How to Watch a BJJ Instructional

Someone mentioned to me a few months ago that it takes them forever to get through an instructional because they like to carefully watch, re-watch, and re-watch again, every single move in it, take notes, and then drill each one.

My approach has been different. I watch an instructional the same way I read a philosophy book. I watch the whole thing without pausing much at all. When I’m not watching it, I’ll think about what makes the technique work (the fundamentals behind it) and let it settle somewhere deep in my subconscious. I’m not looking for a technique I like, I’m looking for one I love. It has to click with me immediately.

An example of a technique that clicked with me right away is Andre Galvao’s bull pass:

When I first saw that, I felt immediately that this will be one of my favorite passes, and it is.

More often than not, however, I don’t pick up any one technique but use the system of techniques presented to modify my current game. I’m not sure how to describe it best. But by watching someone who is a world-class jiu jitsu player perform a set of related techniques, I tend to pick up a few general principles and begin almost imitating them in drilling and training.

The techniques I saw in instructionals that had the biggest impact on my game so far (that I can think of) are:  Marcelo Garcia butterfly and x-guard, Jared Weiner’s knee on belly and guard passing, Caio Terra’s half guard, Ryan Hall’s back takes, Andre Galvao’s guard passing, and the variety of fundamentals from Saulo Ribeiro, Robson Moura, and a few others I can’t think of now.

Anyway, the point is, I think too many people obsess about getting to know every single technique on an instructional dvd set they purchase. For me that’s too much pressure. I just like to enjoy the totality of it, pick out the rare technique that clicks with me, and slowly integrate it into my relatively simple game.

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