I think that grappling drills can serve an important function. Not everybody agrees with me about this: some people think that movement repetition outside the context of a resisting opponent is ‘dead’ training and a waste of time and energy. Sparring, they say, is a far better way to develop the movements and attributes so essential for grappling.
Of course I believe in sparring. Of course I also believe in sparring exercises where your partner/opponent only gives you certain specific sorts of pressure or resistance. Of course I don’t think that all your training should be devoted just to grappling drills. Drilling definitely has their place in my world though, because the correct drill introduced at the correct time can have dramatic results. Sometimes isolating a movement in a drill for just a few minutes is all a person needs to make a major breakthrough.
In a sport that is evolving as fast as ours there is no way that anyone can have the last comprehensive word on drills. Even though I have put out a well-reviewed video on the topic other people have developed or collected other useful drills too. Here are some of the better grappling drill video clips I found online:
Gracie Barra BJJ Drills: not much explanation is given (or needed) in this fast paced collection of movement drills.
Wall Drill: De la Riva is speaking Portugese while explaining how move his hips, but it’s easy to understand what he’s trying to convey.
Various Exercisesfrom a DVD called ‘Grappling Drills’ by some guy called Stephan Kesting
Stability Ball Drilling by Hywel Teague,
Spinning BJJ Drill: using a partner to develop transitions between different open guard positions
Various Drill Videos on the site www.lockflow.com
No-Gi BJJ Drills: two grapplers work on a variety of submission and movement drills without the gi.
Guard Pass Drill: this one develops both standing guard pass and the hip, leg and arm motion required to put your opponent back into the guard.
Have fun watching this material and training it too!