Daily Archives: December 17, 2014

BJJ and Drilling: Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme

Whenever we emphasize drilling in class to lower belts, two things happen. First, we talk about how students should find a rhythm to their repetitions.

And second, I pretty much always have to suppress the urge to make a Cool Runnings reference.


What do we mean by finding a rhythm? It’s really about putting the steps together. Often, particularly among lower ranks, you have the independent parts of a technique down: you understand what you are doing, and maybe even why- but your movements are jerky, and sometimes the technique falls apart because the next piece requires momentum or movement from the previous piece to bring it all together. So we tell students to try to put elements together to make a more smooth execution of the technique.

Does this mean you have to zip through drilling like you just took an entire bottle of Adderall and chased it down with a Redbull? Absolutely not.  If you are not familiar with the technique, and you don’t feel comfortable drilling at a fast pace, don’t. If you’re not confident in the technique, there’s a very high chance there are small (and sometimes large) details you’ll miss if you focus more on speed than execution. It’s more of an encouragement to take the building blocks you’ve been given and create one cohesive piece. And, the more you practice the technique as that one cohesive piece, the more confidence you’ll have to execute it in live training and competition.

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