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Although jiu-jitsu academies may be closed for the foreseeable future, if you're lucky, you may be quarantined with a fellow practitioner, meaning you still have the chance to develop functional, practical jiu-jitsu skills through drilling and concept exploration.
Yes, we know drilling isn’t as FUN as a hard roll, but there is much to be gained here — and perhaps not in the ways you may think.
Andre Galvao, Buchecha, and Romulo Barral independently articulated a similar thought during their chats on the Who’s Number One Podcast — namely, that drilling with a high-level jiu-jitsu athlete is an opportunity to FEEL how someone applies as a technique or concept, and that it's paramount that one take note of exactly what they are doing to make the technique sharp.
WATCH: Buchecha Describe's Rodolfo Vieira's Pressure
Put another way: there is as much to be gained by feeling another person drill on you as there is to work a technique yourself!
Listen to Andre Galvao describe the benefits below:
Taking this approach of mindful observation can double the value of a single drilling and positional sparring session. Working on escaping back mount? What is your partner doing to make your life miserable? Take it and use it when it's your turn!
Romulo Barral On Developing Better Technique Through Drilling:
As Galvao mentions in the clip above, it's important not to be a passive grappling dummy during these sessions. Give your opponent the proper resistance to make the drill meaningful – this ensures they get the proper feel for their role and you can see what factors determine the success of their technique.
BONUS: WATCH Andre Galvao Lead Competition Class:
BONUS: Watch Romulo Prepare His Team For Worlds