How to effectively drill, practice and connect the dots.

How to effectively drill, practice and connect the dots.

We learn many different techniques, and although many times they are individual, you should find ways to connect them and have them “flow”. When you do, you start to develop a game, and your own style. Connecting the dots is like assembling a puzzle.

Here, Van was drilling his bottom and different transitions that he enjoys in the Gi before his last fight in Fight to Win Pro Brooklyn.

Some tips when drilling:

  • Pick a sequence, top or bottom. Start it usually in the same order, and work different scenarios. When you land in a new position, try to see what you can finish with and what options you have. For example, when Van worked a spider/single leg X sweep, he finished a footlock, but then let it go and transitioned to a back take (option if footlock failed for example)
  • Sometimes have your partner start in different ways. If you are on bottom, sometimes have your partner start on the knees, sometimes standing, sometimes crouched. Work similar positions but with necessary modifications.
  • Sometimes have your partner react in different ways. If you are on bottom, and you attempt a sweep, have your partner not resist at all, sometimes do a correct defense/counter (but let you counter them and still finish your position)
  • When you are being drilled on, you don’t want to resist unless your partner asks you. You want to make your body relaxed, but firm, and go with whatever positions your partner is trying to do. Once in a while, do a correct counter but let your partner finish their sequence regardless. The drill is for them, not for you.
  • When you are drilling, ask your partner how certain situations feel. Does this grip feel strong? Does my hook feel tighter around the knee or behind the ankle? Can you break this grip? Can you move when I turn my body like this?
  • Usually, we like to set a timer and have one person hit their sequences as many times as possible during that time.

Enjoy and happy drilling!


Let your Workings remain a mystery. Just show people the Results.

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