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What is the best way to learn from jiu jitsu instructionals?

The best way to learn from jiu jitsu instructionals is by splitting them up into small digestible chunks, watching and understanding the material, drilling the techniques, and then using them effectively in live training.


Related: For reviews of the most poular ways sites, platforms, and courses to learn bjj online and bjj training check out our post here

Maximize your Learning and Retention of Jiu Jitsu Instructionals

Trying to learn jiu jitsu on your own has become so much easier with the increased popularity of instructionals.

It makes it so that you can structure your own learning and not be limited to the one move taught in a single class.

Furthermore, finding that one piece of info that fills a hole in your jiu jitsu game becomes all the more possible.

The Best Way to Learn from BJJ Instructionals in Steps

  1. Watch one volume or half a volume ( usually ~30 mins) through at an increased speed (1.25-2x regular speed) taking mental notes and visualizing the position for specific techniques and moves that you want to learn that would fit into your game
  2. Re-watch section again and take notes on those specific technique that you want to learn
  3. Consider creating a flowchart or web chart to understand how those techniques connect and how to get to and from them 
  4. Drill these techniques with a partner slowly increasing resistance over time, and as you drill more consider possible counters to these techniques (often times theses counters will be addressed in the instructional)
  5. Re-watch instructional section to address any specific questions that may have come to mind when drilling
  6. Make it a goal to hit one or two techniques successfully in your next class during live training on lower jiu jitsu belts or opponents who have less experience
  7. Once you are able to effectively perform these techniques on lower belts in sparring, eventually, work up to using them on opponents that are closer to your skill and experience level
  8. Finally, go back and review your flow chart and edit it with things that you have learned through drilling and live training to cement what you have learned.

Structuring your Jiu Jitsu Journey

   If you are passionate about learning and bjj, jiu jitsu instructionals give you one of the most powerful tools when attempting to learn jiu jitsu. That tool is being able to structure your own learning.

Without instructionals whether they be from bjj instructional websites, youtube, or social media, you are stuck wading in the vast waters of jiu jitsu alone with your instructor only throwing you a small buoy once every class in the form of a single technique or two.

Learning how all these small pieces together takes an extraordinary amount of time.

With jiu jitsu instructionals you are able to structure your learning and focus it on what you may need most at every jiu jitsu belt

For example, if I was to start jiu jitsu from the beginning I would elect to learn based on the below order:

Escaping > Guard Retention > Half guard > Passing > Side Control, N/S, Mount, Back, Leg, Attacks

This would definitely propel your learning instead of one day learning how to perform an arm bar the next day learn how to break someone’s guard etc.

When learning is structured in this way and with the help of instructionals you can learn jiu jitsu in its totality, meaning you can learn how different positions flow between one another and what are the most common options from a specific position. 

Finally, you can learn jiu jitsu from some of the best in the world.

You can be exposed to vastly different styles than your own and pick and choose which styles or techniques will fit in with your developing game.

To see how instructionals fit into your overall bjj game plan check out our post on other ways to maximize your learning

Why People Don’t Learn from Jiu Jitsu Instructionals

While keeping these steps in mind, it is important to temper your expectations.

Adding new techniques to your game can take months or even years, but with these steps, I can guarantee that you will be able to learn, retain, and perform these techniques much more efficiently. 

On the other hand, there are a few reasons why people don’t learn from jiu jitsu instructionals:

  •   They don’t put the time in to watching them (they watch a couple minutes then stop)
  •   They don’t properly drill what they have watched
  •   They don’t make it a point to perform these techniques during live sparring
  •   They give up on successfully performing the technique during a live scenario because it didn’t work the first couple times (there are times when a technique will fail 9 times then finally click and will be apart of your game forever)
  •  They didn’t properly analyze the common reactions and counters and how to effectively deal with them
  • They continue to buy new instructionals while not fully absorbing the ones they already own (I know I am definitely guilty of this)

Are BJJ Instructionals worth it?

When it comes to the very common question “Are BJJ instructionals worth it”. The answer is yes – if it fits your learning style.

Before you even wonder as you can guess – yes I’m pretty biased.

Some people only learn jiu jitsu by doing and are unable to sit down and watch an instructional for more than 5 minutes.

Other jiu jitsu students treat their grappling passion like diving into an academic endeavor and enjoy putting the time in outside of class to review, learn, and try out new techniques. If you are in the latter category I cannot recommend bjj instructionals enough. 

If you find jiu jitsu instructionals to be too much money which is understandable, I recommend splitting the cost with a friend or someone that you can drill with.

Not only will this make them cheaper, but it will give you and your drilling partner all the more reason to take part in the drilling and learning of the techniques shown

As someone who watches instructionals almost daily and cannot sleep the night after class until I replay every roll I had that night (along with every mistake), bjj instructionals gave me the knowledge and tools to better understand my weakness, mistakes, and a structured path for how to improve. 

Conclusion – If You Want to Maximize your Growth Why not Give Instructionals a Shot?

Hopefully this post has given you some insight as how to best learn from jiu jitsu instructionals.

To sum up the steps mentioned above:

the best way to learn from jiu jitsu instructionals is by splitting them up into small digestible chunks, watching and understanding the material, drilling the techniques, and then use them effectively in live training.

The feeling of filling in that gap in your bjj game with a technique gained from an instructional and then successfully hitting that technique in live training is pure bliss like successfully grabbing your cell phone after it falls between your seat and center console in your car or like using your tongue to finally get that popcorn kernel out of your molar or like sleeping with your window open as a cool breeze blows through it, or like taking a nap after a long day at the beach.

It’s good – you get it, and learning from instructionals is totally worth it.