Establish Discipline & Mastery with Drill Repetition


 Drills are A Core Training Element of Any Sport

I want you to rank the activities from 1 to 5. 1 being your most enjoyed experience, and the latter being the least. Cardio, circuits, drills, stretching, and sparring. While most BJJ practioners and (especially black belts) will agree, drilling is difficult. It is mind numbing and repetitive, and unbearably boring. Some will definitely fail to appreciate the value of drills, but here’s my personal story.

Back in 2009, I joined my very first No Gi tournament. It was an unforgettable experience, but I lost terribly. Going back to the drawing board (I may lack the physical attributes, or the genetic make up, I am good in reflecting) I wrote a list of things that I was good at, or where the entire disconnect could be found. Cross checking that amount of time I spent in cardio, sparring, vs. the doing the drills. My opponent was able to submit me on his guard. It dawned on to me that it’s a rather simple submission. Passing the guard would have been easy if I only did the drills. Looking back, I only did 30% of the drills in my 6 months of training. Technically speaking, I would have only done less than 2 months of training with the amount of effort exerted.

Ladies and gentlemen, one of the core training values of any sport are drills. Here is what professor Marcio Feitosa has to say about it.

Because having a good escape, proper armbar and good hip throws form all are very complex movements and have very specific components to them, it is impossible to try and do everything perfect at once. Doing drills helps you to break down a complex movement into simple steps that can be learned. When doing a drill make sure you focus on just one component or a small portion of the movement. Once you have completed a drill enough times you’ll be able to perform Jiu-Jitsu techniques automatically and even put several different complex techniques and transitions together.

What Drills Can Do?

Scientifically, it establishes the base memory retention, or muscle memory. Muscle memory is almost, near automatic reaction to a stimuli. The repetitive motion of stroking the queue by pool players creates the muscle memory. Their brains are able to master and perform the shots, with the right amount of force, spin on the balls and dead eye accuracy.

Drills will establish discipline. The point at which drills become boring can be the most challenging and the most fulfilling. It is because at that point, the body has repetitively grown tired with the movements. That is when you tell your head to stop thinking and just push through.

Drills establish mastery. Mastery is the highest form of learning. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, your mastery of a move can spell between getting submitted, or submitting someone.

Drills will make help convert fear into confidence. Pulling off a move in a tournament with confidence is a sure fire way to succeed in it!

Remember that most people become tired of drills because they are not breathing right. Learn to pace your breathing. I have seen students go into panic while doing drills. This is because again the breathing is not right.

Everybody should change their mindsets about drills. Here is where learning begins and habits are established! 😀



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