Drills in Mixed Martial Arts
The concept of ‘drilling’ in martial arts is a repetitive and limited motion that is meant to help train a specific aspect of the martial art. Drills are imperative not only for the sheer fact that they allow a fighter to not only piece together their arsenal step by step, but also help shape a fighters understanding of the action, reinforce a reaction, and allow for practice of a particular action. Drills are used by all levels of fighters, whether it be for strengthening a weak point, or perfecting a technique.
Drills can be changed, manipulated, created and varied in anyway depending on the user and martial art. Therefore, a fighter must feel free to structure drills to their specific goals and attributes.
These are the some of the most effective drills that strengthen the fundamental actions of mixed martial arts.
1) Takedowns with strikes- One fighter throws a specific set of strikes, while another practices solely takedowns.
This drill can be broken up by practicing takedowns with strictly punches or strictly kicks. It can also be done in a complete situation, where one fighter throws punches and kicks and the other simply practices takedowns from various angles, blocks, and movements.
2) Single Submission- Each fighter chooses a type of submission (armbar, leg lock, choke, etc) and for a 5 minute round, each fighter can only use that type of submission.
With this drill a fighter can significantly strengthen their strategy for obtaining a specific type of submission. Inversely, the opposing fighter will strengthen their defense towards that type of submission. This drill can be done repetitively as fighters can rotate training partners and choose new type submission to focus on.
3) Pure Offense/Pure Defense- One fighter uses offensive strikes (or submissions) and the other uses only defensive movements (and escapes.)
This drill is unique because it can be applied separately to both grappling and striking. In order to help develop the congruency and fluidity of both offensive combinations and defense. In grappling: escapes and defensive transitions should be focused on by the defensive fighter, while the offensive fighter should experiment with their submission attacks and transitions. In Striking: The defensive fighter will focus on slips, parrying, blocks, takedowns and offensive neutralization. The offensive fighter will use combinations to shape an offensive strategy from all possible situations.
4) Jiu Jitsu Chess- A slowed down step by step submission wrestling match.
This drill has many variations, but its purpose and inherent procedure is always the same. The drill is essentially a submission wrestling match slowed down to strategic ‘moves’, which gives it it’s comparison to the game of chess. This implementation allows for the users to slowdown their movements in order to see various transitions, offensive/defensive movements, and to develop a strategy.
5) Heavy Bag isolation- A 1 minute round of each type of strike coupled with final compilation rounds.
Set the ring timer to 1 minute rounds/10 seconds rest. Use only the jab for the first round, do each individual straight, hook, jab, uppercut, and kicks (example- the left hook gets a minute round, the right upper cut gets a minute round, and so on). Each appendage gets a minute of condensed isolation. Then, one 2 minute round of total upper body strikes, one 2 minute round of lower body strikes and a final 3 minute total striking round (all strikes upper and lower). There is variation with whether to include some strikes such as elbows and knees, but this will depend on the goals and focus of the fighter. This drill gives the user the opportunity to correct and improve each individual strike while in conjunction improving their endurance.
(This is an original post copyright to SwoleScience.com, credited to the aforementioned author. Its reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved to the original authors of any quoted or embedded material)