Today I want to talk about how to drill techniques properly. We are going to specifically look at this in relation to ground or grappling techniques but many of the concepts translate well to standing techniques as well.
Phase 1: Introductory
This is where you are first exposed to a particular technique or chain of techniques. You and your partner need to concentrate on performing the technique/s exactly as taught. Your partner should offer no resistance at this stage. Practice should be slow and smooth, concentrating on correct execution of the small details (the small details will often be the deciding factor if the technique will work for you or not!). Do not leave anything out, a small detail left out may well make the technique not work for you when there is resistance or in live grappling. Only when you feel you know all the parts should you move on to phase 2:
Phase 2: Isolation
You should drill the technique similar to phase 1, but at various steps along the way have your partner test your balance and control. Can they easily escape? Can they roll or unbalance you? The resistance your partner offer should be low (30%) and only at locations where you are most likely to be unbalances or have the least amount of control over them. If your partner does manage to escape, roll or unbalance you, correct your posture and grips until you remain in control. Adopt these changes into your technique.
Phase 3: Increased Resistance
At this stage your partner should now start to offer some resistance during practice, all the way thought the technique. Start with a low level of resistance (30%). Once again if you find yourself being unbalanced, rolled or cannot control your partner as well as you would like make further minor corrections as required to maintain your balance and control. Remember it’s likely a small part of the technique that you are missing or not doing correctly that will make the difference. Once you’re able to perform the technique at 30% increase to 50% and repeat. Once you’re able to perform the technique at 50% increase to 70% and repeat the process. Never drill above 80% as anything above this level is live grappling. Remember to drop back to phase 1 and 2 once and a wile to make sure you have all the right parts in the right sequence. Working fast, using all your strength or too much resistance from your partner will cause your technique to suffer over the long run as these things will all cause your technique to suffer.
Phase 4: Live Grappling
This is the stage where you can now bring the technique you were learning into your live grappling matches. If you have followed the steps above the technique will now have a much higher % chance of succeeding. You can always try techniques from stage 1, 2 or 3 in live grappling but remember the chance of success will be much lower until you have followed the steps above.
As in anything cutting corners will not make anything shorter but will in fact make it longer. Many people struggle with a technique for years because they try to go from phase 1 to 4 without any real practice.
As always is you are looking for more great videos or to learn the wonderful art of jiu-jitsu please check out our web site at www.learn-jiu-jitsu-online.com.
Jamie Rickard (Sensei)
Koketsu Kai – Tiger’s Den Jiu-jitsu and Grappling
The Academy of Martial Arts
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