Drills are a big part of the learning process in throwing.
The body must move in a specific way, to be able to unbalance and lift/throw a resisting opponent.
And then we need to repeat this specific way thousands of times, for it to become a muscle memory, and executed with perfection, when needed.
Before we look into the details of the different drill styles and their benefits, we should learn a bit about the math involved in mat work.
Everything we do on the mat is a mathematical and physics equasion:
- Angles of entries
- Vector forces application
- Breaking points
Understanding the mat maths, will help us utilize our time and equipment more efficient, but also evading bad habbits, which if drilled into the muscle memory, become a big problem for the proper execution of a move.
Drilling with a partner
As much as we would like to throw our partner all day long, we cannot, because well… he is breakable, but also because we need to pay attention at our form.
Uchikomi drill, with 20 degrees:
Those are the fast entry drills, people usually see in Judo Uchikomi videos.
Partner’s weight is not loaded on the hips, his feet are firmly on the mat.
This is the sweet spot of the drill, guranteeing a nice entry, with no risk of a counter, but also right before loading Uke on the hips, which helps to quickly restart the position and have numerous repetitions in, within short period of time, targetting the entry mechanics of the footwork.
Uchikomi with 40 degrees tilt:
Usually done in a slow manner.
Partner’s weight is loaded on the hips, his entire body is lifted off the ground.
At this point, Tori could either continue with the throw, or stop and bring back Uke on the mat slowly.
In this phase we are drilling how to load the partner and go through the “breaking point” of the throw.
Great for drilling the throw loading mechanics and own body balance.
As all motions of the human body, one moves the way its used to.
It is very important to drill in a practical way, extremely close to the mechanics of the actual application of the throw. If someone drills fast entries, without a tilt, it is highly likely to end up with an entry, without opponent’s unbalancing, which will lead to an easy counter.
This is an example of the difference in the result, between learning how to drill with a tilt, and without:
Elastic band drills
Depending on the scope of the training session, one could use elastic bands to drill his/hers throwing entries.
Here is an example of a 40 degrees and below tilt drills.
Notice the body and arms positioning.
The elastic band resistance helps executing a full range of motion drill, from the footwork, to the very end, in which a live partner would be landed on his back.
Part 2 of this article will be focused on drilling with a wrestling dummy.