BJJ Fanatics is an awesome resource for BJJ instructionals. And in this review I’ll tell you which are the 10 best BJJ Fanatics instructionals from their best instructors. Let’s dive into the reviews!
Watch Craig’s only free instructional
How does BJJ fanatics work?
BJJ Fanatics is very simple. Customers can buy instructionals on a 1 off basis from their favorite instructors about their favorite topics. Any teacher can sell any instructional they want, and they get 50% of the revenue they generate (possibly this is higher for the best selling instructors).
Is BJJ Fanatics legit?
Yes, BJJ Fanatics is legit. I bought many instructionals there and I’m almost always happy with them. And if you’re not happy you can refund your purchase within 30 days (provided that you didn’t download the videos).
But let me also give 2 caveats. The first is that anyone can become a teacher there, so you have to make sure you’re buying from an instructor that you trust to make quality content. The second is that their pricing model is very driven by discounts, which is a little annoying.
How do BJJ Fanatics prices and discounts work?
BJJ Fanatics uses a lot of discounts in their pricing model. You may have heard that ‘everything is always 50% off’ – that’s not really true. This isn’t Udemy. But there are almost always small site wide sales running (such as ‘Buy 1 get 10% off, buy 2 get 20% off’) and around the holidays there are big sales (while I write this there’s an early Black Friday promotion, and you can get 50% off any instructional). And there are Daily Deals, which are huge discounts of up to 90%, but if you want a specific instructional you have to get lucky to get it as a Daily Deal.
Also read: BJJ Fanatics Discount Codes overview
Is BJJ fanatics worth it?
Yes, BJJ Fanatics is worth it to learn BJJ much quicker. I tried to learn BJJ from YouTube for the longest time, but learning with BJJ Fanatics is much quicker. The reason is that instructors really put their best content out there, and they create one focused product for you to follow. This is much better than the ADHD-inducing YouTube algorithm that throws different positions and techniques at you all the time.
Who are the best instructors on BJJ Fanatics?
The best instructors on BJJ Fanatics are Gordon Ryan, John Danaher, Craig Jones, Lachlan Giles, Mikey Musumeci and Ryan Hall. These are the best selling teachers and my personal favorites, but there are many other good instructors on BJJ Fanatics as well. Who you think is the best instructor depends a lot on your taste, so I’ll make a longer post about who are the best BJJ instructors soon.
What makes the Best BJJ fanatics instructionals the best?
Let’s specify what makes an instructional go from good to great. In my opinion, the best BJJ Fanatics instructionals are those that have a:
- Common thread: You’ll be surprised how many instructionals are just semi-random collections of the favorite techniques of the instructor. Those aren’t worth it because you might as well be watching random YouTube videos. A good instructional either argues for an innovative thesis or completely exhausts a single position or theme.
- Great instructor: The best instructionals are those from the best instructors (who I named above). These instructors explain all the details clearly, clarify common misunderstandings, show good camera angles, have better details than others, and so forth.
- New approach: You want to learn something new from your instructional, rather than the same old techniques that everybody teaches. My favorite instructionals are those that are about a completely new topic (I’ll mention a few below), or that share new details about old positions (for this you usually need a world class competitor who figured these details out himself).
The top 10 Best BJJ fanatics instructionals
Let me share my top 10 best BJJ Fanatics instructionals. These are the instructionals that helped me the most and that I think will help you too.
Learn Craig’s favorite riding positions for total domination
Ride like Craig
Power Ride by Craig Jones is about a new philosophy on pinning. Pinning, as in, how we hold people down. Normally in jiu jitsu we use side control and mount for this, but Craig Jones shows another way. Craig studied how Khabib holds people down in the UFC: by sitting on their leg and riding them in many different ways. Craig deconstructs Khabib’s game and shows why it’s not only a better way to hold people down in MMA, but also in pure grappling.
This instructional is revolutionary. It ticks off all my requirements for a great instructional: the content is 100% new, follows a common thread of how to ride legs to pin people, and it’s from possibly the best instructor in jiu jitsu. (Probably not in terms of details, but in mixing entertainment with information to keep you engaged, Craig’s the best.)
The guard retention anthology is about the style of guard retention that Lachlan Giles plays. A lot of high pummels, inversions, turtle shells, and counter arm locks and leg locks.
After I got my purple belt I decided that my guard needed to become much better, and this instructional helped me get to a level I’m very happy with. It’s a super in depth instructional, and it took my 3 months to work through most of it. (It’s actually 2 instructionals in a bundle by the way.)
Leg locks enter the system is the instructional that made John Danaher famous. This is John, in all his eccentricity, teaching his leg lock system while the whole world watches. Nobody knew anything about leg locks at this point, except the Danaher death squad.
People often ask me whether this instructional is outdated, and it honestly isn’t. Everything that John layed out here still is the majority of the leg lock game today. John even predicted many of the problems that leg locks face nowadays (mostly back exposure). So he was so far ahead of the curve that his dvd from 2018 is still very relevant.
Learn leg lock defense from Craig Jones
Defend like Craig
Let me follow a leg attack instructional with a leg lock defense instructional: Get off my legs Gringo by Craig Jones. I think this is the most comprehensive instructional about leg lock defense out there. It’s about 5 and a half hours long and it covers all the positions you want to defend yourself from: saddle, 50/50, single x, outside ashi, leg reaps, double trouble, and so forth.
Feet to floor is a big bundle about how to take people down by John Danaher. The bundle is huge, because John tries to cover everything, from the basics of movement to the most important throws. I think this instructional is very important because it addresses an area of jiu jitsu is typically ignored: the standup game.
What I like the most about this instructional is the self defense part. John talks for a full volume about what you should do in street fight situations. How you can put people down in the safest way possible (to prevent legal consequences) and how to neutralise people within 1 second if you have to.
