BJJ DRILLS AT HOME
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly systematic combat sport that requires athletes to train hard, and train repetitively. Learning the art involves using concentration, consistency, and putting in extra training outside of an athlete's academy.
What this article covers:
Maximising an athlete's time inside their academy is how they can build a strong foundation of technical movements, but this is a concept that can only take an athlete so far. To be successful, and to achieve a world class level, athletes will need to take their training beyond the normal parameters of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. Training outside of an athlete's academy involves cross training at other schools, and training extensively at home. This means to perfect many of their jiu jitsu training drills on their own mats, and to build up a significant level of strength and conditioning.
Reaching the higher levels of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires athletes to study the art comprehensively, and this involves all aspects of grappling. Learning techniques is only one facet of the sport, an athlete must learn the intricacies of bjj warm up drills, how to piece their techniques together into a flow system, how to think conceptually, how to create their own style of movements that suit their body type, how to strengthen their body for battle, and how to train safely keeping injury prevention methods in mind. Drilling from home can be highly beneficial to an athlete, and this is because the more an athlete thinks about Jiu Jitsu means the better they will become at the technical systems involved.
BUILDING A TRAINING SPACE AT HOME
The only way for an athlete to exercise consistently from home, is to build a good training space at home. This is important for longevity in the sport, and all high level practitioners have their own space they can train, stretch, and build up their overall strength. Athletes will need a well ventilated space, where they can lay down at least twelve square metres of mats, ideally twenty square metres would be better, so they have enough room to spread out, and properly execute bjj movement drills. To have a good home space can go beyond just putting down the tatami mats, and athletes can add any sort of workout machines, or equipment to help them extend their ability to grow.
Kettlebells are always a good option, and this is because of their versatility with exercises, and how compact they can be. This means athletes can transport them easily if they feel like training at the park, or the beach. There are other important pieces of equipment like workout machines, and these are specifically designed to target areas that an athlete will want to improve. This could be an assault bike, a rowing machine, a bench press, or a deadlift bar, and whichever workout equipment they chose it should be used in functionality for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Resistance bands are another essential item for the home gym, as they can help tremendously with mobility, and injury prevention. It is always good to have a grappling dummy too, as this is a great way to practise techniques if the athlete has no partner to drill with.
CAN ATHLETES IMPROVE THEIR TRAINING AT HOME
All athletes need training partners, as they are essential to becoming a world class athlete. Training from home can give an athlete an extensive amount of experience, as they can master all of the movements related to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Now with the available content online from platforms like bjjfanatics.com, athletes have every technique at their fingertips. This means they can practise to become highly effective with all of their systematic movements. The downside to training from home is without a training partner they will lack the natural reaction a partner will give, so the athlete may be deficient in how they counteract an opponent's defense, or attack systems. The athlete will also lack considerable conditioning that can only be achieved from years of battling against other training partners in an academy. Athletes can get better at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training from home, but they need someone to roll with in order to reach the higher levels of the sport.
SOLO DRILLS THAT ARE GOOD FOR BJJ
Training from home can still have its elements of technical proficiency. All movements in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be trained in a solo format, it just takes discipline, and the right knowledge to be able to execute the correct movements. One of the most important drills that athletes will need to master is the hip escape, and this is because it is used to escape from bad positions, and to enhance sweeps, and submissions by increasing the angle of their body. There are two footed hip escapes, where an athlete will use their whole body to shoot their butt backwards, or the one footed hip escape, where the athlete will leave their bottom leg straight, and only use their top leg to push off the mat. Utilising both drills is important for increasing an athlete's ability to escape their hips.
The second half of the hip escape is called the hip insert. This is a maneuver that is used in conjunction with a hip escape, so that the athlete can regain the half guard, or the closed guard. When an athlete is stuck in the full mount they will use a hip escape to first clear their leg out of danger, and then perform a hip insert to thread their leg back into the half guard, or the closed guard. A good combination drill is to simply hip escape on the spot, and then hip insert back into the same position, and it is also important to practise on both sides of an athlete's body, because in a competition match the only avenue to escape may be their non dominant side. Using hip inserts as a solo drill can be extremely beneficial for an athlete, especially if they want to increase their overall ability to use guard retention within their competitive matches.
