Mixed Martial Arts Fighting, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Fighting ? Training Tips for Repetition Drilling of Techniques

| February 22, 2011

When first learning a new mixed martial arts fighting technique whether at the fundamental level or the more advanced it is important that we chunk it down into smaller, easily learned units. Once easily assimilated chunks are obtained these must be practiced with repetition to learn them. However, just repeating them over and over again in a session has its limitations.

Studies on a simple nervous system have shown that any more than 10 repetitions of a task in a session does not result in any increase to retention, in addition, performing only one session of learning a new piece of material results in very little retention over a long period as those of you who have been involved in training for serious mixed martial arts fighting are well aware.

The most useful method of repetition drilling to gain the most effective retention is to spread the repetitions over a number of sessions.

A method that has shown a great deal of effect is to carry out 7 to 10 repetitions of a particular technique in a training session. And then carry out at least nine repeat review sessions over several days or weeks. The first repeat session can be within the same session. I would suggest near the end of the session. The following one a day after, then a week etc. The closer the review sessions are together the quicker the optimal retention is obtained.

Another common problem, that many of us experience in mixed martial arts fighting and Muay Thai Fighting, is that of boredom when training the number of repetitions required for drilling the techniques adequately. This is detrimental to retention as the learning process is seriously impaired when we are not concentrating.

Disguising the repetitions in drills, combinations and games that utilize the particular skill involved is a very practical way that will assist you to get around this problem and allow you to increase the versatility of game by drilling the techniques with different set ups, combinations or counters being used against them.

Another more fundamental strategy that I use, particularly in working through my Muay Thai Fighting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Fighting techniques, is to repetition the techniques as many times as I can until boredom is noticed, recording the number of repetitions performed in my training diary and then repeating the process in another training session. When using this strategy just develop a determined discipline to complete a predetermined number of repetitions. I would suggest a minimum of 60 spread over a 2 year period for maximum retention.

Bear in mind that this is for the learning and retention of a new technique, not the optimal refinement of it for the highest level of effectiveness that may be required for the rigors of competition in both mixed martial arts fighting and Muay Thai Fighting. This requires the development and sharpening of the various attributes required for optimal performance of the technique, such as: speed, timing, flow, balance, connectivity to the next move, variation adjustment, corrections in balance, preparedness for reaction to the opponent’s movement, etc.

Taking your mixed martial arts fighting skill to this level requires many more repetitions and exposing the performance of the technique to increasing levels of risk through controlled and on to random sparring.

To ensure the best learning of the technique start by learning and drilling the technique under totally cooperative conditions to get it right, this is the

retention period discussed above.

Once a good level of efficacy is obtained, then try to use the technique in controlled sparring conditions or controlled performance drills in which your training partner presents moderate problems to deal with. As your efficacy increases start to utilize it in your sparring, at first against less experienced opponents working up to opponents of higher levels.

Using this strategy for developing and drilling your techniques will not only enhance your game but also make repetition drilling far more enjoyable when training for mixed martial arts fighting.

Dr Geoff Aitken, Ph.D. is a coach of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting, Muay Thai Fighting and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a former kick boxing champion with over 34 years of experience in mixed martial arts and 15 years as a bouncer. He holds a 6th degree Black Belt in Freestyle Karate (Goju Kai derivative), a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, certified trainer, referee and judge in Muay Thai Fighting and has trained numerous national and international champions in Muay Thai Fighting, BJJ and Mixed Martial Arts. He has just released a DVD series packed full of concepts and techniques for set ups and Bridging the Gap in Muay Thai Fighting, Mixed Martial Arts fighting and the street self defense situation. Grab your free video and audio clips on Mixed Martial Arts Fighting at http://www.UltimateFightingSystems.com

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