The age old question is; “how much should I roll?” vs “how much should I drill?”.
Oooph. That’s a can of worms right there.
Here’s the analogy I use:
BJJ is like NASCAR. How often do you get on the track and RACE vs how much time do you work on the car in the garage?
Racing (rolling) is the metric by which you judge if what you built in the garage actually works. That’s not how you build.
Sure, there are pit stops in a race. So yeah, you can change a tire. Tighten a bolt or two. But that’s it. That’s the same as rolling. Yeah, you can fix some little stuff here and there. But, you can’t overhaul the engine. You can’t weld some supports to the frame to make it stiffer. For really big changes, or improvements….. you have to to take it in to the garage. Look at schematics. Draw up plans. Tinker on things. And, then run that bad boy and see if the work paid off. Observe and adjust. Put it back in the garage.
Look, when you’re under duress, whether emotional, or technical, you cannot think. You can only react. It’s like whatever car you put on the track that day is what you have to work with. Whatever responses, and technical proficiencies you’ve developed in the gym are what you’re bringing to the mat that day.
You’re supposed to be rolling to see if the drilling is working. Then you take it back to the garage, and work on anything you want changed.
You have to BUILD THE MACHINE, then run it.
Race cars are tested on the track not built there.
Ok, before you say “Yeah but I train with Jesus Marcelo Christ Garcia Gracie, and all he does is roll. He never drills.”
Bullshit. Guess what. Anything that doesn’t put you under duress, meaning, you can barely handle it, is DRILLING. It doesn’t have to be boring reps of endless armbars from guard. Or a thouand stupid double legs.
It’s any training that is sub threshold. If you’re nervous/amped that’s training. Even if you’re cool as a cucumber, but are rolling with someone that the slightest mistake will get you smashed…… That’s training.
If it’s less than that….. It’s drilling.
You should be drilling far more than your training.
And trust me, the best guys in the world, only get to see each other a couple of times a year at tournaments. Or it’s so rare that they get to train together that someone posts 2 minute clips on youtube when it happens.
Guess what….. That means all the times in between….. All those “rolls”….. To them…..
It was drilling!
And that’s why they keep getting so good.
Now that’s the real secret.
Everyone just rolls. In the beginning it’s all training. As you slowly and inefficiently get better, even though you think you’re still “rolling” more and more of those rolls are just drilling.
Yeah your partner is “rolling”…. But you’re not!
The better you get, the more it’s drilling.
The more it’s drilling, the better you get.
Wrap your brain around that one, and see how it changes your training!!!!!