Learning From Jason Scully Videos
If you have trained BJJ for at least a few months then you’ve likely seen a Jason Scully video. You know those videos that have a bald guy demonstrate techniques, drills, concepts in a his immediately recognizable format of “X techniques in X number of minutes?” Well, that’s him!
Jason has an incredible database of videos, and in particular, videos with BJJ drills that are essential to beginners. He was one of the first BJJ guys to create high quality videos on YouTube and he is still actively recording more. To ease the problem of choice paralysis when it comes to his wealth of videos, we recommend that you start with his BJJ solo drills videos before moving on to his more technical content.
Who is Jason Scully?
Scully is a 3rd-degree black belt in BJJ, with 19 years of training under his belt. Since he first started, he has never stopped training and has notable results as a competitor at black belt level. He also has 5 seasons of wrestling under his belt before that, so he has nearly 25 years of grappling experience! Jason received his black belt from Jared Weiner, the very first Lloyd Irvine black belt. Scully got all his colored belts from different people ranging from Royler Gracie to Kurt Pellegrino. Jason has expressed skepticism about the merits of affiliation and ‘creonte-culture’ and is currently unaffiliated, running his own Grapplers Guide online academy.
The 33 BJJ Drills That You Have To Know
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu drills are essential for understanding the movements behind grappling techniques. In essence, BJJ drills are divided into two main categories: solo and partner drills. Solo drills are the ones you can do on your own and are actually more important to master than partner drills! Why? Well, if you can’t move your body with purpose in precision on your own, how are you going to do it with another person?
BJJ solo drills can be really fun and are a great way to stay in shape, do some Jiu Jitsu specific training, and develop fight coordination. While we enjoy BJJ mostly because it is a contact sport that we train with others, sometimes going solo is the best thing we can do for our progress. This point has become even more clear in the face of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which has further demonstrated why we need to have a BJJ solo drill curriculum at our disposal.
As with everything Jiu Jitsu related, it is always beneficial to have things organized in categories, especially while we’re learning them. So, I took the liberty of organizing the following drills into 9 different categories. This is not the order in which Scully demonstrates them, but since the name of every drill is clearly displayed in the video, you’ll have no trouble recognizing them.
The categories will allow you to pick drills that will help your specific game, help iron out some kinks in your movement patterns, or are just drills you enjoy doing. Here is Jason Scully from the Grapplers Guide who demonstrating the top 33 solo BJJ drills:
- SIT OUTS: sit outs, back and forth, around, leg high sit outs with push up
- HIP UPS: hip ups, hip up triangles, hip drive throughs
- BRIDGING: bridges, side to side, bridge turns
- ROLLS: flat roll, shrimp backward to back roll, sideways shoulder rolls, back roll to flat roll forward
- CRAWLS: forward and backward crawls, side to side crawls, seal crawls
- PUSH UPS: alligator push-ups, low leg through push-ups
- ANIMAL DRILLS: scorpions, half-circle monkey hops
- SHRIMPS: backward shrimps, forward shrimps, shrimps in place, backward scoots
- OTHER: imaginary rope pulls, wrestler’s shots, from knees jump-ups, up/downs from base, s-turns, s-turn hip-ups, elbow drags, compass drill, leg circles, explosive hip/chest pops, plank hops
How To Organize Your BJJ Solo Drills Training
Depending on your goals and the category of drills you choose, you can organize these drills into different training modalities. For example, you could do them to improve your game, which would mean carefully picking out specific drills and doing them with precision and in extreme detail. On the other hand, you could set up a grueling workout by combining several drills, or perhaps even all of them, into circuit style training.
Let’s look at some of the options that you have at your disposal:
AMRAP – As Many Rounds As Possible.
Pick your drills, organize them in any order that makes sense to you, and then pick how long your training will last. Usually, the idea is to do as many rounds as possible of a circuit within a 10-20 minute period. For every drill, you set up a number of reps, then move on to the next drill, until you do them all. Repeat as many times possible in the time limit you’ve set.
AFAP – As Fast As Possible
The name really says it all. Pick your BJJ drills from the Jason Scully video above, select the order, and then do them as fast as possible within a given time period. An example would be doing all the BJJ solo drills from the “Sit Outs” category, for 30 seconds each, moving as fast as possible without rest. Once again you can use a time period of 10-20 minutes, or simply do a set number of rounds for the entire circuit, i.e. 3-5.
Drill for Distance
The distance method works for those that have you moving through space. Moreover, you will need ample space to execute them, like for example the gym. All the animal drills, shrimps, crawls, rolls, and several other drills can be done in this fashion. It is up to you to decide how many lengths of your space you will cover. Note: This methodology will not work with every drill, as the categories above include BJJ drills that you can do in place.
Drill for Repetitions
The method we all know, doing a certain number of repetitions of an exercise for a set number of sets. Once again, you can organize everything to your preference, doing straight sets, super-sets, or giant sets.
- Straight sets are when you do a drill for a number of repetitions, rest, and then move on to the next exercise. The entire routine can be repeated as many times as fits your schedule and energy levels.
- For super-sets, you do the same just with two drills done in succession with no rest period between the two. Giant sets are the same, except done with three drills without rest. When choosing super-sets or giant-sets it is important to choose drills that work different parts of the body! Switch between drills that target different muscle groups to maximize your benefits.
Finally, you’ll need to figure out how specific you want to be. If you just want general improvements in coordination, cardio, and movement quality, make sure you use at least one drill from each category when setting up your training. If you want to work on specific aspects of your game, like inverting, for example, focusing on the entire category of rolls is the best approach. The sky is the limit, really, especially when Jason Scully has provided us with so many options!