The Role of Drills and Importance of Repetition in Martial Arts

Learning a martial art is a lot of hard work, and this especially applies if you are a complete beginner. An average training session includes warming up, learning a new technique, practicing it over and over again and then sparring. If nobody has told you by now, drills and repetition are the cornerstones of any training routine.

If you sign up for our martial arts program in Peakhurst, you are going to do a lot of drills and repetition, no matter whether you are training Muay Thai, Karate, MMA, Wrestling, Judo, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, etc. and there is a good reason for this.

Muscle Memory

Motor learning, or muscle memory is a form of procedural memory, and the definition says it all: “Muscle memory involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition”. With the repetition being the keyword here, you get the picture. Every movement has to be repeated as many times as necessary to become part of procedural memory.

It is important to know that the muscle learning process is specific for each individual, and you will find out during sparring that some movements come very natural to you, while you have to stop and think for a split of a second about performing others.

This is why our Sydney martial arts instructors always pay close attention to students in order to pinpoint the techniques each student has to work on. This is one part of why repetition is important in martial arts, so let’s move to another.

Focus on Opponent Rather Than Self

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Why is it important to repeat the same techniques over and over besides mastering them? Once you have repeated many techniques and memorised them, they will become a part of your automatic response arsenal. Your body will know what to do, whether you find yourself in attack or defence.

When you master the technique, you won’t have to worry if you are doing it properly or if it’s the right moment to use it. Through repetition you will be able to pay attention to your opponent.

With this knowledge come certain calmness and mental toughness. You will be able to focus on the task at hand and plan how and when you want to spend your energy and go for a takedown, lock, knockout, clinch, etc.

Better Performance in Competition

As we said, drills are also an inseparable part of martial arts training. During drills, students practice specific skills and techniques over and over again. The drills can be done through sparring, in front of the mirror or just against an imaginary opponent.

The main purpose of drills is to improve the fighter’s skill, technique and reflexes. This is why our Sydney martial arts instructors at Integrated Combat Centre focus on drills and tend to time them right during training.

Good drill practice incorporates hard work and a lot of repetition under the supervision of a martial arts instructor. The goal is to reach the point where a fighter doesn’t need to think about which muscle group he has to activate.

Since the point of reacting freely and without conscious thought is very hard to achieve, you have to participate in drills regularly and work on them with intensity. It is advised to perform drills several times in short time intervals. These have better results than the long drills performed in longer time intervals, because there is less chance of your form breaking down, and you want to drill with perfect form.

Drills Help Improve Weaknesses


It is important to know that drills are not performed mindlessly. Some drills fit the training plan and they are used to help martial arts students integrate a new technique, but sometimes drills are custom-tailored for each individual fighter. After the instructor identifies a student’s weaknesses he can tell him exactly what drill to do in order to improve.

This ability to design on-the-spot drills come from the long experience of our Sydney martial arts instructors, who coach with both great concern and passion.

As you can see, drills and repetition are indeed very important aspects of martial art training. This is why our Sydney martial arts instructors pay a lot of attention to these two things. As a student, it is important to acknowledge the importance of these training methods.

Furthermore, if you would like to experience great drills first hand, you can always visit us and make use of our free trial. You can also reach out to us, and our dedicated staff will help you by answering any questions you might have.

Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.


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