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Do I Need to Structure My Training?

Do I Need to Structure My Training?

The Often Overlooked Idea of Training Structure.

Lately, the words training structure have been infinitely exciting to me. In the same way a leg lockers eyes light up when he hears wedges or Ashi Garmi.

In the same fashion as it was for leg locks a number of years ago, there does not seem to be a lot of material in the Jiu Jitsu community about training structure. In my opinion, training structure has to be one of the components of growth in Jiu Jitsu along with instruction, natural ability and previous experience.

When I first started training in Jiu Jitsu, I received some good advice.  Like most good advice, I promptly ignored it. The advice was to train 80 percent of the time with people that you are at least a little better than and 20 percent of the time with people that are better than you. The idea being, 80 percent of the time would allow you sufficient repetitions in your guard passes, submissions and other offensive movements. The 20 percent will allow you sufficient time to garner repetitions your defense.

Joe Rogan, John Danaher and Rob Khan have all espoused similar philosophies on the value of focused rolling with lower belts.

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In my own extremely limited experience, it has been challenging at times to hit this 80/20 goal. Drilling has been extremely helpful to me as another way to get quality reps. It forces me out of my game and allows me greater opportunity to rep techniques than live rolls sometimes afford.

Another Danaher quote on training structure that I have been trying to implement is this. “Structured training: So often I see people engage in training with no plan as to what they are trying to accomplish. This will always limit your ability to improve over time - the whole reason why we engage in practice. It is critical that someone in the room have a clear idea as to what we are trying to improve and how we are going to do it. In a beginners class or a general class, it is enough for the coach to know what the plan is and run the class accordingly. At elite levels however, I like to make the athletes part of the discussion as to what we are trying to achieve - they have the knowledge and insight to add to the discussion and we can make adjustments based on their input.”

Perhaps, I am like Don Quixote, looking for things that were never really there. I am interested in hearing your thoughts. How do you structure your training and why?

As always, thanks for the feedback and keep rolling!

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