The well known and often overused Bruce Lee quote states, “ I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” While BJJ is not about kicks, it is about repetition in your movements, submissions, sweeps, and escapes. Some people when they train they pick up a move on the first try, but that is not everyone and BJJ is a game of inches. This means the move must be done technically sound so that you do not allow your opponents any way of reversing the move on you. This is where the idea of drilling to win comes from.
I am not advocating using the book by Andre Galvao called Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Jiu-Jitsu, but the sentiment of using drilling to improve your game is important. All people that train in this sport know that practical application in a live role is the place that will ultimately determine if you can do a move or not, but getting the logistics of a move down pat is the only way you can pull off a move in a live roll anyways.
Drilling can be something as basic as an armbar from guard or single arm guard pass, or it could be as difficult as a sweep from De la Riva or X-guard. You can choose which drills are going to help enhance your game the best. I am a fan of two very different ways of drilling. First, I like to use drills in other workouts that will enhance your game but do not require a partner. This could be like rolling over your shoulder, doing Ab workouts that imitate sweeps, or drilling hip escapes from knee on belly. These put a form of muscle memory into your body which will make something reaction when you do it in competition. Plus, using extra workouts to imitate moves in BJJ strengthens the muscles you use making your sweeps and submissions all that much tighter and stronger.
The second way I am a fan of drilling is to put myself in situations I am not comfortable in and forcing myself to work through them. The specifics of this type of drilling will be gone over in the next article in this series, but there is one other type of drilling most people are familiar with. Speed drilling is putting a time limit on yourself and forcing yourself to do a move as many times in that time. This engrains a move into your mind so that you pull it off like breathing, it just happens. It is one of the more basic forms of drilling but also one of the most effective. Drilling, at the end of the day, is the one way you can work your way through difficult moves over and over again until they become habit, and when you can stop thinking you can start moving.