Roy Dean: Black Belt Requirements:
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Disc 1What does it mean to be a black belt?:
A beautiful and very poetic expression of how Roy sees the art of jiujitsu and the black belt milestone of it. (3min28sec)
Here Roy demonstrates a few expressions of the principles of jiujitsu in the standup phase. This is modern jiujitsu with grip fighting, armdrags and throws / takedowns transitioning straight into submissions on the ground. It's not judo as the new rules of judo have moved away from the method of grip fighting Roy advocates nor is it wrestling as Roy uses the gi to connect his weight to the opponent's spine in most techniques. Very interesting segment and the focus on ending with a submission is, in my opinion, what earmarks this as a black belt DVD. (7min14sec)
Roy alluded to the idea of taking a technique then building a sequence of techniques / scenarios around it and he starts us off with the tripod sweep building all the way to the top position and finishing with an array of submissions. As usual, Roy's articulate explanation makes these sequences useful to anyone from white all the way to black belt. A nice bonus, Roy looks at counters to the tripod sweep and a tight bow and arrow entry that I've not seen before. (7min38sec)
Starting from the closed guard, Roy works both entries and follow-ups to a number of collar chokes (including small details on how to ensure the opponent doesn't change their mind half way through your follow-up attack). It's important to note that, fitting to the title of this DVD:
i, Roy does not spend too much time covering the details of techniques he may have shown in previous volumes (especially Blue Belt Requirements)
ii, Roy takes many risks that are perfectly appropriate for a black belt, such as letting your opponent pass before finishing them with a choke from side control bottom. He's taking a calculated risk and this is not necessarily advisable for beginners (7min54sec)
Top Side Control Attacks:
Attack..Attack..Attack! Starting with Kesa Gatame (Headlock / Scarf hold position) which is not an often utilised position at most BJJ schools, Roy shows several attacks and chains inbetween them.
He then shows a technique sequence first through the eyes of a white belt then the same through the eyes of black belt, shaving away small pauses and flowing straight to the submission.
He follows this with the details of more attacks. One of my favourite attacks is the step-over choke and he shows a small detail regarding the angle of the choking wrist and a multitude of follow-up attacks that I sure will be using next time I train.(9min42sec)
The Backstep Sequence:
This is Black Belt voodoo magic right here! Not just because there are many more moves / concepts to work on and master before you start looking at the advanced expressions of the backstep, but because it takes a lot of practice to simply get the brain around the idea of spinning backwards in a grapple / fight (i.e. spinning counter clockwise when you're on your opponent's left side and vice versa). Obviously there are beginner and intermediate versions that we'd all benefit from working on and Roy does a great job of detailing a few of those (such as the backstep guard pass from the smash position). (6min43sec)
This is all from the top position but Roy covers mount, knee on belly, side, counters and re-counters! I especially liked how he explained exactly when to expect to be tight and when to expect to be loose in the different variations and also his detailed work on striking the elbow (8min00sec)
This is a different segment. The Americana shoulder lock is the goal, but the paths leading to it are very many and that's what Roy explores here. Roy expects the viewer to have such a high level of awareness by this stage (brown belt getting close to black) to see the opportunities he points a finger towards. If you are at that level and you like the Americana as a submission then you will love this segment (8min30sec)
The Armdrag / 2 on 1:
If you are not familiar with armdrags, Roy starts with a great drill that will quickly bring you up to speed with this brilliant entry to the opponent's back (both from standing and the knees). After, he starts looking at opportunities for the armdrag from other positions such as butterfly guard, always finishing with a submission.
Next, Roy investigates very similar pathways but now starting from the armdrag's sister technique, the 2 on 1. A nice bonus here is the wristlock, inside- and rolling Kimura attacks. Lots of fun. (9min58sec)
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The Triangle Choke:
Awesome sequence! Starting with a simple wrist stuff, Roy takes us on a progressive journey of triangle entries and follow ups on the longest segment of the DVD. Most of the work is done from the guard, either straight off the bat or as a follow-up to your opponent's counter to a sweep attempt. When you watch this, keep an eye out for the neck-tie shove. It looks nothing short of brutal.
A word of caution regarding armlocks done with an armpit control: Be very gentle and aware of how your training partner is moving and when they are tapping. It's very easy to accidentally overextend the arm if you are not careful.
Disc 2:Rolling analysis:
D. - Roy not only shows details of what he is doing, but he even highlights the correct offensive and defensive tactics that his training partner and student does.
At more than one point, Roy refers to a method to create pressure from top that he discussed at length in Brown Belt Requirement. Later he refers to how he's giving his student way too much in the way of initial grips and as the rolls progress you can really hear both practitioners' breathing escalate, but tired or not the subject of grips remains a central one. I was very happy to see the segment end with the student catching the teacher in a sweet submission switch. (18min30sec)
Purple belt demonstration:
I know this is geeky, but I was very happy to see a british gi brand worn by the demonstrating student (a Tatami Zero gi, to be exact). As always, Roy's students are very sharp and crisp in their movements during the demo phase. When it came time to rolling, the student testing for purple had his first roll with a purple belt and he did well, catching him with a few submissions, but I didn't see what I expected a Roy Dean purple belt to show: Combinations of moves both in attack and defence. The student (Heginbotham) got his grips and went for one attack, either getting it or losing it then starting again, never combining or chaining his moves. This could simply be down to the editing of the matches or nerves or simple inexperience. I say this because the purple belts he went against did in fact demonstrate that quality, especially TJ, whom we have got to know over the past series of DVDs. 15 minutes into the edited rolls (so much longer in real time) you can really hear him getting tired and struggling to breath which is, to me, a sign of hard and genuine work. We get to see the exchange of belts, but no rolling with Roy, which I've come to expect. (18min4sec)
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White to black belt: The Kimura
Roy takes us on a journey from the initial encounter where we learn the Kimura at white belt then we learn about its neighbours, set ups and counters and recounters. We are also treated to some beautifully edited sequences centred around the theme of the Kimura, not as a technique, but rather as a school or system of techniques, and I have to agree with Roy: "This is what you're training for". (6min00sec)
Brown belt demonstration:
Neil Thompson demonstrates an array of techniques and he talks to us (a first, I believe) about his favourite technique and what jiujitsu and being a brown means to him, before we are treated to his rolls with a selecetion of students. Obviously, Neil qualifed to do this demonstration and test by being a more experienced purple belt, so we do see some more combination attacks rather than simgular techniques. Once again, the last student Neil rolls with is the brown belt we have seen through out this DVD and not Roy. It's nice to see Roy progressively placing more and more trust and responsibility upon his higher grades. Once graded and wearing his new, crisp brown belt, Roy introduces him to his peers as "Neil Thompson, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt". (17min46sec)
A beautifully edited account of Roy's students' matches at the 2013 Gracie Worlds, staring Higinbotham in his newly acquired purple belt and our friend D (Donald Bowerman) in the brown belt division, both convincingly winning their matches with, naturally, submissions. (4min34sec)
Disc 3:Judo Made Easy:
This is a high quality filming of a judo seminar by judo and jiujitsu black belt Mr Dave Camarillo of the Guerilla jiujitsu fame.
Intercept Movement Inside grip
Grip breaking (note that the two-on-one grip break is great for jiujitsu but no longer is acceptable for judo. Luckily, Dave explains a great grip break that works for both)
The hybrid stance
How to correctly learn forward throws to avoid getting countered
How to integrate Sassae and any forward throw
Impact Control Position variation of Knee on Stomach
Grips, entries and finishes of the straight arm
Dave Camarillo 3 degreee promotion ceremony
A black and white expose of what goes into a 3rd degree promotion. Very beautiful and skilled, but I have no idea if that was in judo, BJJ or Camarillo's particular brand: Guerilla jiujitsu. Nonetheless, a great and inspirational watch. (4min4sec)
Please purchase this volume here.
All in all, a fantastic volume. The production quality is very professional and Roy really did think of everything here: from music to quality of video and audio to even the contrasting colours of the gis worn. There is so much to get out of this DVD set for everyone. If you're a brown belt then, naturally, this belt lays a nice blueprint to work against as you progress towards attaining the rank of the black belt. If you are like me and the black belt is many years away, then this is still a very enjoyable and inspirational volume. In fact, the Judo Made Easy should be a compulsory watch for anyone above blue belt.
I'd like to thank Mr Roy Dean for sending me this volume to review.
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
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