Learning the art of Jiu-Jitsu is a lifelong endeavor. Not only is there a whole lot to learn, but new things keep coming up and as you progress in your knowledge you will find that there is even more that you don’t know. The Academy is a great place to build your foundation of knowledge because you are presented with a structured curriculum with teachers and training partners to drill with. However, don’t overlook the many resources available to you outside the Academy. There are books, DVDs, and online resources that are suitable for all levels of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.
One book that every student should own is Saulo Ribeiro’s “Jiu-Jitsu University”. Not only is it put together very well for every level from white belt to black belt, but it fits well with the curriculum taught at the Seaside Jiu-Jitsu Academy. In fact, many of the moves we learn in class are identical to the ones described in the book.
DVDs are another good resource. It is helpful to see the moves demonstrated in action with the added benefit of instruction. Again, Saulo Ribeiro has a great series that complements the book as well as the curriculum we study at the Academy. There are two gi-based DVDs (Jiu-Jitsu Revolution and Jiu-Jitsu Revolution 2) and one no gi (Freestyle Revolution). I recommend beginning with instructional videos like Saulo’s that complement our curriculum, especially for newer students. There are many styles and variations that could be confusing and a bit overwhelming, but if you stick to a basic framework I think it will be easier to incorporate what you learn into your game.
In addition to books and videos, there is of course the Internet. The nice thing about the Internet is that it is usually free material, but sometimes you have to dig around to find what you want and you can end up with a lot of disjointed information, whereas books and DVDs are generally much more structured. The Internet includes such things as YouTube, blogs, online short courses, Jiu-Jitsu websites and paid subscription sites.
YouTube is probably the first thing that comes to mind when using the Internet to learn outside the Academy. The value of YouTube is that you can search on just about any topic of interest and find videos on that topic. YouTube videos are generally short and refer to a particular topic. For example, if you want to videos on the triangle choke, you can easily search on those words and find a whole host of videos. If you are interested in competing, then YouTube is an excellent resource because you can see so many matches in a short time at no cost. Just search on something like “bjj tournament” and start from there. If you find a particular YouTube source you like, you can subscribe to it. If you subscribe to a YouTube source you will be notified whenever new videos are added.
Blogs are another great online resource. They include words of wisdom (like these!) as well as short videos. It helps you to stay connected to the Jiu-Jitsu community while providing insights that are hard to find in other places. The Seaside Jiu Jitsu Academy blog and the Rafael Lovato Jr. Jiu Jitsu blog are great places to start.
In conclusion, don’t neglect using outside resources to augment your Jiu-Jitsu learning experience. From books to DVDs to the Internet, there is a wealth of content that you can use to speed up the progression of your game.
Curt Rogers – Seaside Jiu Jitsu Academy Blue Belt
Jiu-Jitsu University by Sualo Ribeiro
Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Series One and Two by Saulo Ribeiro
Freestyle Revolution by Saulo Ribeiro