I stumbled on the following video blog post from Jordon Shultz. He is training with Team Lloyd Irvin and one of his old teammates, Alec Baulding, visited to join in on the hard training.
I know very little about Jordon Shultz except that he is a huge proponent of drilling. In particular what caught my attention is his mention that he just got done with the morning session of drilling 500 reps of his favorite techniques.
That’s the general training pattern I see among many top level competitors, from the up-and-coming purple and brown belts such as Gianni Grippo to the well-accomplished black belts such as Rodolfo Vieira:
- 3 sessions a day.
- 1-2 of the sessions each day are focused on drilling.
- 1 session is focused on hard training, probably because your body can only take so much hard training. Rodolfo Vieira for example doesn’t train hard every day. Some he goes lighter. Nonstop intensity works for many, but not for everyone.
Obviously, amateur jiu jitsu athletes such as myself can’t afford to train 3 times a day, but there is a lot to be learned from the emphasis these guys put on drilling. They are not screwing around either. A drilling session is 1-2 hours of hard drilling of your main techniques, especially as you get closer to competition. I drill a lot (just very basic moves), in fact, more than training, but I definitely don’t do 1-2 hour hard drilling sessions where I get 500 reps in. That’s definitely something I would love to work up to as I progress in the sport.
It takes the right kind of partner to make that happen. The more obsessed you are with drilling, the easier you are to drill with. I find that regular competitors make for the best drilling partners, because stuff they drill is what they have and will be using in competition. They have an urgency and obsession about the drilling process that makes it work smoothly. And it needs to work smoothly if you want to do many sessions of one hour or more a week.
If you want to get good faster, it’s your job to put the reps in somewhere, somehow, sometime.