by Prof. Martin Guggi
Q: Professor how can I improve and progress in BJJ?
A: You need to start training more regularly and drilling.
Q: But how do I drill?
A: Think of the best 3 moves you do and on the worst 3 moves and keep working on them?
Q: But our school is so small, we only have one blue belt and that’s it?
A: The only first thing you need is one partner and that’s it!
When we started to train BJJ we never could imagine how far this would go! We did not believe in running an own academy one day, organizing and teaching on camps, graduating other students or even handing out black belts and giving them a place to improve for themselves. And it all started with the passion of improving and one partner who had the same mindset.
If you are looking for a drilling partner you do not need to look for the best skilled guy around. He only needs two qualities.
- being reliable
- being punctual
A partner you can rely on is indispensable! He is the biggest value for your improvement. You will push each other every day. A lot of times you will get stuck in positions where you do not know who to escape and continue. Then go home, look on YT for a solution or ask somebody more advanced for a solution of this problem and next day you can already start to drill this new move. Your training partner will be your mirror and you will start to know each other’s game by heart. But believe me, he will not only be your best way to improve but also your hardest enemy on the mat. When you know all the moves your partner is capable of doing then it is hard to surprise each other… this means you have to improve your timing, details and perfection of your moves.
If you do not have such a drilling partner yet you need to raise someone to become it. There are always people in your school hungry to get better and willing to invest more time into it. These are the people you are looking for. A drilling partner who is on a similar level then you is of course better because he can correct you and give you the right pressure to drill. But if there is no one available then you need to find and raise a new drilling buddy. In the end you need a human body who borrows you his body to practice some moves.
For me a punctual drilling partner is also very important. You spent a lot of free time together on the mat and if he is coming too late all the time he is stealing your time. Nobody has time to waste and that’s why I am on time for drilling and expect the same for my partner. Put the timer in between 1 – 5 minutes and then one partner after each other is practicing his moves. Use your time, concentrate but have fun. Remember it does not count how long you are on the mat if you do not use your time adequate.
At your school, you will more or less roll all the time with the same students. Even if your school is bigger there will come the time when only the same few guys are facing each other at the competition class. BJJ is a tough sport and now for everyone. So time filters out the core of the people who like to beat each other up and do not care if training is a little bit rougher. Make sure to educate your training partner so they get the right mindset. If you miss doing it, you will one day have a group of people hurting each other and do not see the value of hard but smart training. If injuries are getting too much then you know there is something wrong with the training’s mindset of your group.
Always remember to surround yourself with good people! Looking at them you will see yourself!