Learn wrestling and anti-wrestling for jiu jitsu from Craig Jones
Wrestle like Craig
A more recent instructional about standup grappling is the anti-wrestling equation. It’s more modern in that it focuses on the positions that are common now: the turtle, the 4 point and the rear body lock. And it also covers some simple takedowns from when you’re facing your opponent (which work very well for me).
This one is far less comprehensive than Feet to Floor, but maybe that’s what you want. It doesn’t cover all the basics in tedious detail, it goes to the most important parts straight away.
Ryan Hall loves to teach concepts, make analogies, do thought experiments, ask rhetorical questions, and so forth. He’s basically a philosophy teacher about martial arts. So the modern defensive guard s highly conceptual – Ryan literally doesn’t show a technique until Volume 4 (and it’s a technical standup, then a shrinp, then a bridge, etc.). Volumes 1 to 3 are all principles and concepts.
So if you’re a conceptual learner, you’ll love this instructional. It’s about correcting some major errors in how we play guard in BJJ competitions, namely: thinking that it’s ok to be on bottom. Which brings me to the next instructional…
Craig Jones agrees with Ryan Hall that the current approach to guard in BJJ is broken. You shouldn’t accept being on bottom for no reason. Double guard pulls shouldn’t exist. Rather, sometimes your opponent forces you to be on bottom, and that’s when you play guard.
Power Bottom shows you how you should try to get up when you’re on bottom. And how you enter leg attacks (and other attacks) when your opponent tries to push you down. This is all very much needed because it fixes weird matches in which you couldn’t attack your opponent from bottom, because he wasn’t really engaging with you in the first place.
Speaking off people who just accept bottom: it’s very hard to submit these little stallers.
In my opinion, if you have mount or side control on someone, they shouldn’t stall. Stalling doesn’t translate well into MMA, self defense, or even BJJ competitions. But a lot of people do it anyway…
If you want to learn how to force submissions on you should get these 2 instructionals: Systematically attacking from top pins: Mount, and Systematically attacking from top pins: Side control & North South. Here Gordon teaches exactly how he forces arm bars, triangles and kimuras from top (against opponents who often stall because they would love to make a draw against Gordon Ryan).
This is a different kind of BJJ instructional, but I really like it. It’s Gordon Ryan breaking down his ADCC performances. He goes through all his matches and tells you exactly what his startegy was, what he was thinking during the match, what he did wrong and how he won. If you’re a BJJ geek, you’ll really like it. His ADCC 2022 breakdown is his msot recent edition in this series.
Best Free BJJ Fanatics Videos
BJJ Fanatics also has a number of free instructionals. Keep in mind that these are usually much shorter than paid instructionals. That being said, these are the best free BJJ Fanatics instructionals.
The pendejo guard is a half hour video about the pendejo guard: a position from which to enter leg locks. It’s related to the false reap position, and Craig also covers it in False Reap Accusations. It’s a good video.
An hour and a half video about the nee slide by Andrew Wiltse. It’s a pretty good introduction to how Andrew hits this pass in no gi.
This is 3 and a half hours of solo drills and fitness exercises. John made this when everybody was at home in lockdown. I think this is a good instructional about solo drills, but solo drills are massively less effective than partner drills.
A half hour video with solo judo drills by Travis Stevens. It’s fine, but nothing special.
This is a compilation of 5 videos that together last half an hour. It’s honestly just 5 YouTube videos put together, so this isn’t an important product.
6. Train Safe by John Danaher
This was a free Danaher instructional about how to avoid injuries. You’ll learn why juming closed guard should be illegal at all levels and what are the biggest injury risks in BJJ. However, it’s not available anymore, and I don’t know why.
10 for 10 Yoga is a short Yoga for BJJ program. It’s about 70 minutes long and it’s kind of a teaser for Sebastian’s full Yoga for BJJ framework. It’s definitely a great place to start if you want to work on your mobility or deal with injuries.
Is Gordon even good in the gi? Find out in this free mini instructional…
Free Gordon Secrets
The best BJJ Fanatics alternative
I really like BJJ Fanatics, but there’s one alternative I like even better. I’m talking about the new BJJ course platform from Lachlan Giles: Submeta. It’s a lot cheaper than BJJ Fanatics, and you get access to dozens and dozens of courses by Lachlan Giles.
What I also like about Submeta is what I call layered learning. On BJJ Fanatics, every course is 5 to 8 hours long, which is often longer than I want. Usually I want to do a small course first (1 or 2 hours), and maybe I want a bigger course after that. Submeta is structured exactly like this, with short beginner courses and then longer advanced courses after that. I like that much better.
FAQ about BJJ Fanatics
Should you always buy BJJ Fanatics instructionals only when they’re on discount?
I don’t, but many bargain hunters that are hyper active on Reddit seem to think you should. They try to make you feel bad for buying aything at full price (or even buying it at all instead of pirating). The facts are that you can get significant discounts if you’re willing to wait for the right moment, or you can get what you want now for full price. I leave it up to you to decide which you prefer.
Should I look at the BJJ Fanatics best sellers?
No, because the best sellers are all the older instructionals that have had a lot of time to sell many topics. You should look at my list instead 🙂
Why do we call instructionals ‘dVDs’? They’re not, right?
No, you’re right, they’re not dvd’s anymore. In fact, they’ve never been DVD’s since I bought them, they were already digital. And I still call them dvd’s sometimes. It’s legacy and it’s a bit weird.
Who’s the owner of BJJ Fanatics?
Bernardo Faria, a former multiple time world champion in BJJ. And Michael Zenga, also a BJJ black belt. They started BJJ Fanatics together.