Secrets To Improve Your Grappling Fast

Post date:  Friday, May 7th

The Secret Of How To Improve Your Grappling Fast…
…Without Spending EVEN ONE EXTRA MINUTE On The Mat!

***Admin’s Edit: Since writing this post, I’ve created a training tool called the iGrapple™ Online Grappling Trainer.  Using it in conjunction with this method can increase the speed you learn your grappling moves tenfold.***

Are you improving as fast as you’d like? If not, here’s a sure-fire method that will:

  • Increase your skills quickly
  • Make you a very technical grappler / martial artist
  • Get you way beyond where you’d have any right to be otherwise

It’s worked for me, my teachers, my students and thousands of professional athletes. And I can guarantee it will work for you. It has to… and does… every time.

BEFORE I tell you how to do it, I want you to follow my logic on this…

You MUST read this part, otherwise you won’t understand why it’s so essential to do this.

Let me ask you… What is the key to grappling skill?

It’s not strength… strength helps a lot, but you can be strong and have ABSOLUTELY NO SKILL.  Strength doesn’t teach skill.

It’s not just knowing techniques… you can know them without being able to perform them properly and instantaneously.

The answer should be obvious… it’s HIGH REPETITIONS OF TECHNIQUES. It creates “muscle memory”. Your body “remembers” how to do the movement instantly without the need for you to think about it.

“Muscle memory” is a numbers game. I suggest you repeat that to yourself often. It’s a numbers game.  The higher the numbers, the better. The lower the numbers, well… not so good.

So, then, because it’s a numbers game…

The #1 factor in becoming more skilled is HIGH REPETITIONS

Okay, you probably knew that already (or not). But there’s some problems with trying to get enough reps (i.e. high numbers)….

(Stop me when I get to yours!)

I don’t have enough time…

  • My body can’t physically handle it…
  • I get injured when I train that much…
  • I’m older, and can’t afford to risk injury…
  • I’m too tired after work…
  • We spend so much time in class sparring that I don’t get to do reps…
  • I don’t have a training partner

You’re probably thinking I’m going to recommend the Submission Master Grappling Dummy now… but that’s not where I’m going with this.

Obviously, the Submission Master will allow you to get MANY more reps than you’re ordinarily getting… but this is something else that will also help put you WAY over the top… especially when you combine it with Submission Master training.

Most of the reasons for not getting high reps involve 2 things…

1.) Not enough TIME…
2.) You can’t handle it PHYSICALLY (you get too worn out, you’re older, injured, etc.)

So, you need more reps…

without spending more time AND without having to physically do the reps.

Think that’s impossible?  Sounds like you need to stretch time and/or hire someone to do the reps for you, doesn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be awesome to get several hundred (or thousands) more reps, every week, without spending more time training and without having to tax your body even more?  Keep reading…

A side note…

Here’s a quick story about one fellow I studied from back in the late 70’s and 80’s.   You would have to have seen him to believe it… his striking skills, kicking, countering abilities, and overall technical ability was incredible. His physical abilities were so good that it actually provided the inspiration for me to spend the rest of my life training in the martial arts… he was that good.

One day I began wondering… how does he have the time to practice that much?  And where does he get the physical energy to do that many repetitions?

He was married… had kids, a job… it just didn’t seem possible for someone to develop that level of ability and still have a life.  There just isn’t that many hours in a day!

Fortunately, he explained his training… and that’s what I’m sharing with you now.


O.K…. enough suspense… I’ll tell you what the “secret” is and how to do this.

Drum roll, please…..

It’s visualization. But wait a second….

…if you’re thinking “Big deal – I already know about visualization”, do not stop reading here.

Especially if you aren’t already using it. I can guarantee you, if you aren’t using it, you don’t understand what I’m explaining.

Most likely, you’ve been told that to visualize, you should “go find a quiet place, close your eyes, breathe deeply…”


It’s not that it doesn’t work that way… it does… but that takes TIME, and we already know you don’t have extra time. So, let’s look at it a bit differently, allowing me to explain exactly HOW and WHY you should do it this way…

…so you can get waaaaayyyyy more repetitions, and save lots of TIME in the process.

Another side note-

If you’re not familiar with visualization, you need to understand that it’s NOT a “new age” thingy that might work sometimes. Rather, it’s a science that’s proven, powerful and with lots of research behind it.

I’m not going to give you too much background data on it here, but if you’re interested, read anything from Maxwell Maltz concerning “Psycho Cybernetics”. The research is there, and it’s been proven that, as far as skill learning goes, “mental practice” provides results that are nearly the same as actual practice.


OK… here’s the “WHY” of visualization

In a nutshell, it’s been proven that, to a large degree, you’re body / mind can’t tell the difference between what you believe is happening… and what is actually happening.

So, if you believe you are practicing your techniques, as far as your body / mind is concerned…

…you are practicing your techniques. Let me give you an example…

… it’s 1 a.m., I’m laying in bed, doing my usual nightly reps in my head of a particular tactic as I’m drifting off to sleep. Shortly after I start, my wife (who likes to sleep with her head on my chest) tells me to “stop practicing” because my elevated heart rate is keeping her awake.

So I stop… for a few minutes. Of course, I start up again once I believe she’s asleep. A couple minutes later, she threatens to send me to the couch if I don’t “quit practicing”.

True story, and it will happen every time. Visualization works, and research has shown that the results (as far as skill learning is concerned) are nearly the same as actual practice.

