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Why You Should Be Doing Grappling Drills
For many of us jiu jitsu practitioners, BJJ becomes so much more than a hobby or a workout. It can become an obsession. We think about it in the morning as we are waiting for our coffee to finish brewing, driving to work or school, and throughout the day. If you're training as much as you can, but still can't get enough or perhaps you're not training as much as you can because of scheduling conflicts or even injury, grappling drills can be a great way to get in some extra practice when you're away from the mats. Life has a way of putting obstacles in our way, whether it be schedules and life challenges, or even minor or major injuries. It's important to have a back up plan and options available to keep moving when you can't get to the mats.
Slow Down and Drill
As a newer practitioner, I wanted to simply devour techniques, moving from one to the next as fast as humanly possible. I've realized now that rushing this way impacted my development negatively. Solo drilling can reinforce the technique that you've learned by solidifying the muscle memory, making the move something that you don't need to think about, you simply do. Flow with the go as Rickson Gracie might say.
Drill to Move Your Own Body
Another thing that solo drilling can improve is one's own body movement. From an outside perspective, many times, a jiu jitsu move looks like we are moving our opponents body to achieve a better position or a submission, but in actuality we are moving our own body to achieve these.
For more insight into the importance of drilling, check out this article from BJJ Fanatics on the topic.
In the video below, Jason Scully shares a number of grappling drill options. These moves can be effectively incorporated as a warm up, as a post-training conditioning exercise, or even worked on at home to supplement or replace training time that you are missing because of your schedule.
Injuries are something that more often than not, every practitioner will experience sometime on their way to black belt. Whether minor bumps and bruises or aches and pains, or more serious injuries like knee or shoulder issues, these must not be seen as the end of the road for your BJJ journey. Of course it is important to always seek proper medical attention and guidance. This should be your first step when dealing with an injury and following the protocols laid out by the experts. But once you determine what the injury is and what the course of action is, there are ways to keep active in the jiu jitsu lifestyle.
In the video below, world champion Bernardo Faria gives several examples of things you can do, like continuing to work to develop parts of your body that are not injured. Also, it's very important that you still stay connected to your BJJ classes. You can learn a great deal simply by observing. This will also go a long way to keeping you motivated and connected to your team.
Drilling can be an amazing and much overlooked tool to reinforce what you're learning. It can help teach you to move your body more effectively which can do wonders for your BJJ game. Drilling can be something that can be done anywhere. When you're on vacation, traveling for work, or at home away from the mats for any reason, you can do 15-20 minutes of drilling (even watching your favorite TV show, i.e. Drill and Chill).
To learn more grappling and jiu jitsu hacks from a proven BJJ and UFC fighter, you can check out Joe Lauzon's Grappling Hacks program here.