Practising inversion techniques is crucial in the modern era of grappling, and especially at the higher levels of world class competition. Using an invert can help an athlete escape from bad positions, stifle a top game athlete from passing their guard, and help to attack into dominant positions like the mount, back control, or a leg entanglement position. It may be hard to practise a berimbolo as a solo drill, but using drills like the 180 rock, and the granby roll is a good way to bolster an athlete's skill in being comfortable upside down. Once an athlete has some competency with inverting, and keeping their neck safe, they can utilise other drills to practise the berimbolo. Securing a fit ball between an athlete's legs from the seated position is a good way to start. From here the athlete will pretend the fit ball is their opponent, as they fall to their side, reaching around the side of the fit ball, before using their core to move into an inverted position. Now they will continue to keep the ball secured between their legs, as they maneuver around on their shoulders. This is a good way for an athlete to develop control with their inversion skills.
Utilising external equipment like a grappling dummy, or a boxing bag can help an athlete with more advanced solo drills. Placing the bag, or the dummy laying flat on the mat, the athlete can begin to use a series of movements. This means to start in a standing position, before using the bag to pass the guard, and secure the knee ride. From here they can use windscreen wiping techniques with their legs to hop from one side to the other, before setting into a mount position. This type of drilling can also be accompanied by adding in striking elements if the athlete was keen on Mixed Martial Arts, or just plain self defense. Drills can also be practised from the guard, as an athlete can utilise sweeping mechanisms, and technical stand up techniques to build up their guard efficiency. There are no limitations with this kind of drilling, and athletes can create any sequence of maneuvers they want to.
There are an infinite amount of solo drills that an athlete can practice from their home gym. Any movement in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be practiced as a solo drill. This means forward rolling, backward rolling, sit throughs, cartwheels, or bear crawls can all be practiced in the confines of an athlete's home gym. Utilising break falls is a good solo drill, and this is because in a real competitive match, being thrown onto the mat can be dangerous, but as long as athletes know how to fall properly they will always maintain safety within their competitive careers. Drilling at home does not just mean that an athlete will utilse grappling movements, it can also be different stretches, or yoga positions that help an athlete's posture, and ability to move with more flexibility, dexterity, and core strength. Good mobility is exactly what all students of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu need, and this is because of the rough impact the sport can have on an athlete's body. Practising mobility at home is vital for long term joint health, and so the athlete has a better range of motion, which can help with all of their technical proficiencies.
TRAINING WITH A PARTNER AT HOME
Drilling in the comfort of an athlete's own home has many pros and cons. Athletes are free to train however they want, and whichever technique they please, but if they don't have a training partner then they are limited to what they can actually achieve. Unless an athlete lives with a training partner, or one or more of their family members train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it can be hard to reap the benefits of full contact training. If an athlete does have someone they can train with at home, then all of a sudden drilling at home can be extremely effective, with an untapped potential for the athlete's to improve. Having another person to roll with, drill with, and bounce ideas off of, is highly beneficial to reaching the higher ranks of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
There are many good bjj partner drills that can be used training in a home gym. First of all having a partner means any technique they research can be drilled, so a pair of athletes can really hone in on the skills they want to acquire. Rolling together may not be drilling, but it is a great way to practise all of the techniques they have learnt in a more realistic, and practical way. Building up fundamental skills are important, and this is why practising basic drills like pummeling for under hooks, arm dragging to back takes, and stepping in and out of the guard is crucial. Securing a grip on their partners Gi pants, and practising passing maneuvers like the toreando, and the x pass can help the athlete with the fundamental building blocks to guard passing.
Having a partner to train with means they can utilise flow rolling drills. This is a slower, more calculated form of rolling, where one athlete will start by utilising any technique like a simple guard pass, and then securing the side control position. From here the athlete will allow their partner to escape, as they may use guard retention to set up a sweeping maneuver, where the other athlete will escape from the position, and set up a submission. This type of drilling is more comprehensive than athletes realise, and this is because they get to experience every position, and how to defend them. This type of drilling will also open the door to more creative thinking, which allows athletes to solve problems on the go, as they may be able to create their own avenues of technical movements.
There are other drills like setting up into an x guard, or a de la riva guard, and looking at unhooking their guard, while using inversion techniques to roll through the legs, or over to the other side of the legs, and securing the guard on the other side. These types of drills can be extremely important in helping athletes understand how to effectively control an opponent with a certain type of guard, as well as knowing how to intricately move into more vulnerable positions like an inverted guard, or a berimbolo into a back take. These types of drills can also be used with Gi lapels, and there is no limitation on what sequence of maneuvers the athlete wants to drill. All that has to happen is one athlete to practice their maneuver, while their training partner stays in a standing position, and does not apply any pressure onto their opponent's neck. This is just a drill so that when the athlete is in a real situation they have the skills needed to avert any dangers that they may face on their way, while still being able to execute the proper technique.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking: