When it comes to fight-specific training, drilling is the way to go. Boxers and kickboxers can shadow box, work a bag, or do partner drills. On paper, grapplers seem more limited in that capacity. You can practice a move repeatedly or work some wrestling drills (which will not necessarily help your submission game), and you can roll, and for most, that is where the grappling training ends.
What if you don’t feel like getting gi-burn around your neck or knees, or just plain want to try something different that is beneficial while being slightly less violent? After all, if you are getting ready for a tournament, the last thing you need to worry about is your partner accidentally cranking a heel hook too hard, putting you out of commission for your match.
Steve Scott, a US Judo and Jujitsu champion, has heard the cries for help with training, and has put together this book, “Drills for Grapplers.” Published by Turtle Press, this instructional offers drills in a variety of ways that is supposedly accessible for any level of student. Does this book give you useful info and help on how to maximize your time on the mats, or is this fellow’s gi full of hot air?
Hit the jump for the full review, and find out if this book delivers the goods, or if you should tap out before you buy it!
At around 150 pages, “Drills for Grapplers” crams in as much info as humanly possible. Steve scott breaks up the techniques into two sections, fitness drills and skill drills. The fitness drills will keep your body in shape as you work on the skill drills, which will reinforce your attacks, defensive maneuvers, and mobility on the mats.
The fitness section is a bit smaller as opposed to the skill section, but I am fine with that since I was more interested in the skills anyway. Even though there is less focus on that portion of the book, the drills are still very useful, and some of them even allow for more than two partners like the circle drill, toilet ball, and riders & horses (which all look like a ton of fun).
The skill drills cover everything from wrestling, throws, takedowns, flows and chains with submissions from a variety of positions, and control drills. Anything you can think of gets a drill here, from leg laces, guard passes and pins, armlocks, and more! Scott’s Judo background lends itself to certain exercises that would be overlooked in a pure BJJ instructional. Instead, there is a good balance between the two, both in stand-up and on the ground. However, if you are looking for advanced submission flow drills, look elsewhere as most of the drills are fundamentals, with the exception of the more “free-play” type of drills where you can do whatever you want as part of the exercise.
The book features a decent amount of photos, however they are all black and white. The only color image you get is the one on the front. As we have discussed in other book reviews, color VS b&w is not a big deal, as what really matters is the content. There is usually two to six photos per drill to visually demonstrate how they work, which is more than enough to get the idea.
I do wish some of the photos were shot better to show more of the nuances of the moves, and I also would have liked more detail in the explanations of the drills, but there is a good amount of info to get you on the right path (to be fair, the moves for higher skill levels are marked for the intermediate student, so if you don’t know the right way to execute a certain technique, you may simply not be ready for it yet).
Drilling should never be a chore, and “Drills for Grapplers” does its best to find ways to keep you excited about different ways to train. This book is an excellent resource for coaches and students of all levels, and I give it a solid recommendation to grapplers everywhere. You will get in-shape, perfect your skills, and have fun while doing it with a much thinner percentage of potentially being injured while you work out.
You can purchase “Drills for Grapplers: Training Drills and Games You Can Do on the Mat for Jujitsu, Judo and Submission Grappling” on Amazon for around $7. At that price, this book is an absolute steal!