Training: Differences Between Positional Sparring & Drilling

A note on the differences between sparring and drilling resistance:

Positional sparring is fine and fun if you have some working knowledge of a position, but if you haven’t acquired decent form and understanding, we’re entertaining what legendary basketball coach John Wooden called ‘lots of activity with very little achievement.’ ;o)

Some things to remember about drilling versus positional sparring is that drilling is cooperative in nature, with specific speeds and feeds repped to build optimal neuro-muscular conditioning.

Taken the preceding drilling definition to the extreme with high reps, you have conditioning drills that build BOTH form and conditioning, but form and understanding must come first, otherwise we’re back to activity without much achievement.

Positional sparring by contrast, is chiefly uncooperative training with agreed on parameters. This is of course essential too, building a different, more holistic timing than drilling, as well providing us with information on what needs attention and possible future drilling.

In closing, think of Sparring as a Fork and Drilling a Spoon:


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