Monday, January 14, 2013

Set-ups and combinations - practicing not to be a one-trick pony

I watched our kids at the West Coast Judo Training Center this week and I noticed something that I think is very common with most good judo players (and I think this is true of jiujitsu , grappling and mixed martial arts as well).

I asked them to do their favorite throw and they all looked really good. When I said, "Go!" they went right to it, did it without hesitation and good technique.

Next, I asked them to do a set-up to their favorite throw, and then throw. This took a little more thought and they hesitated quite a lot at the beginning of the throw. That, of course, is bad, because your opponent is not just going to stay in position, waiting around for you to throw.

After we had practiced that for a while, I had them do a set-up, followed by their favorite throw, followed by a combination.

Here is an example of this drill with Bradley, who is 11 years old.

Now, he did not do it nearly as well as Crystal, who is a 19-year-old black belt, but he did it pretty well for someone who had just been practicing this for a few minutes.

The point, I told them, is to not be hesitating thinking about what you are going to do, but to practice it so much that you can do it without thinking. Crystal seconded that, saying that often after she has won a much by ippon, people will ask her what throw she did and she'll respond,

 "I don't know. A hard one. Where they fell down."

She demonstrates the end result of this drill. Over a period of time, it becomes automatic.

Take away lesson of today: Don't practice your throws in isolation.


MartialArtist09 said...

Great Blog as usual. I am new to grappling and I have been studying at an MMA gym were the majority of people are training to be MMA fighters. Most of them come from a wrestling background and have been training in some form of grappling much longer than myself. We often drill moves but not the set-up. What's a good set-up to drill for an armbar?

Dr. AnnMaria said...

This post has a few transitions to arm bars.

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