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Improve Your Jiujitsu With The 5P Framework

I spend at least 4 days a week practicing jiujitsu. Many moons ago that number would be on the low side but right now in my life it’s a good balance between getting my fix yet not overdoing it. Each practice is different during the week except for Thursday which is reserved for a private lesson with my instructor. It’s a pretty intense session and I love it.

Similar to my instructor, I could spend an entire session, week, and month focusing on a single move and combo. I want to drill the hell out of that move to the point that it’s not only automatic but where I know how to get in and out of it no matter the situation. That’s probably why my instructor and I get along so well. We’re both “movement” geeks at heart that love the details and want to practice until the move is second nature. Of course he is a black belt so his moves are on a whole other level, but I’m slowly getting there. ­čÖé

My instructor is well aware of my physical background and I even help him with his training outside of jiujitsu from time to time. Thankfully he really likes how we program things in GMB and it’s also how we have my private sessions and even some of the classes set up.

The GMB 5P Framework is what we use for our jiujitsu sessions and the focus of the session is based around one main movement.

Later I’ll break these down into detail but for now here are the five Ps.

    • ┬áPrep
    • ┬áPractice
    • ┬áPlay
    • ┬áPush
    • ┬áPonder

After a good warm-up (prep), the move of the day is drilled a gazillion times (practice) before exploring variations and combos of it (play). After that it’s time for some situational sparring (push) where I try to use the move in a live setting with him resisting. Then we finish with a full-on 10 minute round (more push) where I basically get my ass handed to me in a hand basket constructed of chokes, armbars, and other fun submissions. This is where my instructor throws everything at me to see how I handle it and I always know how it’ll end; me gassed out face up on the mat laughing like a little kid (ponder). I guess I’m a bit weird for enjoying that 10 minute beat down every week. Hahaha.

Here’s how I set it up using the GMB 5P Framework and the cool thing about this is that you can adjust the time for each section depending on how much time you have to practice jiujitsu that day. If you want to devote more time going over your technique then you can extend the Practice section or if you need more rolling then you can do more Push. It’s up to you or your instructor. ­čÖé It’s a very good way to set up your sessions so that you are focusing on a specific goal while getting in a lot of work.

Another thing is that we focus on timed periods instead of counting reps. So I might do 1 minute straight then take a short rest, then another minute, and so on and so on.

The reason for time is that sometimes when counting reps people just try and get through them as fast as they can. That means they typically end up doing crappy reps and that means they end up having crappy jiujitsu. However, by not having to count you end up focusing intently on each movement and that brings more awareness into what you’re doing. In other words, you are performing deliberate practice and that’s how you get better at anything.

For example for Prep, I might do the two step leg drag for 5 minutes straight nice and easy to get things going. Same with second prep move. Needless to say it’ll get your heart rate up and ready for the rest of the session. There’s of course tons of different ways to set the clock depending on your goal, level, and what part of the session you’re working on.

Here’s a look at a session focusing on the Leg Drag but of course you can do this with any move and any sort of training.

*General warm-up and mobility before private lesson/class starts

5P Framework


  • Two step leg drag R/L standing
  • Leg drag to leg drag


  • Full leg drag starting from standing, passing, and transitioning to back mount.

This is where the bulk of the session will be spent. As they say, “drillers are killers” and we work on making each rep as beautiful as possible over and over. With that being said though, this is not rushed and I’m not trying to improve conditioning. The focus is on good, clean, and controlled movement. This is where I’ll receive the majority of the technical feedback from my instructor with the goal being to get in as many high quality reps as possible with perfect form.

This is where I’ll learn some variations of the move or we’ll look at “what-if” situations and explore options. This is usually pretty short amount of time and a lead-up to Push.

The first part of Push is always Situational Sparring. Some people call it Positional Sparring but the gist is that you are now receiving full pressure when trying to perform the move. This teaches you whether or not you truly “get” the move it or not. For example, we’ll start in position and then it’s game on. If I am able to perform the move under pressure to a pre-determined point then we stop, I receive some advice, we reset, and then we go at it again. Depending on the move/combo this can be a very frustrating process. However, this way of training is an extremely important part in working towards having mastery of a movement.

The second part of Push is a 10 minute full-on free roll. I say full-on but we actually don’t go 100% at all. Of course it’s a walk in the park for my instructor and I’m willing to be he’s probably going less than 50%. Even though this completely taxes me, I’m not training for a competition so the focus isn’t aimed at upping my conditioning level.

His goal with me in the free roll is to get me to show control with my movements and focus on controlling my breathing. When breathing gets too labored a person won’t be able to access moves and therefore will revert to pure strength and of course bad habits like spazzing out. So even though my instructor is crushing me throughout the 10 minutes he is also purposely leaving me openings to see if I take advantage of them intelligently while trying to use the techniques I’ve been taught. This not only helps me get better at stringing moves together but also teaches me to relax under pressure.

Finally, while I’m lying in a puddle of sweat with a huge grin on my face, my instructor will go over the session dishing out some final pointers and critiques.

Having my session set up this way ensures that I have a goal going in to each session and an easy to follow plan for working towards the big goals.

As I wrote earlier, the GMB 5P Framework is something that you can use for any kind of training. Just decide on your focus and plug in what you need to do that day.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you.

See you on the mat!

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