Try Making Practice Cooperatively Competitive

A cooperative approach to practice within combat sports is a significant departure from what you’ll find in most academies.  Traditionally, martial arts and wrestling routines usually involves drilling a technique against an unresisting opponent…or in some cases, no opponent at all.

You’ve probably drilled this way before and have discovered the frustration of nailing a move in drilling, only to find you can’t make it work in an actual match.

The flip side is to add a ton of resistance to your drills. This might make things better short term, but then your training runs the risk of becoming unstructured.  The drills get too competitive, and the goal shifts from “learn” to “win.”

Try this–make your drills ‘cooperatively competitive’.  To do this, don’t assign the goal to just one of the participants. Both participants must have a goal.

Sounds easy, right? The real challenge for combat sports is creating mutually exclusive goals that allow each participant to get better simultaneously. Yikes, that’s a tall order!!!

We’ll offer some ideas on drills that embrace cooperation and competition in upcoming posts, but first consider a primary design principle here– each athlete shouldn’t have the same goal, e.g., a takedown, pin, submission, etc., when striving to balance competition with cooperation!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: