The Technical Cycle runs as follows:
Positional Sparring > Problem Solving > Drilling.
1) Positional Sparring – The ‘position’ we want to explore. The more we can narrow the focus the more technically we can train, i.e. ‘cross-sides’ to ‘cross-sides with specific arm position’ to ‘cross-sides with a specific arm position and weight distribution.’ Regardless of how specific, we are at least somewhat specific here, otherwise we’re gathering general information by chance via free rolling. Everything has it’s place and time, but the more intentional we can be relative to what we’re trying to achieve, the better.
2) Problem Solving – If the positional sparring session is fruitful, we’ll run into questions we don’t have good or even passable answers for. To build self-reliance and nuture a Jiu-Jitsu intelligence I recommend relaxing and sitting with question(s) overnight before asking your coach, assualting youtube, or consulting an online school. You never know, you might have a better, more elegant and efficient solution than the critical mass does. Remember, here’s a fine line between learning from everyone and co-dependence.
3) Drilling – With a bit of resistance you will find out if said solutions actually work. Positions that work well generally cause a person to have to change positions to compensate. I could write more about what I think constitutes a solid Jiu-Jitsu solution (energy efficient, low risk, non-athletic), but that’s a whole ‘nother subject. ;o) For now, we’re drilling the solution/technique until our body understands and we’re not flailing. That is, you don’t have to think, you’re body just does.
Once we ‘got it,’ go positional spar some more to discover the next order of business…and the cycle continues…