"As nice as it would be to spend 24 hours a day every day at the club we understand that is unrealistic."
As Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gains popularity and more people take it up, more people will definitely want to constantly improve and work on their game outside of club practice.
Here at FightstorePro, we've got you covered with some food for thought from the Gracie NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) Club's YouTube channel, viewable in full here.
The top five drills are:
- Shrimping (Or Hip Escapes)
- Hip Roll-overs
- Forward Tumble
- "Gracie Get-up
The benefits to the majority of these drills are that they can be done at home with relatively limited space, with the exception of the tumble.
The first drill is likely the very first thing a new BJJ practitioner will encounter. Hip escapes, or shrimping, are a very important base skill to have. In most clubs, you'll see people performing hip escapes in lines, travelling up the mats.
For hip escapes, start on your back. Plant one foot on the floor and use it to push your hips back and to one side, all the while your hands are motioning towards your outstretched foot. Throughout this drill, the foot that is placed on the floor is also the direction you'll be pushing in. The term shrimping makes sense as you often find yourself curling up like the titular sea creature.
Bridging is a lot simpler to explain. Start on your back with your feet pulled close to your butt. Lift the butt, extend the hips, and turn onto your left shoulder, reaching the right arm over to touch the matt at your 1 O'clock. Reset to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Hip roll-overs are great for sweeps and scrambles, and good for guard retention and generally a good way to keep yourself oriented.
Starting on your back as if you're going to shrimp, step your right leg over to your left, and drag your left leg through the 'tunnel' that your right leg has created. Repeat on the same side, and if you're struggling with flexibility, do not fear! This drill looks worse than it is.
The dreaded forward tumble, now. A lot of beginners are worried about rolling on the neck. For a lot of these drills, if you end up like that, you're doing something wrong. The forward tumble, or roll, is done over the shoulder, rather than the neck.
For rolling over the left shoulder, start on your knees and plant your right hand on the floor. Reach your left hand under your legs with the pinky towards the floor and the thumb towards the chest, pushing everything on the left towards the floor. As everything goes towards the ground, tuck your left ear to the ground as your hips raise, roll over your left shoulder into the sit position.
The Gracie Get Up, or the Technical Stand Up, is an interesting one. In a seated position, with your right hand flat on the floor behind you, put your weight onto the hand and lift your hips to swing your right leg past the hand. This motion should carry you up and away from a hypothetical opponent if done right.