Drilling

John Danaher

All forms of drilling are to some extent, artificial. They are not the same as real sparring or competition - nor are they intended to be. Drilling is meant to take some element that you will use in sparring or competition and isolate it so you can focus upon some aspect that if you trained and understood it, it would improve your sparring/competition performance. There are many forms of drilling - each has its good and bad points. Understand that drilling represents an ARTIFICIALLY IDEALIZED FORM OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IN SPARRING/COMPETITION. You can easily perform a perfect arm bar in drilling because your partner is not resisting. When you compete against each other - it will never look as clean and perfect as it does in drilling. Realize that the better your drilling looks, the better your sparring will look - but that it will never match the ideal of drilling due tot he inevitably messiness caused by strong resistance. This is important - it means that when you drill it is relatively easy - SO SET THE BAR DAMN HIGH FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE - knowing that it will be a lot more difficult in real situations. If you look sloppy and uncoordinated in drilling against a cooperative partner, how do you think you will look when you go against an opponent fighting you tooth and nail? SET THE BAR HIGH WHEN YOU DRILL. The higher your standards when you drill the better you will move when it counts. I coach my students to take real pride in the quality of their drilling and to constantly seek improvements in mechanics and smoothness of application (and severely punish poor performance with a torrent of verbal abuse) Whilst the real application will never be as good as the ideal - understand that the higher the ideal - the higher the real world application.