And here’s more of the “WHY” of visualization…

“How you can get 600% to 700% more reps, in the same time or less…”

Do this exercise with me. It will only take you about 2 minutes. And it will forever change your training.

Let’s take a simple arm bar from the mount position. Do arm bars, on a partner, for 1 minute. I’ll wait….

O.k…. how many did you do?  Including repositioning after each one, you probably did 5 to 8 reps max.

Now, have your partner time you for 30 seconds while you close your eyes and clearly picture yourself on your opponent doing arm bars….

This time, you probably did around 30 to 35, didn’t you?

If you extended that out to 5 minutes, you’d have done 150 to 175 reps of that arm bar, as compared to 25 to 40 of the first type (if you could even do that many before being exhausted.)

And lets face it… when was the last time you did 25 to 40 reps of an arm bar, on a live opponent, in 5 minutes. For that matter, 25 to 40 reps in a single training session, much less 5 minutes!!!

Compare that to 150 to 175 reps you could have had, just by taking a 5 minute break from your actual “physical” training to do the “mental reps”. You probably haven’t done that many arm bars in the last 3 months.

You could do more reps in less time than you’re spending now… and you will see improvement immediately.

And, you wouldn’t be totally exhausted!  Get the point?

And now…

…here’s the “how” of visualization…

This is the important part… not because it’s complex, but rather because it’s so simple that you’re probably missing it.

IMHO, forget the “find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes…” approach. You’ll probably never do it. You don’t have the time (or patience). And neither do I for that matter. But…

…I’ve got ALOT of other ways to do this that are easy, add hundreds of reps daily to my training (remember the “it’s a numbers game” part?), don’t take any extra time out of my busy day, are actually fun and make me feel like I’m improving every single day…

…when was the last time you felt like that?

How to do it…

Here’s some of the ways…

1.) Don’t worry if you’re “doing it right”… just do it, pretty much however you want to. Just about any way you imagine will work. Just picture yourself doing your moves as clearly as possible.

My personal preference is to picture things as I would be seeing them through my own eyes, rather than as a 3rd person watching myself. It works great!

Actually, just the act of trying to picture it clearly is very helpful on it’s own. You can’t do something that you can’t see in your mind… so once you can see yourself doing it, you’ve made good progress.

2.) An awesome time to visualize is when you go bed at night and are waiting to fall asleep. You can log a couple hundred reps easily, and you’ll be better for it in the morning. Not to mention… what else are you going to do while your laying there… worry about your problems?  Merely “think” about class?  Forget about it!  Use that time to get some high reps in!

Do it a couple nights in a row and you’ll be hooked on it!

3.) Do you watch T.V.? I’ve got a student who’s EXTREMELY talented. His favorite method?  He loves to watch football. So, all season long, he sits in front of his TV, watching the game….

…and guess what he does in between plays and on commercials? Yep, you got it. By the time the games over, he’s logged several hundred repetitions on whatever new tactics he’s working on. He’s a walking encyclopedia of grappling moves, and can pull them off in a heartbeat.

4.) I probably don’t need to mention this, but just in case…

… don’t forget the obvious ones…

* Standing in line at the grocery store
* Waiting in line at the bank
* Laying on the ground in your straddle stretch before class
* While you’re training partners off getting a drink
* When your girlfriend’s talking about “your relationship”…

…you get the idea.

5.) Do you watch grappling instructional videos? Do you have trouble remembering the moves afterwards?  Not any more! Try this…

…Watch a move, then hit pause.

…Close your eyes and do 30 reps in your mind (should take you about 1 minute).

…. Watch the next move…

…Close your eyes again and do 30 more reps in your mind…

…Watch the next move… (you get the idea, don’t you?)

Try this – I’m telling you… you won’t believe how well this works until you’ve done it!

I’ve experimented with my students using a similar method. We found that many of them could not only learn 12 to 15 techniques in a single night…

…they could recall and use them while rolling with their partners the next day…

…without ever having physically done the move!

If that doesn’t get you super amped-up to start doing this, nothing will!

My # 1 recommendation…

…just start doing it, and start today.  It doesn’t take years… or months… or even days to see results. You will usually see improvement the very next time you train.

If you aren’t sold yet, try # 5 above just one time. YOU WILL HAVE MORE TACTICS AVAILABLE TO YOU THE NEXT TIME YOU “ROLL”…. without ever having actually physically practiced them.

Admin Edit: If you’re serious about learning your grappling moves faster, you MUST consider the iGrapple™ Online Grappling Trainer.  It will multiply your efforts tenfold. Hundreds of serious grapplers and other martial artists are already using it.

Good luck & good training!

Bob Dorris


  1. This is a technique used by all the top competidors and really work.
    I’ve seen the Red Bull airplane pilots going over and over the track mentally before the competition, as well as competition freedivers diving and coming back up to the surface mentally .
    I really believe in this system but was not applying in a sistematic way as explained by you guys…
    Will start right now!
    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Can’t agree more with what is said here(although sometimes I do mental reps before sleep and can’t get to bed b/c I get so excited about doing the moves on the mat!).

    I used to play a lot of basketball when I was younger, and visualized how I would school someone out on the court. I think it helped tremendously with my game, and I bet if you asked professional athletes as to whether or not they visualize, all would say YES.

    Great article!

    ps loved the “visualize while gf talks to you part”–awesome!

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