Have you ever watched some high-level competition (ADCC is coming up soon, so get excited for that) and seen a basic technique work? I used to wonder how a Black Belt can get away with it against another Black Belt at the highest level until I learned that some of the tiniest details to something can make all the difference in pulling off a technique or not. Sure, those guys are talented and have a wealth of knowledge, but they didn't get that way by just having a good memory and natural ability. Ask anyone how to get better and they'll say "practice," ask your instructor and he'll say "drill." We all have at least one guy/gal in all of our gyms who LOVES to drill and never really rolls when the time comes; he just loves to drill. And we all say the same thing about that guy and how they're SO GOOD. I think you know where I'm going with that.
The argument against drilling is that sparring can replace it. Let's clear that up right now to you White Belts--it can't. Sparring has a ton of great, and really important values for all of us at all levels; but you're never going to be able to hit those moves/techniques in a spar if you're just trying to recreate movements. Don't be a slacker. You love BJJ like the rest of us and you should want to get better by doing things right instead of just being on the mat and halfassing it. Bring able to hit a technique when you're rolling requires timing, fluidity, problem solving, and craftiness. If you think you're just going to develop that on your own without putting in the time to drill it, I think you might be surprised.
Once you've dedicated yourself to drilling, though, you're going to need a training partner. (Remember 'that guy' we were talking about?) So in your training sessions, maybe drop some hints around to your favorite BJJ bros and sistas that you're looking to become an absolute killer nightmare beast on the mats but need someone to drill stuff with. It's a healthy way for both of you to get better, break down techniques, and really dissect your body's movement to determine what works best for you.
Repetition is necessary. Figure out what you want to get good/better at and drill it. Don't know where to start with that? Jump back to our archives where we took a look at getting a GAME PLAN for class to learn what it is you want to try to improve in. Or if you want to bring in a notebook for of moves/techniques (if you're not keeping a notebook by now, drop and give me 20 hip escapes) bring the one we showed you how to make so that you can have everything you learned in class at your fingertips.
Sure, BJJ can be grueling. But you also know how rewarding it can be as well. There are going to be days when you just can't go, or in this case, you just can't drill, but you're going to have to. Welcome to "the Grind." Keep pushing yourself to be better. Keep expanding your knowledge past the areas is was confined in just yesterday. Take advantage of your open mat time and drill! Rolling is great; it's fun, it's the best way to implement what you know. But you can't implement what you don't know and you'll never really know anything if you're not drilling. SO... Drill it to Kill it!
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