Jared Weiner has come out with a new dvd set Operation Knee on Belly.
I’m a big believer that a good instructional dvd or book can take your game to another level. For me, for example, Marcelo Garcia’s x guard book opened up my game to where I could be dangerous (against people at my lowly level of blue belt) off my back.
But at the end of the day I’m a top player, and that’s where my favorite top game instructional comes in: Operation Knee on Belly. The following are some of the things I particularly like about it (off the top of my head).
Emphasis on Control
Jared emphasizes the kind of knee on belly position control that people often associate with controlling the back mount. For him, it’s not a quick transitional position. It’s a place where you stick around and can finish the match. He discusses that extensively throughout, but especially in the “Principles” part of the set.
Impose and Finish
A lot of the techniques on the dvd set aren’t responses to something the opponent does. Instead you’re imposing the dominant position and going after the submission that you want. Just the way I like it! That includes triangles, chokes, kimuras, armbars, omoplatas, etc. Jiu jitsu is very much about the push-pull reactions, but sometimes you can really impose your game on the opponent to the point where their options are very limited. This makes the task of controlling position and submitting the opponent much more manageable.
Live Speed and Common Mistakes
Two extra things that I particularly like is that for each technique Jared shows the technique at live speed a bunch of times with entries into knee on belly from both sweeps and guard passes. After showing all that, he describes some of the common mistakes people make for each of the techniques.
The same fundamental concepts run throughout the instructional, so taken together Jared presents a complete system of attacks from knee on belly (in both gi and no-gi).
While perhaps not essential, one of the most memorable parts of the instructional is the style of Jared’s teaching. There’s a certain mix of intensity and humor that makes watching the set both entertaining and motivating. Words like crush, smash, drive, torque, twist set the “mood” perfectly. And of course, there’s the frequent mention of “grinding the sternum”.
While jotting down the above few comments I came across a picture of Jared that I had from the first time I saw him in person (competing and winning a superfight in the summer of 2010). I remember being very impressed at his guard passing style. He was relentless.
And above all I think that’s what makes his instruction great. He uses the techniques he teaches to consistently score on and beat other top black belts in his division. Of course, a great instructor doesn’t have to be a great competitor, but it sure doesn’t hurt 😉