Saturday, February 16, 2013

Caio Terra On Drilling As A White And Blue Belt

Today we have a guest blog post from Dan Faggella who was able to interview Caio Terra on the art of drilling. 

I was lucky enough to be able to interview Caio Terra - one of my personal heroes in the world of lightweight BJJ. Some of his advice almost seemed counter-intuitive, but I figured every last bit was worth saving - ESPECIALLY any of his insights on training and skill development (my favorite topics). 
Drilling to Your Skill Level 
One of the first questions I asked Caio was: “What are your general thoughts on drilling for BJJ - as in - how much should someone drill compared to roll, and do you think most BJJ players drill enough?” 
His immediate response was: “...Well... what belt level are we talking about?” 
I thought that was a very interesting way to respond, but Caio followed up with the following insights: 
First, Caio pointed out that building the WRONG habits early is a recipe for failure, and that even a very good blue belt will usually learn by the time he is a brown belt that the move he was doing so well with at blue belt was actually wrong in some fundamental ways. Caio is very particular about learning from someone who is a true expert at the technique you are aiming to learn so that you don’t miss the important details. 
In addition, Caio is big on feedback for newer grapplers. White and blue belts - he says - should have someone who is experienced to watch a lot of their drilling to point out details and make adjustments. 
Tinker Drilling 
He advocates a kind of “tinker drilling” for all belt levels (but particularly for newer grapplers who don’t have an expert immediately available), where you experiment with a technique slowly, feeling out the detials of the setup and finish, paying attention to your body movements and the nuances that are making the technique work. 
It is useful to exercise this was with grapplers of various skill levels and body types in order to get a better feel for the positions. Caio believes that this kind of technical “exploring” is required before the hard work of “muscle memorizing” should be done - so that errors are ironed out technically. 
No Concrete “Right” and “Wrong” in Jiu Jitsu 
I told Caio about the drilling strategies of other grappling school - such as what I’ve heard of the Mendes Bros gym (where everyone drills techniques non-stop for 10 minutes at a clip without talking). Even with the opinions stated, he mentioned that just like DOING BJJ, LEARNING BJJ is also flexible, and multiple approaches can be useful. 
I imagine he was agreeable with the Mendes philosophy because (a) they’re very good, and (b) if the Mendes Bros are there to help with your technique, you can probably bet that your drilling is being done correctly. 
Either way, the conversation opened a new door to insights on drilling (particularly tinkering) that for many grapplers should prove useful! 
Food for BJJ thought, as always, 
Daniel Faggella
BJJ Analyst at:

No comments:

Post a Comment


Affiliate links are used and I may receive a commission if you click.

Inner BJJ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to