It’s common to hear in BJJ schools that repetition is the secret to properly performing any move. Phrases like “put it on autopilot” or “stick it to your brain” are easily associated to repetition, but we also have science to confirm the intuitive findings of teachers around the world.
In a study conducted at Imperial College London, practical analyses showed how movement repetition resulted in improvements not just in athletes’ physical aspect, but also in the brain’s complex connections. That’s because, it was found, in the brains of black-belts the internal communication through electric pulses was perfected over years of training, including the greater development of white mass, which is a mass of fibers capable of improving the migration of information between parts of the brain.
The study, done with karate fighters, showed that actions like breaking bricks demand less force and more speed and technique. More-experienced athletes managed to coordinate wrist and shoulder movements more effectively than less-experienced ones — also an influence of the speed at which they transmitted electric pulses within their brains.
So next time your teachers makes you do an interminable drill session to “stick it to your brain,” rest assured the repetition will be good to your brain.