The first stage is Introduction.
Introduction is just that, the first time the movement is introduced to the students within that class. The motion, technique, or skill, is taught, and then repeated, absent any resistance.
This is done until the students can repeat the motion mechanically correct, when no resistance is present.
This is not drilling. This is simply introducing of a new move. And this stage tends to last no more than 5-15 minutes, maximum. A good rule of thumb is that if it takes longer than about ten minutes for everyone in the room to learn, and be able to repeat, mechanically correct – than it was probably too complicated for that group.
The second stage is Isolation.
Isolation is the drilling stage. Once the move can be repeated mechanically correct absent resistance, Introduction, then it is time to add Aliveness, and that means adding Timing, Energy and Motion – in other words, it is time to add progressive resistance.
This is part of what sets SBG apart. In many Martial Arts Academies, even Brazilian Jiu-Jistu or MMA schools, the typical class would involve the introduction of a few techniques or moves, lots of repetitions of those moves, and then sparring. In that type of environment the students never really gain timing at the new movement itself, because repetitions without resistance don’t involve timing. The crucial step of Alive drilling – is skipped. As a consequence, everyone grows at a much slower rate.
By contrast, in SBG everything is introduced, repeated until it can be done mechanically correct, and then, slowly, safely, and with the appropriate level of progressive resistance (there is an art to this that SBG coaches are educated on), the movements are drilled Alive. This produces higher levels of performance, and it is a lot more fun.
The third and final stage is Integration.
This is where we put the part back into the whole. This is the sparring stage.
For example, let’s use a headlock escape. A student learns the appropriate movement, repeats it without resistance until it is shown they can do it, and then begins drilling. One side holds the headlock, one side escapes. With each success, resistance can be added. With each failure, resistance can be lowered. The Introduction stage, the part without resistance, may have taken 10 minutes. The Isolation stage, the Alive drilling segment, may have involved three, 5-minute rounds, for each side, for a total of 30 minutes. For the remaining ten minutes, the students use the headlock as a starting point, but then wrestle, spar, fight, from there, until submission is reached. That is the Integration stage. We’ve now trained for a total of 50-55 minutes, and the last few minutes of class time is used for questions or a mat chat.
We’ve taken a piece of the game, isolated it, played from there with timing, then placed it back into the whole of whatever venue we were working, BJJ, no-gi, MMA, self-defense, etc.
That’s the I-Method, and it is one of the bread and butter methods that all SBG coaches are educated in.