I’ve been doing a lot of live training in jiu jitsu lately with everyone from white to black belt, learning little details the “hard way”. I’m finding that these sessions (especially the long ones of 1, 1.5, 2 hours) have been extremely beneficial in teaching me several things:
- To relax under pressure (being stacked, choked, etc)
- Take advantage of the space and chaos in transitions
- Control position against an opponent that’s going 80-100% (mount, side control, x-guard, etc)
- Apply pressure
- Discovering new positions, new styles, new techniques, and how to apply the fundamentals of jiu jitsu in all those cases
But as a blue belt, I feel I haven’t been getting enough drilling in. I’m talking about several types of drilling. First, and foremost, is the type of drilling that you do in the instruction part of a jiu jitsu class where you practice a technique. There are about 2-5 techniques from every major position that I like but get little or no practice with. In class, we’ll get about 5-10 minutes a technique, and with an active partner I’ll get 10-20 reps in. That’s great, but it’s not enough. It’s been difficult to find a willing partner, or rather I haven’t tried. I’ll try to ask people in open mat or arrange to meet some of my jiu jitsu / judo friends outside practice to drill.
Another type of drilling that I can definitely do more of is solo drills that improve flexibility, balance, strength, speed, power, etc. There are a lot of good suggestions in a popular book that I got recently (right when it came out) by Andre Galvao. I’ll probably be doing a bunch of posts on the drills in this book as I build a program of drills that works well for me.