Are you ready for you first BJJ instructional? Exciting! Let’s make sure it’s the best one that you can get, so you don’t waste your precious time on techniques that don’t work for beginners. In this ranking article I tell you what the best BJJ instructionals for beginners and white belts are. Let’s go.
1. Blue belt in 1 day
My own course Blue belt in 1 day is designed to be perfect for beginners. It’s the only course that targets the problems that all white belts face:
- The techniques you learn in the gym don’t work for you
- There are too many techniques to remember
- You don’t know where to start
You need the following to solve your problems:
- Learn which techniques work for beginners, which don’t and why.
- Checklists to see which techniques you know, and which are left.
- A gameplan that combines all the easiest beginner techniques to win sparring rounds.
And that’s exactly what you get in the course. So check it out.
2. Foundations I-VI on Submeta by Lachlan Giles
The second thing you need is Submeta. That’s Lachlan Giles’ platform. It’s not 1 instructional, it has 66 instructionals (probably more by the time you read this). And you get access to verything if you join the platform.
What makes Submeta a great course platform beginners is that it has 6 fundamental courses, which lead into more advanced courses. That’s what I call layered learning, where you can first explore topics before going more in depth. It’s much more effective than diving too deep right away.
I recommend all BJJ beginners that want to get their first instructional to get Submeta and start with the fundamental courses. After that you can explore the platform and see which way you want to go.
3. Make Z Guard Great Again by Craig Jones
Make Z Guard great again is probably the best BJJ instructional for beginners on BJJ Fanatics.
It covers the knee shield half guard, which is the best and easiest guard for beginners to learn. It’s extremely easy to keep people off you with a knee shield, and the knee shield is the easiest thing to recover (much easier than your foot frames). Eventually you want to build more defensive layers to your guard, but you should start with the knee.
Further, you can chain the knee shield with the single x guard to get quick submission wins. And there’s other attacks you can do from here as well. If you want to learn more about that, check out the game plan in Blue belt in 1 day.
Craig Jones is also one of the best BJJ instructors in my opinion. The knee shield is his best guard and he shows in a lot of depth how to defend and attack from here. So it’s my top pick for white belts.
4. BJJ Mental Models
BJJ Mental Models is a very cool platform that has possibly the best feature for beginners: black belt sparring analysis. That means you can send a video of yourself sparring or competing, and a black belt will analyze it and give you tips on what you can improve.
This is extremely helpful because you might be making a single mistake repetitively, which messes up your whole rolls. (That was the case for me.) So it’s a way to get better immediately.
Additionally, BJJ Mental Models has many audio courses. These are more conceptual than about techniques, which can be better for beginners. They help you think about BJJ in a more effective way.
If you want to learn more about BJJ Mental Models, read my full review.
5. Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt requirements 2.0 by Roy Dean
I haven’t watched BJJ Blue Belt Requirements by Roy Dean, but I suspect it might be what some beginners are looking for. It’s an overview of every technique that Roy Dean thinks you should know in order to get your blue belt. It’s about 2 hours long and it’s available on Amazon Prime Video.
Of course, your instructor might have different blue belt requirements than Roy Dean. He probably does. But there’s probably a lot of overlap.
I’d definitely recommend Submeta over this for multiple reasons. Lachlan is a better instructor than Roy, Submeta covers all of this and more, and on Submeta you learn systems rather than one off techniques. But still, Roy gives a useful overview so I wanted to mention it.
Also read: Top 10 Best BJJ Instructionals Ranked (2022)
FAQ about the best BJJ instructionals for beginners
Not Grapplers Guide?
No, I don’t recommend Grapplers Guide to beginners (or anyone for that matter). I think it’s outdated. It used to be the only place where you could get instructionals in bulk, but I think Submeta made Grapplers Guide completely obsolete. You can read more about this in my Grapplers Guide Review.
Not go further faster by Danaher?
I don’t think so, because it’s super long. It’s 8 editions of 8 hour long volumes each. That’s 64 hours (and more than $1000), which is much more than a BJJ white belt needs right away. I think John Danaher got carried away a little bit…
Shouldn’t beginners focus on escapes?
No. Think about it. As a beginner you don’t have a guard yet, so where will you escape towards? I see many beginners that try to focus on escapes, but before they even finish their ‘escape’ they’re already getting passed again to the other side. By definition you need a guard before you can escape.
Not 32 principles?
I like Rener Gracie and Ryron Gracies, and 32 principles is not a bad dvd. But again, it’s way too long. The videos last between 30 and 60 minutes per principles, so that’s like 20 hours in total. Again, that’s way more than you need right now as a BJJ beginner.
Should beginners even watch instructionals?
Some people say that beginners and white belts shouldn’t watch instructionals. They should just go to class and drill the techniques that are taught.
I don’t agree with this, but I do understand the thought behind it. I agree that white belts shouldn’t watch most instructionals, because most instructions go extremely in depth into a single position or technique. And that’s not what beginners need. Especially if the technique is a berimbolo or something.
But I think it’s hugely beneficial for beginners to watch a good fundamental course (like the ones I mention above). Because if you just go to class, the chance that the teacher shows techniques that you can use right away, is small. So you should supplement class with your own research.