Rickson Gracie On Partial Trainings

I transcribed the key parts of a video interview to share the advice of the jiu-jitsu mind of Rickson Gracie on what he calls “partial training.” I have also heard this described as “positional or specific training.”

Interviewer: Question one of the things that I took from your teaching a long time ago is the idea of …taking a part holding the mount, escaping the mount or the guard and isolating that part and working it with resistance so that you get the timing but just that one piece instead of rolling…Talk a little about why its so important.  It still seems to be something that very few people do.

Rickson Gracie: Yes, first it is very important because at one point you learn the position, sweep, choke or arm bar in the guard. And by learning that, you get the knowledge.

But you have to have time in training to develop that specific position to develop all of the nuances, all of the details around that. So if you learn the position and then its time let’s roll and you pass through the guard so quick that is immediately cross side, immediately mount, immediately escape so you don’t have the time to really mature the ideas and the changes.

I’ve always been doing partial trainings. That means guard : you try to pass, you try to defend. Once you pass : stop, pass again. The idea is to repeat and repeat under action, under normal conditions, under resistance the same position because you become more sophisticated to put your knee in the right position or keep your elbow in. So I love to be in control.of that position and immediately it goes to the back, you try to escape from the back I try to choke you. As soon as you escape, back again. I develop my skills to keep you in control and choke you and you develop the skills to escape. So if we spend 10 minutes on this back and forth, your knowledge about this particular position becomes much bigger than just 30 seconds in a 10 minute roll.

So the idea of during the class, teaching, drilling the positions after the partial training for a long time, a big part of the class, and after that ok, free roll. You let the free sparring to make people happy and do the different dimensions and whatever. But it is important this kind of partial training which is hard but is controlled in a way because once you escape from the mount – try again. So you have the idea of ‘Oh I missed now because of my weight’. So either by attacking or defending the same position, and even different guys sometimes because I like to do partial training one on one or if its a group class, will be the same guard position but now I’m in your guard and now I’m in Johns guard and Marks guard. It goes like this and only guard.

That gives a nice ability to handle different body shapes and different leverages. Different questions and problems will happen. So that gives a sophisticated way to develop growth in that particular piece and when you add is like a perfect puzzle.


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