The Power of Repetition: Why Drilling is Essential in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that focuses on technique and movement. The practice of BJJ requires a lot of repetition to refine techniques and to develop muscle memory. This is where the concept of “drilling” comes in.

What is Drilling and Repetition in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Simply put drilling is where you get your reps in. Cardio, strength, technique, drilling and sparring are the keys to good BJJ.

Why is Repetition Important?

The repetition of a particular technique is essential in BJJ as it allows you to develop muscle memory. Once a practitioner is able to perform a technique without conscious thought, they can effectively execute the move when sparring or in competition with an opponent. This is particularly crucial in BJJ where movements and submission attempts must be done in quick succession to prevent opponents from escaping.

How Does It Help Improve Your Techniques?

The Power of Repetition Why Drilling is Essential in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Repeatedly drilling a technique can help develop a BJJ practitioner’s technical skills. They will gain the ability to execute the movements faster, more efficiently, and more accurately. In addition, drilling provides the opportunity to refine and make minor adjustments to a technique until it becomes second nature. You don’t think about walking, you just walk. Drill your technique till they are fluent as walking!

Types of Drilling in BJJ

There are different types of drilling in BJJ, including technical drilling, mental drilling, and positional sparring. Technical drilling is the act of working on a particular technique with a partner. Mental drilling involves visualizing techniques, movements, and sparring situations to improve strategy. Sparring and positional sparring involves putting set techniques to the test against a real opponent in a non-competitive environment.

Why is Time Important in Drilling?

How Long Should You Spend on Each Technique?

The length of time spent drilling a particular technique must be enough to allow the practitioner to learn and refine it. Typically, it is recommended to spend between 5-10 minutes per technique or 10-12 repetitions per side before moving on to the next. However, the length of drilling time may vary depending on a practitioner’s level of expertise, and their understanding and progress with the technique.

How Do You Set a Timer for Drilling?

Setting a timer for drilling can be helpful to maintain consistency and to avoid wasting time. Practitioners must choose a time interval that works for their level of expertise and the technique they are working on. For example, beginners may start with shorter intervals of around two minutes and increase their time as they master the technique.

The Importance of Taking Breaks

Breaks are essential during drilling as they allow the mind and body to rest and recharge. Taking short breaks between sets can help prevent injury, improve focus, and allow a practitioner to assess their progress.

When drilling and improving BJJ techniques we recommend a good robust BBJ Training Journal. We recommend. 

White BJJ Journal

How Does Drilling Help Muscle Memory?

How Does Muscle Memory Impact Your Performance?

Muscle memory is the act of memorizing and repeating a movement until it becomes automatic. Muscle memory helps BJJ practitioners to execute a technique quickly and efficiently without conscious thought. Successful drilling requires constant repetition to develop muscle memory, which plays a crucial role in BJJ training and performance.

How to Avoid Bad Habits While Drilling

Developing bad habits while drilling can hinder a BJJ practitioner’s technique and performance in sparring. To avoid this, it’s essential to be conscious of your technique while drilling. It is important to maintain a focus on proper technique throughout each repetition and to identify and correct any mistakes that arise. After each session makes notes in your BJJ Journal, then take time to analyse the ideas presented, your strengths and your weakness. You have got this.

Does Drilling Help with Self-Defense Techniques?

Drilling is also an essential part of self-defense training in BJJ. Repeatedly practising self-defense techniques can help develop a practitioner’s reflexes and, in the event of an attack, enable them to execute techniques quickly and effectively with minimal conscious thought. This can be particularly useful in real-life situations where danger is imminent. Just remember the best self-defense is communication, and then running. Do not pull guard in the street.

What are the Best Techniques to Drill in BJJ?

Drills for White Belts

White belts should focus on the fundamentals of BJJ, including basic positions such as mount, guard, side control, and back control. Drilling these positions with a focus on maintaining posture and balance will improve a white belt’s overall technique.

Drills for Advanced Practitioners

Advanced BJJ practitioners should focus on drilling techniques that are specific to their weaknesses. For example, if a practitioner struggles with certain submissions or escapes, they can dedicate more time to drilling these techniques to develop further improvements in their overall performance.

How to Drill Sparring Techniques

Drilling sparring techniques involve simulating real-life sparring situations in a controlled environment. This allows the practitioner to practice the techniques they have drilled under realistic conditions. Developing this skill is essential to success in tournaments and competitions, where an opponent’s movements cannot be predicted.

How to Make the Most of Drilling with Your Instructor or Training Partner?

The Role of Your Instructor in Drilling

An instructor must provide guidance and feedback to a student during drills. The role of an instructor is to make sure that a student is performing the technique correctly and to provide insights into how to improve it. A good instructor can guide you towards the right path to becoming a master in BJJ.

How to Give and Receive Feedback While Drilling

Giving and receiving feedback is essential during drilling. Feedback helps to identify weaknesses and mistakes to refine techniques for optimal performance. Providing constructive feedback on weaknesses will help the drilling partner to be more aware of their performance and help highlight areas which require improvement.

Why It’s Important to Drill with Different Partners

Drilling with different partners exposes a BJJ practitioner to a variety of styles and techniques. This can help to refine their movements, test techniques and develop new strategies. Training with different partners can also help in identifying areas of strength and weaknesses

Q: What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. It emphasizes techniques that will help a smaller or weaker opponent subdue a larger and stronger one by using leverage and proper technique.

Q: How important is drilling in BJJ?

A: Drilling in BJJ is extremely important. It is the foundation that enables you to learn and retain techniques, build muscle memory, increase your reaction time, and develop movement patterns that are required to execute techniques successfully during a fight.

Q: What is the importance of repetition in BJJ?

A: Repetition helps BJJ practitioners develop their muscle memory. Frequent drilling of techniques helps in memorizing techniques and movements that are vital for mastering the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Q: How often should one drill BJJ techniques?

A: There is no one way to drill BJJ techniques, but most instructors recommend that you should aim to repeat a specific technique a minimum of 20 to 30 times per session for better retention and understanding of the technique.

Q: What is the best type of drilling in BJJ?

A: There is no one type of drilling that is best for BJJ. However, it is good to add different techniques to your practice, so you don’t become predictable in a fight. It would be best if you also practiced chain drills and situational drills to improve your overall game.

Q: Why is drilling important for BJJ’s lower ranks?

A: Drilling is essential for lower ranks in BJJ because it helps in building a solid foundation and developing good habits early on. It helps in learning the techniques, improves coordination and reaction time, and develops the necessary muscle memory that will stay with you forever.

Q: Why is repetition important for becoming a black belt in BJJ?

A: Repetition is important for becoming a black belt in BJJ because mastery comes from making the techniques second nature. To become a black belt, you need not only to have a vast range of techniques but also to execute them without a conscious effort.

Q: Can you learn a new technique from just watching a video?

A: You can learn a new technique by watching a video, but you will not master it unless you practice and drill it frequently. Watching a video can be an excellent way to learn the basics of a technique; however, to master that technique, you need to start drilling and adding it to your practice.

Q: How many repetitions does it take to learn a new technique in BJJ?

A: There is no set number of repetitions required to learn a new technique in BJJ. It varies depending on the complexity of the technique and how well it suits your style of play. However, it’s recommended to drill at least 50 to 100 repetitions of a technique to retain it well.

Q: Is drilling important in MMA?

A: Drilling is essential in MMA because it helps in developing the muscles, techniques, and movements necessary for fighting. Practicing the combination of techniques, including grappling, clinch work, and striking, is critical for succeeding in MMA.


BJJ Tees to inspire success.