5.9.12

BJJ Tips: Watching Instructional DVDs & How to best learn from them (Part I)


I recently received Combat Base Brown Belt Adam Adshead's BJJ DVDs "50 Common Mistakes To Avoid In BJJ" and, eager as a... ehm… grappling beaver, I couldn't wait to open and pop the instructional DVDs into my laptop. The only thing was, I had a million and one other things I needed to do. I revved up my time management engine and started thinking about how and when to best make time for them. I suddenly realised that part time grapplers need a different approach to watching DVDs (or any other BJJ / Grappling instructional media such as online learning...etc.). I'm not saying other grapplers wouldn't benefit from this approach but someone who has a lot of time on their hands can do things at a more leisurely pace and still get away with it. You and I probably can't.

The way I see it, watching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVDs is no different than any other learning activity and hence the same rules I learnt as a language teacher apply to it. I will present these rules over two posts.

The first set of rules applies to the instructional DVD watching session itself. It needs to be BFII:

  1. Brief: the brain will start switching off after approximately 15-20 minutes, sooner if the instructor is not the engaging type. There's no need to watch for longer at any one time, unless watching for leisure.
  2. Frequent: because all u need is 15 minutes you should be able to squeeze 3-4 such sessions in a week.
  3. Individualised: jump straight up to the section you need to review, treating this as a private session with the author. If you are currently working on your passing game, pop the passing DVD in first even if it's number 5 in the series. Luckily, these DVDs were chapterised by position / topic.
  4. Interactive: straight or very soon after watching the technique, simulate it on your own and make a note to practice it with a partner in your very next session. After all, you've paid for your DVDs and that’s wasted money unless you learn and incorporate the new techniques into your game.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about the best way to actually take in what you are watching and incorporate it into your practice and eventually your grappling game.


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Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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