Drilling in BJJ is one of the most important things you’ll need to do on your BJJ journey. Here are the reasons why.
When it comes to doing something new like jiu-jitsu, many of us admire the way that people before us make the thing or activity look so easy. Many of us fail to recognize how much work and training goes in before it looks that easy.
In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, there are so many cool things that you can do as you go through your BJJ journey. But all those things start with consistency and DRILLING.
Me myself during my 10+ years of training jiu-jitsu, I also have to remind myself that drilling is important. Because I’m your black girl BJJ bestie, here are some reasons why drilling in BJJ is important.
1) Developing Muscle Memory
The saying “Practice makes perfect” is completely wrong. The saying should be “Practice makes permanent” which is where muscle memory comes into play. The more your body performs a technique, the more muscle memory you’ll gain. This muscle memory is especially important when it comes to competitions and when you feel that your life is in danger. You don’t want to be thinking about how to escape from bottom mount for 15 years when you should be doing it in .15 seconds.
2) Refining Techniques and Moves
Going along with the idea of muscle memory and making great technique permanent, you want to make sure that you’re doing moves correctly. Drilling a technique during BJJ training instead of trying to go super Saiyan every time you roll helps your techniques be seamless and clean. You can always work it from both sides, different situations and entrances, and pay attention to your angles and body placement to make sure everything goes through nicely.
3) Consistency and Reproducibility
How many times have you been in a position where your knowledge or resources have been called into question? In these situations, you always want to prove the person who is calling you out wrong with facts and “receipts” as the kids say. Drilling when you’re doing BJJ does just that. If you’ve trained a technique multiple times, your knowledge of the technique will speak for itself. You will be able to reproduce the technique in any situation and have your BJJ skills improve tenfold.
4) Problem Solving in Certain Positions
The more you drill, the more you’ll be able to see problems coming from a mile away. Drilling set-ups to certain techniques will help you to take on common problems from certain positions. Also keep in mind that your opponent will be fighting back against you so once you’ve figured out their response to what you’re doing, you’ll be able to counter counters and do everything you need to do to be better. This is also especially important in competitions.
5) Conditioning Your Body for BJJ
The best exercise you can do to condition your body for BJJ is BJJ. Drilling can be done at different speeds and different intensities so you can “get your cardio up”. Drilling helps improve your stamina and endurance. Not only will your muscles get memory, but they will get muscley because you’re doing something that is labor intensive. Plus, overall, you’re moving your body and when it comes to your health, this is super important.
How Often Should I Drill BJJ Techniques?
Every day. Next question.
But in all seriousness, you should be drilling as often as you can. Some of the best ways to drill is by doing what you did during your jiu-jitsu class after class so you can review and remember what you did. You can also drill during open mats. This is a great opportunity to roll and then go through positions you had trouble with by drilling with the partner that caught you in that position. Also, don’t forget to write things down when you train so you can combine the physical with the mental.
You don’t need to roll at 1000% every day. Breaking up your training with equal hard rolls and drilling weekly will give you a chance to practice techniques and put them into action. I can definitely always drill more and I implore you all to do the same.
Do you feel that you drill enough? Why or why not? Let’s talk about it on my Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj