Drilling – Make 2014 the Year You Step Up Your BJJ Game

January 4, 2014
5 minutes read
Drilling – Make 2014 the Year You Step Up Your BJJ Game

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Me with lightweight world champion Felipe Costa last year!

Me with lightweight world champion Felipe Costa last year!

Most of us who care about getting better at BJJ are decently hard on ourselves.

We expect a lot (in LIFE, not just in BJJ), and looking back on a year of BJJ usually means noticing the things we are frustrated with, the areas of our game that aren’t very good at all.

I’m going to argue that this year, we start somewhere different, not just from a place of criticism but from a place of FOCUS on what matters most in your game. Only then should we start building drills / exercises to focus on those particular areas. Ask yourself this question:

“What area of my game, if mastered, would have the greatest overall impact on my overall BJJ improvement?”

THAT question will lead you to what you should be drilling.

Maybe it’s actually a strength that you should be working on. I’ve spend months working on one of my strongest BJJ skills – back mount – because I believed it would help me to boost that skill, even though it was already one of my best.

Maybe it’s a neutral area. For me, that was once my guard pull game. I wasn’t GREAT at it, I wasn’t terrible at it, but it was an area that I decided I should really master in order to boost the rest of my standup game against bigger opponents.

What is that CORE focus area for you?

Recently, my buddy Ken Primo (founder of the gigantic ILoveBJJ fanpage) sent me over some of HIS drills for 2014, and it got me thinking about what I should do for myself. Here are the clips – big thanks to Kenny for hooking me up with this stuff!

Ken Primo’s Guard Pass Speed Drills

Here’s What YOU Can Do to Make More of Your Drilling

Stepping up your game implies consistency. That doesn’t mean training 7 days per week, and it doesn’t mean changing the way you train – it just means STICKING to a specific regimen for long enough for it to make a difference in your game.

Example Goal: “I want to get good at leg locks!”

  • Consistent Action 1: 50 Reps of 3 Leg Lock Setups per Week (150 Reps Total)
  • Consistent Action 2: 10 Minutes of Leg Lock Instructionals Watch Every Saturday Morning
  • Consistent Action 3: 15 Minutes Live Rolling Starting From the 50-50 Each Wednesday

You don’t have to do ALL of those things, but if you pick 1 or 2 actions that you can follow though with consistently, you’ll be much farther along than most people who say they want to improve, but don’t take consistent action. I talk about this a LOT in my most popular post about BJJ goal setting, but this theme of “consistency” is not one that you can escape if you want to ever improve.

I say it my BJJ students like this:

One of my first goal setting seminars was with a high school tennis team. I asked the team: ‘Player 1 says he wants a better serve, and sometimes thinks a little bit extra about his serve in training, and sometimes watches YouTube videos about serves. Player 2 watches 10 minutes of serving instructional videos every week, and practices JUST his serve for 20 minutes after practice on Wednesdays consistently. Who will get better faster?’ They all knew that the diligent player would eventually get better faster – but few of them had real measurable goals for themselves.

So that’s the question I’ll leave you with: What are the METRICS you could stick to for the next few months? 90 days of regimen will yield amazing improvement for people who stick with it! Talk soon and be well,


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Daniel Faggella
Daniel Faggella

Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.

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