“Reps vs. Do it for a While” by Patrick Parker

“I told the story the other day of how my teacher would have to perform 25 reps left and right of each groundwork technique before his teacher would show him the next thing. There’s sort of two schools of thought on drilling and repetitions. Some folks define an explicit goal – a number of reps – for their practice. Other teachers say, “Here’s this drill. Let’s do it for a while.”

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Setting an explicit goal for reps tends to make you learn personal discipline and endurance. With the ‘do it for a while’ method it can be too easy to say, “Whew, that was a good one! What’s next?”

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  1. I tend to give everybody a chance at something, then move on. Might start with pinning series, once each, then move on to either bits that went into them or things that could have gone into them or motion… It seems to work and while people get confused, pretty quick their confusion is just another valid technique.

  2. Mindful repetition is the key to mastery. Boredom is an indication of lack of concentration and a reminder to return to mindful repetition.

    To break the routine and help the students develop a sense of urgency, let them do a technique once with only one chance to do it right, switch to something else and so on.

    That is where the experience of a teacher who has been going through that kind of training is essential.

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