Improving Your Game: 5 Drills To Advance Your Position

Being a grappler and training day in and day out, having to grind out training and drilling, sometimes a person can become bored with it. Sometimes  ways to get that sweep or mount can be greuling , especially if you are new at grappling and your training partners don’t have the will to drill or roll that night.

Well don’t leave it all up to your partners , there are ways you can improve your game off of the mat. Now we know it takes two to tango in the sport, but there are ways you can drill away from the mat to improve your game.

1) Shrimping/butt scoot– This drill you can simulate on the ground alone  while watching television or listening to the radio. Shrimping involves you being on your back and with both arms simulate pushing up and hipping out to the opposite side of your arms, This can be done with or without free weights. If using free weights it is recommended you use some you can comfortably hold up.  This drill helps you to escape side control when on the bottom, Remember to drill both sides to retain muscle memory, do at least 10 times per side for a total of 20 times. Sets of 4 can also implement cardio when doing it rapidly.

2)Kick your heels over your head- While this step may see obvious and trivial, many people neglect this key component in their grappling game. While laying on your back , kick your legs over the top of your head backwards and attempt to bring your knees to the ground , if this is not acheivable , keeping your feet planted can also help. This simulates you being dominated when in your guard. Many people who skip this step freak out or panic when it eventually happens either in training or competition. Doing this step can help to regulate breathing when in an uncomfortable position and can also help to become used to being uncomfortable. Royce Gracie maintained this almost exact position when fighting against Dan Severn for 22 minutes. He was able to overcome the discomfort to pull out a win.

3)Rolling over the shoulder- Grappling long enough you soon know this drill can help to prevent having your back taken. When in turtle position , if you have your back taken or an attempt, rolling over the shoulder can prevent that from happening. A good way to drill this is when in turtle position, roll over your left shoulder and onto your back, do the same for the other shoulder and if done in drills of 10 rolls per shoulder, you can work cardio as well. Doing 10 rolls per shoulder , reps of 4 , can also help to improve self awareness of your surrounding.

4)Situps– Maintaining core strength can reduce fatigue while rolling or in competition. Now the situps in jiu jitsu are a little bit different than the standard crunches you might be used to . When on your back , sit up while simulating attempting a Kimura shoulder lock. Drilling these core excercises can strengthen the ab muscles while keeping your muscle memory. Drilling Kimura situps about as many times as you would normally do situps can help to land that Kimura shoulder lock attempt at your next outing.

5)Helicopter kicks from your back– This drill involves you on your back, swirling your feet to the inside and to the outside. This drill helps to keep the feet and legs loose. This drill helps to keep your opponent from grabbing your feet when attempting to pass your guard.  It provides your feet to be used as ” hands ” while breaking the grip of your opponent when on your back. Swirl the feet to the outside for about 3 minutes and swirl to the inside 3 minutes. Rest for 2 minutes and do the excercises for a total of 15 minutes. This will help to keep the legs strong while maintaining flexibility.

Drilling these 5 core techniques regularly can help to achieve a solid jiu jitsu game. Since some grapplers neglect these core steps , it can give you the edge you need to pull out a win.