This year has been a very busy year for me with judo. I recently made Third Degree Black Belt and earned certification as a National Level Coach, both of which through the United States Judo Association. I'm also teaching a lot of judo at New Mexico Military Institute and my own Roswell Judo Club. It's been very busy.
I noticed, after looking at what people are visiting most on my blog, that a bunch of people want information on how to develop lessons or plan classes. I think that's absolutely great! I'll put some more ideas up on that next week, but this week let's talk about drilling and sequencing.
Almost everybody I've known who teaches judo or jiujitsu knows what drills are. Quite a few know how to teach drills. Unfortunately not many people use drills as effectively as they could. I can hear it now, "I've been teaching or using drills for years, what do you mean I'm not using them effectively?"
I'm not saying that you're doing it wrong, I'm just trying to show how I use drills and that's through sequencing. Gerald Lafon (where I heard the term first) and several others call it shaping. Two basic styles of sequencing are forward and backward. The idea behind sequencing is to drill a group of logically linked techniques so you can practice like you'll perform.
Let me give you an example, last weekend at the NMMI Judo Club we started the weekend by drilling both the Figure-4 and Half-Nelson turnovers continuing into yoko shiho gatame. That's a pretty basic drill, but it limits the practical application because we don't look at any counters or continuations. The turtle position is fairly common which makes this attack something to know if you have to attack the turtle, but what if you are the one in the turtle, to quote the television show "Alice" and its cook, Mel, "The best defense is a good offense!" With that in mind we added a morote gari as an attack from the turtle, but, because a morote gari tends to have tori end up in guard, we continued with a basic guard pass and transition to side control. Maybe you've noticed that, so far, the techniques ended in a side control position. There's a reason for that!
I don't really believe in escaping in a tournament/competition setting because, once you escape and the referee stands you up, you've given your opponent another chance to win the match! I believe in getting out of a technique by transitioning to another position, preferably one where you're on top and in control.
Now, for the reason for the finish in side control: I learned a fairly simple escape/transition to a triangle from side control when I was at Gary Goltz's club in September! Once we learned how to perform and did a few isolated drills on the transition, we started linking the various turtle attacks (from both the top position and the bottom position) all the way through the transition from side control to the triangle to the tap.
If you drill and don't sequence, you are missing out on a big way to improve your and your students' performance. If you can't figure a good sequence out, I'll be happy to offer some suggestions, just drop me a message!