Technique is great. But trouble is, you don’t always have a partner to train with. Perhaps you’re a member at a new club that only has beginner class. You’ll need something to supplement your training and needs. We’ve got a selection of four drills that you can do by yourself at home to burn some calories and feel like you can not only move yourself but anything that gets in your way. We didn’t list the hip escape because you’ve probably already figured out how to do it by yourself in bed.
1. Baseball Slide into Crab
The great thing about the baseball slide is that you need exactly the amount of space that’s as wide as your arms and legs. What that means is you can do it at home. You can do it pre-tournament. It’s a great solo drill and is related to collar drags, arm drags, sit-outs etc. It was probably adapted for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by a wrestler. Today, the collar or arm-drag is one of the most effective takedown setups out there.
Start from bear position, looking at the ground. You’ve got four points of contact with the ground: palms of your hands and your feet. Pick a hand and take it off the floor. Use your opposite hand to drive off it. Turn your hip to the sky. The side of your thigh on the same side as the arm you’re driving off will make contact with the ground. Head looks up to the sky. It’s basically a hip drop. You drop to the side of your hip. It’s an extremely powerful motion.
Connect it to the crab by driving off your palm and instead of dropping to your hip, base out with your heel. Go back to bear, same side. You’ll be sweating bullets by the time you’re done. Count twenty or set a timer and do as many as you can.
2. Collar pull Ups
All you need for this one is a collar, i.e. BJJ jacket. You’ll need something to hang it off and that won’t snap when you hang. This one will turn your back into rock. The only thing you should be on the lookout for are your fingers. Gripping the GI can turn your hands into an old man’s really quick, really fast. You’ve probably experienced swelling and pain when playing spider-guard. Collar grips shouldn’t be as hard on the fingers as the spider grip though. Use your own better judgment when trying this out. You can always go to the gym and do a crap-load of pull ups. But one thing is certain, even if it eats away at your fingers doing this will up your psych game.
3. Wrestling Shots
Fact is, we use our legs to walk and run. Chances are the legs are your strongest and largest muscles. As such, they’ll draw the most energy and stress your heart the most. Even if you’re a guard player this’ll boost the strength of your hooks. Although you shouldn’t be crashing your knee into the ground if this does happen just put a pillow on the floor of your room and then go. You could also do something similar on a carpet surface. Start from knees. Base out on heel. Use the heel to stand up. Go down on one knee again and repeat.
4. Stand up
I have to say, besides being really good for cardio this has to be the most useful skill in BJJ. You’ll often hear coaches hollering at tournaments, ‘STAND UP, STAND UP’. That’s because if both of you are on your asses, the first to stand up gets points. It’ll also build muscle memory so you can stand up when you get the sweep. To do it, you need to pick a side that’ll offer the least resistance when standing up. Off your back, pick a side. Do a crunch. Post your hand behind you, at a 90 degree angle to your partner or opponent in a sparring or competition setting. You might as well lay down a mat or wide pillow if you’re doing it in your room. Use the hand to pull the same side leg in under you. Post on the heel and stand up. Repeat either with a timer or if you’re starting out do sets of 20. Good luck.