Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ground randori

Ok, my turn guest blogging here is just about up. I figured since this is supposed to be a 'TDA Training' blog that I'd post something about training. Grapplers might find this helpful:
Which situation do you suppose might be more instructional:
  • a practice in which you get a few repetitions of one grappling move in a somewhat abstract format
  • a practice in which you get dozens of repetitions of several related moves in realistic situations
You might make a case for either one, but for my training time, I'd rather participate in the sort of training described in the second example above. More repetitions, greater variety, realistic situations. So what kind of training am I talking about?
Extremely low-resistance ground randori. Get your partner in a hold, but don't cinch it tight. He begins executing whatever escape or action comes to mind, and you roll with it instead of resisting to keep the hold. Roles smoothly reverse and you apply an escape and take a new hold. If you get into a hold that he can't get out of, switch to a different hold and keep switching until he does know an escape. Smooth, flowing give-and-take randori.
How can this possibly be better training than tapping the poor guy every chance you get?
Consider this, you face off and coach yells, "go." it takes you a few seconds to get him into a bad position, a few more seconds to apply a submission technique, and a few more seconds of him fighting before he taps. In all, you might practice one or two technical situations per minute. During that time your buddies doing low-resistance give-and-take on the other side of the mat have experienced both sides of 6-8 situations. You have gotten stronger and you feel good because you submitted your partner, but the other guys have just gotten four times more practice than you have. Over time, who do you think will build up an overwhelming mass of experience in grappling situations?
So, slow, smooth, relaxed, continuous practice is better (for most of your practice) than balls-to-the-wall competitiveness.

1 comment:

Steve said...

We do a drill in class from time to time where we will trade off much as you describe. So, I get the fit for a submission, then my partner escapes. Depending upon what he does, I transition to another position and technique, he counters, back and forth. Then we switch and he is the aggressor.

We also do a drill where we just try to lock in, just to get the fit for as many techniques as we can in a certain amount of time (usually 2 minute). Back and forth. This is a great drill for pulling out those techniques that you know but maybe don't think about very often.