BJJ Drills Series: Attacking Drills

You have probably heard the paradox: what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? A big part of training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about passing the guard and building an impenetrable guard. Perhaps most of your training will focus on these two aspects. Today, we’ll talk about the offensive side of things – how to become a relentless attacker, both on the standup and ground.


Attacking Drills

Drilling plays a significant role in any martial art. It is a way to repeatedly perform a technique to familiarize the mind so that application becomes automatic. Drilling builds muscle memory, making it easier for you to do a technique, even under pressure. 

World-renowned coach John Danaher said that while doing countless repetitions might be a waste of time, understanding the underlying mechanics of a technique is still very important. He believes in the idea of drilling with a gradual increase in resistance, which also makes sense if you think about it. 

Drilling is an essential part of every training session, and the higher your standard in drilling, the better your performance will be in a match. Drilling techniques play a key part in progressing faster in BJJ

Here are attacking drills you may do before or after your training sessions. Remember to start by drilling the moves slowly and gradually, adding resistance over time.


1) Armbar Drills

The armbar is one of the fundamental submissions in BJJ. When done properly, it is one of the strongest submissions, as it uses the lower body against the opponent’s arm, creating a powerful mismatch. However, some lighter practitioners may find it difficult to finish the armbar, especially when done against bigger and stronger opponents.

Armbar drills are used to mobilize your hips and to get used to creating angles. In this video, Chewjitsu shows five different armbar drills from four different positions: closed guard, full mount, back mount, and side mount

The first drill is the traditional armbar from the closed guard. It is done by first securing the opponent’s tricep using your far hand and stepping on his hip as you put your other leg behind the armpit while you swivel your body to the other side, finishing the armbar on one side.


2) Single Leg Drill

It is critical for grapplers to learn at least one takedown. The single leg takedown is one of the simplest takedowns and works for every grappler regardless of size. What makes the single leg takedown special is that it has many entries that can be finished in various ways as well. Also, it can be connected to other throws, takedowns, sweeps, and trips.

There are different ways to execute the single leg. A simple shoot and lift single leg drill by Dan Vallimont will help you train your agility and explosiveness on the mat, giving you more confidence to shoot and finish the takedown. 

The video shows Dan starting by shooting the outside single leg with a high crotch grip. He then moves his hips in to lift his partner, using his hips to explode rather than lifting with the back, similar to the movements of power clean and squat to produce explosive power.


3) Armbar, Triangle And Omoplata Drill From Closed Guard

The armbar, triangle, and omoplata are three submissions that blend together perfectly. The omoplata is available every time there is an armbar. Every armbar can be converted into a triangle and omoplata, and every omoplata is a chance to switch back to the triangle and armbar.

The three “submission brothers” in BJJ can be used in a drill to help you develop a threatening closed guard. 

Gustavo Gasperin starts with the traditional armbar entry in the video, similar to the one mentioned earlier. As the opponent pulls his arm out of the armbar, you may transition to the omoplata. If the opponent postures up, switch to the triangle and get your angle, opening the possibility of an armbar.   


4) Kimura Trap Drill

The kimura, a popular big man move, is a figure-four armlock known for its devastating effects, especially when used by bigger and stronger grapplers. It can be used as a submission, control the opponent to gain positional advantage, or transition to other submissions such as the armbar, rear naked choke, and triangle. Even though it is one of the elementary techniques in BJJ, the kimura is still highly effective and can be applied from many positions.

The kimura is a versatile submission because it can connect to other submissions like previously mentioned. 

Knight Jiu-Jitsu shows that you can drill the kimura trap to take your opponent’s back or enter the 411/inside sankaku position if you love heel hooks. He starts the technique from the bottom half-guard to sweep his opponent and finish the kimura from north-south. 

The next technique requires you to rotate your body using the momentum of the legs to take the back. Similarly, this rotation can be used to enter the 411/inside sankaku position instead of taking the back.


5) Toreando Pass Drill

The toreando, also known as the bullfighter pass, is a speed pass used to escape the opponent’s guard by grabbing the opponent’s pants inside the knee area. Grips are used to pressure the opponent’s legs, which will prevent the passer’s movement if not controlled. It mimics the movement of a bullfighter, passing the legs to one side as you move to the other, hence the name toreando.

The toreando pass speed drill is typically performed as a warm-up or at the end of training sessions to push your conditioning, especially when preparing for competitions. 

Start by performing the toreando pass and finish on the knee on belly position. As you get used to the drill, have your partner resist by retaining his guard, requiring you to work on your passing technique, similar to the speed pass drilling session by Rafael Mendes.


Final thoughts

Every grappler needs to develop an offensive game plan for every position. While defense and guard retention are equally valuable, having a solid offensive game gives you the confidence to dictate the pace of the match. Try to incorporate attacking drills every training session. You’ll notice that your game will become more relentless and leave your opponents little time to react.


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