Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

This past week I headed to our Lincoln school with our blackbelt and another white belt. It was a small class, I think all told there were 6 of us there. This week was triangle week at the gym, and that was true out in Lincoln as well. Our workout Monday went like this:

10 minutes: One man down, partner in his guard. Without using hands, the man on bottom had to throw his legs in a triangle position. The guy who was in guard tried to apply different grips as if he was passing guard.

10 minutes: Swap positions.

10 minutes: Original guy down again, this time, his feet were on his partner’s quads or hips. As his partner moved in towards him, he again throws his legs up to catch his partner. Then with his hips still off the ground, he cut his leg across his partner’s neck. Then he’d reach up to grab the ankle, and drop his hips and complete the triangle.

10 minutes: Swap positions.

10 reps: Executing a triangle from a classic open guard, then swap with a partner.

It was far-and-away more triangle motions than I had ever done in a single class. In fact, we set the interval timer for 10 minutes, when it beeped at 1 minute, my first thought was “Thank goodness, it’s his turn now.”  I was quickly corrected and told that I was to go for the entire 10 minutes, then my partner would go for the entire 10 minutes.  By the end of the time, my legs and lower back were beyond sore from the movement. In a lot of ways, that was good. I’d say I could do about 1 minute before I got tired, so I actually had 9 minutes where I was already tired. As we got closer to running out of time, it slowed down.

Then in the Tuesday class, we did something similar, although we didn’t go for 10 minutes straight, but rather 10 reps at a time.  By the end of the day Tuesday, I finally felt like I was starting to understand the triangle. It was something that I had learned within the first month of training, but I think in sparring I’ve probably only attempted it a handful of times. I’m by  no means an expert now, but I feel like I’m finally to the point where I can say I understand how it’s supposed to work. From talking with the instructor, that’s exactly what he was going for. He said that basically each 100 you do in close repetition help move you up to the next level. The danger is doing 10 triangles, then moving to 10 arm bars, then to 10 mount escapes. It’s only with repetition that you actually start to learn and master a move.