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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Instructional BJJ DVDs

There comes a time in your jiu jitsu life that you're going to want to start to explore more deeply into an individual's game--like maybe you're super-into Rafael Lovato Jr. and want to mimic his game--or perhaps you're wanting to learn more about a certain position, or technique, and are considering buying a DVD to help supplement your training. First of all, congratulations; you've officially entered into a new stage of addiction and are well on your way to becoming the BJJ nerd you've always desired to be. I love instructional DVDs and setting aside time in my life to plug in to rabbit holes of knowledge. To me it's like the scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf runs to the library at Minas Tirith to dive deep into scrolls (see below if you're not a nerd). Is that a little overkill? Sure, but let's not make too light of the subject of studying and efforts to learn something. Just buying a DVD and watching it isn't going to be enough to have you mastering triangles like Ryan Hall. You're going to have to 'Gandalf-the-sh*t out of this' for it to pay off.

First thing is first: if you're wanting to expand your game, and knowledge, beyond your class time then let me first point out a few things to consider. 

1) Where do I want to improve?
- Perhaps you're thinking: 'that should be "Where should I improve"', but, buddy, those should be synonymous with you by now. Buying anything for BJJ is a serious notion; and an instructional should be no different. Just because the berimbolo is the new flavor of the week doesn't mean you should drop your hard-earned cash on the 'Berimbolo 101 DVD' from whatever well known BJJ player, unless you know it fits your game. But I think we can all admit that there are probably other--more important--areas in your game that need attention first. So if you're wanting to start to build on your game with instructionals, concentrate on where your game is soft. Or, go the opposite route and build on what you're doing well with. Maybe you've got a pretty good guard, why not make it great? 

2) Who's doing this instructional?
-Not that anyone doing an instruction isn't qualified, but you should consider the person demonstrating because their game is the way it is because that works for them. More specifically, should I be learning triangles from Ryan Hall (who's 5'7" 145 pounds) or someone much larger like Neil Melanson. Not everyone's body type will translate to what techniques are being offered.

3) Do I have the money for this?
-Hey, heads-up, BJJ stuff isn't cheap. Shocker, right? I agree that everything in BJJ is expensive, but worth it. Instructional DVDs are no exception to that. Just take a look at what Budo Video has going on sale right now. Of course, there are some (less popular) instructional DVDs that sell for a lower price; for various reasons. But for the most part, you're looking to spend around $50 USD--which, really, is worth it if it helps. But for sure make sure you consider the last two bullet points before we confirm "everything in BJJ is expensive, but worth it."

Now that you've figured out what you'd like to improve about your game, who you'd like to learn it from, and I assume you've saved enough money to pay for it, here's how to make the most of your investment: ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME.

Seems stupid and slow; and well, it is. But that's what's great about owning the DVD--you can progress slowly, surly, and not have to worry about missing details. A great tip to help with that is taking notes. It's a throwback to the original WBS post but it's still a great way to remember what's being taught. Writing things down is proven to improve your recollection of what it is you're trying to remember (the science is out there, you know how to Google), so implement that to your new DVD. Take notes, make it a point to jot down things that seem important and things the demonstrator emphasizes are important. Even if that one thing is obvious, write it down. Of course you can always go back to get the details later, but you really should capitalize on  what you can here and really learn. Additionally, it's nice to go back to your notes when you're on the mat; and most likely don't have your laptop with you to watch the DVD. Notes are handy and easy. 

"But, Jesse, what about YouTube??" Yeah, man, YouTube is great--for a lot of reasons. But don't lost sight that BJJ is a sneaky man's sport (also for a lot of reasons). The greats don't give out the good stuff for free. Like any good hustler, you get sucked in first. That's not to say, or imply, what you/we get on YouTube is essentially worthless; because it's not. What I mean is that you're really only getting appetizers instead of the full course. I'm sure there are some exceptions out there, but "the game is to be sold, not to be told." Hence why we pay monthly membership dues, why seminars aren't (usually) free, and why YouTube clips are (usually) 5-8 minutes and touch on concepts and why the DVD is hours of detail and costs money. 

To get to the point, you get what you pay for in jiu jitsu; plain and simple. There will always be the exceptions, but those are exactly that--exceptions. Explore your game and where you want to improve. Explore jiu jitsu and see who does that facet best/better and see if that they do would work for you. YouTube that sh*t! See if they have something out there that you can try it before you buy it and then if you're having some success, then maybe buying the full DVD is a great option for you. BJJ DVDs are a great way to supplement your game and make you a better jiu jitsu player, for sure, but if you're not careful you might end up paying $100 for something you can't, won't, and shouldn't use. 

Special Thank You to the WBS sponsors
VVV Fight Co.

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Q5 Sports Nutrition

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Expanded Perspectives podcast

We all love a good dip into the unknown waters of mythological beings, extraterrestrial things, and stuff the goes bump in the night. Cam & Kyle are two great guys, WHO ALSO LOVE MMA & BJJ, that have a great podcast on the unknown. They cover fun topics in a really great format that is sure to deliver hours of entertainment. Give it a listen anywhere you DL your podcasts!
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