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"Driller's are Killer's"

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by SandaKicker, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. SandaKicker Green Belt

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    You hear this phrase a lot in BJJ, I think it applies to all martial art's really but it seems people are more conscious of it in BJJ.

    My question is at what point does drilling reach the point of zero return in terms of improving your game.

    One rough quote I've heard;

    It takes about 100 rep's to create the neural pathway for a new movement pattern and 3000-5000 rep's to fully ingrain the technique into the muscle memory and it make it subconscious.

    It will then take substantially more focused rep's to alter the technique.

    So if a guy drill's an armbar from guard 5 times each side per class and then goes for it 3 times a class in rolling and attend's class three times a week that will be about 25 rep's a week, which would then turn into 1250 rep's a year.

    So roughly the average guy would reach the point of diminishing returns for a common move like that after about three - four year's in to their BJJ jouney when they are pushing purple belt if not one already. From there on it would be a question of strategy, S & C and adding in other moves that would take them further, plus potentially also the fact that no two armbar's are exactly the same.

    Is this a fair assessment of what you can get from drilling? Or am I over/underestimating the importance of this phrase?
     
  2. shunyata Silver Belt

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    I don't think there are any diminishing returns on drilling unless drilling is eating up so much time that it prevents you from doing other things.


    Like if you're skipping positional sparring to drill more after an hour of drilling, yeah maybe that's not as smart.
     
  3. Kforcer Dragon Slayer

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    I think it is pretty important. I think different people have different levels of muscle memory though. For me, I always liked to drill the crap out of things, in part just for my own confidence but also just to make sure the moves and techniques were as close to second-nature as a learned, complex movement can possibly be. I used to get made fun of in wrestling for being really strong but not technical--some of my teammates even called me 'Lenny'--so that always made me extra motivated to drill and study technique as much as I could.

    Some guys I have taught insisted that they only learned stuff from rolling and I cannot step inside their bodies to know for sure, but I think a lot of that is that people don't always realize how much drilling is helping them. Or perhaps their own lack of enthusiasm and engagement with drilling makes it unproductive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
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  4. jack36767 Black Belt

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    Bjj most definitely is not the most conscious about drilling of the combat sports
     
  5. SandaKicker Green Belt

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    I was talking about people being conscious of this “catch phrase”.

    I’ve never heard someone use it in a boxing gym and I’m not sure I ever will. I’ve heard it being used a lot in relation to BJJ either directly in the gym or online.

    It is debatable as to what exactly qualifies as “drilling” and what would be “Going through a technique”. You could argue after a couple of rep’s of “going through a technique” the reps thereafter becomes drills.
     
  6. rmongler Black Belt

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    Probably quite a bit past the point you are hoping/wanting it to be.
     
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  7. MaxMMA Brown Belt

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    No it is not a fair assessment of what you can get from drilling and if you think that high level competitors don't drill the shit out of fundamentals you are sorely mistaken. Your average blue/purple belt has a general knowlege of all the major positions and techniques, but they have just scratched the surface of the of itricacy involved in bjj, and grappling/martial arts in general.

    The only way for them to further shape their movements is to continue drilling fundamentals. Polishing each individual technique, so that when you do start really chaining things together, they are crisp and seemless.
     
  8. Kforcer Dragon Slayer

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    I think that when you are trying to learn or develop specific chains or pathways, there really is a necessity of drilling. But I also think it can just be great for your confidence in performing moves and it also probably makes the movement ever more efficient.
     
  9. yetanother Black Belt

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    Depends on the moves. For a lot of things I find the returns are diminishing fast. If you can do something smooth extra reps don't really give you as much improvement as the first ones.
     
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  10. EGDM Green Belt

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    *Drillers are Killers
     
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  11. Foppa21 Black Belt

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    I'm sure there's diminishing returns, but that's with everything.

    You don't want to, in the extreme, spend all your time drilling and never train for example. Even different types of drilling (situational and increased resistance) help a lot
     
  12. Foppa21 Black Belt

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    It might not take off in a boxing gym, but some boxing and kickboxing gyms definitely have drilling classes
     
  13. Jack Handy jr Silver Belt

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    Disagree

    after you’ve reached blueish/purple belt you should know all your basic non exotic/gimmicky positions and submissions

    I’ve found that I’ve made my greatest gains in wrestling and Bjj with live grappling against a fully 100% resisting opponent

    the whole application over theory
     
  14. shunyata Silver Belt

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    I would personally argue that literally ALL bag and pad work is drilling.

    Therefore there is a massive amount of drilling involved in all styles of boxing and kickboxing.
     
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  15. rmongler Black Belt

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    Well, then it depends on how you define drilling
     
  16. HunterAcosta Black Belt Platinum Member

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    It’s important but overrated I feel . Positional sparring with sequences of escapes , passes , reactions and submissions are more important than 1000 armbars in isolation dome by rote a week . Doing techniques in isolation isn’t nearly as beneficial as incorporating the move in a positional scenario . Like closed guard , hip bump sweep to mount to armbar then closed guard , hip bump sweep to mount , guy bucks you off back to closed guard into your triangle . Etc etc . Build off that and the reactions and you’ll entrain a technique faster than just doing mindless reps . Like mitt feeders who never fire back during a guys combo. It’s important to give real reactions to your offensivel techniques . I feel concepts too are super important cause bjj has too many techniques to know everything . But if you understand the different mechanics of a sweep , choke , pass, etc an what Makes them successful ( alignment , base , posture , structure . Levers , wedges etc ) that will also help your game immensely .
     
  17. nefti Banned Banned

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    Drilling is great to develop muscle memory for new techniques/transitions. Nothing is better practice than using those techniques on a lower belt .
     
  18. SandaKicker Green Belt

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    Well I'm not sure about the catchphrase.

    What got me interested in this topic was actually Dr Michael Yessis who is in my opinion a very accomplished sport scientist talking about there being an overemphasis on repetition in boxing, he talks about it in this interview here;



    Basically he says boxer's focus too much on repetition of punches and not enough on upper body plyometric's.

    Yessis has worked with Evander Holyfield, I'm not sure about other boxers but he's worked with good athlete's in other sports.

    I've heard him talk about baseball pitcher's needing to pitch year round so I assume he would say the same thing about boxer's needing to throw punches year round. As well as using boxing related cardiovascular training and not just doing running/swimming or whatever to get in shape. The underlying point though is that at some point doing more rep's reaches the point of diminishing returns and you need to worry about S&C.
     
  19. yetanother Black Belt

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    I do not count positional sparring as drilling.
     
  20. Whitebeltatlife Yellow Belt

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    As a whitebelt I didn't know a sweep from closed guard. My friend was also a whitebelt, for literally 15 minutes before class he forced me to do sit up sweeps until I was exhausted. 15 minutes of pure drilling is actually harder than it sounds. To this day as purple it's probably my favorite sweep from closed guard.

    Here's the thing. I find drilling like that really, really boring. I'm the kind of guy that likes to talk with my partner about random stuff when drilling and mostly enjoy sparring. I remember once pairing up with one of the best guys in the gym, he was a bit of a prodigy. This guy just drilled non-stop without talking, it was quite intense but made me understand why he was so good. It's great but I just can't be bothered to drill like that as it takes the fun out for me.

    What I would also add though is some guys hide behind 'drillers make killers' to avoid sparring. It's rare but sometimes you get guys who barely ever spar and suck because of it. If you can do both I suppose.
     

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