiu-Jitsu knowledge. And while technique does matter, it’s primarily about repeating the technique an obsessive number of times. If the moves and options for techniques are endless, it ultimately comes down to how much time you spend in that one particular position. Varying your drilling style is key – obviously, practicing a technique with a willing, non-resistant partner is entirely different than having your training partner offer some resistance. Both of these should be explored in-depth, including situational matches where you can begin in the position you have been drilling and attempt to follow that path with someone fighting against you as though you were rolling at full strength. These differing drilling styles, along with consistency, will help hone your skills and elevate your Jiu-Jitsu game. 

Consistency and Persistency = Improvement

While a majority of white and blue belts will never advance in Jiu-Jitsu, if you have the ambition to train regularly and drill obsessively, you can go further than you initially thought possible. But it takes discipline, showing up, and putting in that mat time. There are no shortcuts. With consistent and persistent drilling, your chances of improving your game and feeling good about where you are at in your Jiu-Jitsu journey are looking a lot better. 

…Now, let’s hit the mats and DRILL!

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