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

In my previous post I outlined a set of rules that I follow when watching new instructional BJJ / Grappling DVDs. These rules where ideas based on my years of experience, both as a team manager and qualified teacher and the concept that learning is learning irrespective of the material being learnt. I also promised to talk more about the best way to actually take in what you are watching and incorporate it into your practice and eventually your game.

As said before, watching BJJ / Grappling DVDs is no different than any other learning activity and hence the same rules I learnt as a language teacher apply to it.

The second set of rules applies to what you do after the DVD watching session. I strongly recommend that you:

  1. Repeat what you just watched without a partner
  2. Identify 3-5 make-or-break focal points about the technique and keep them as your mental hooks when watching or performing the technique. For instance, if you are looking at Side Control Top maintenance, your points could be killing the arms, blocking the hip and applying a cross-face.
  3. Put a buzzer on your phone to remind you just before your session to practice the technique on your own before or after the session.
  4. Schedule at least 30 minutes where you go to a rolling session and just look out for this technique. See how people of different skill levels, shapes and sizes apply (or fail to apply) the technique and figure out whether or not they applied the 3-5 pointers you outlined above.
  5. Make this technique your focus for 1-2 months.

This, in my personal opinion, is the best way to get a wealth of knowledge out of a 10-15 minute segment from an instructional BJJ / Grappling DVD. The trickis having the patience and discipline to stick to the plan rather than rush through the DVDs justin order to go and order a new one.

Additional Bonus: Once you are good at the technique you should start breaking down the appropriate defence and reverse engineering that goes with it. Continuing with our Side Control example, when you realise the importance of killing the arms from the top, focus on freeing the arms and posturing when working your SC escape game. Not bad for 15 minutes!


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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mattsdailyjournal said...

Great posts! I'll be writing one on how to take notes soon, should be a good complement :-)

Liam H Wandi said...

Many thanks Matt! I look forward to reading them.