BJJ instructionals are an excellent way to enhance your BJJ skills, but beginners might find them expensive or unnecessary. That’s why in this essential guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about BJJ instructionals, including how to use them to maximize your learning potential, which are the best, where to buy them and why they’re worth the investment. Let’s unlock the potential of BJJ instructionals and take your BJJ game to the next level!
What are BJJ instructionals?
BJJ instructionals are educational video series created by professional BJJ teachers and competitors. These video series typically range from 4-12 hours in length. The topics of BJJ instructional can vary greatly depending on the instructor, but they often focus on specific BJJ techniques, such as guard retention, guard passing, or leg locks.
Do BJJ instructionals help you improve?
Yes, BJJ instructionals can help you improve your game a lot. Here are some benefits of using them:
- Access to high-level instruction: BJJ instructionals are often taught by world-class BJJ practitioners and coaches. They provide detailed explanations, demonstrations, and insights that you may not get from your regular training.
- Convenient and flexible: With BJJ instructionals, you can learn and practice on your schedule and at your pace. This is especially useful if you have a busy schedule or cannot attend regular classes.
- Supplement your training: BJJ and grappling instructionals are not a replacement for attending classes, but they can be an excellent tool to supplement your training. You can use them to learn new techniques, review old ones, or focus on specific areas of your game.
- Focus your training: Normal BJJ classes often force you to train one technique or topic 1 week, and a completely different topic the next week. BJJ instructionals can help you focus on one area of your game for a longer time.
I’ve noticed many times that a training partner suddenly makes a ‘jump’ in their progress, and it’s always because they’re studying an instructional.
What to look for in a BJJ instructional?
When looking for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructional, there are several factors to consider:
- Instructor: The instructor should be a high-level black belt, but more importantly, they should be a good teacher. Teaching requires more than just knowing techniques, it involves being able to communicate them effectively and understand how students learn best.
- Common thread or concept: The instructional should have a common thread or concept that ties the techniques together. This ensures that you are not just learning a bunch of random techniques but rather a cohesive system of BJJ. Unfortunately, many instructionals lack this.
- Relevance to your situation: The instructional should fit your situation, what you want to learn, and what you can implement in your BJJ training. For example, if you are a beginner, you want an instructional that focuses on fundamental techniques. If you are a competitor, you want an instructional that focuses on high-level competition techniques.
- Quality of production: The quality of production is also important. The instructional should be well-produced, with clear and concise instruction, high-quality video, and good audio. Most BJJ instructionals that are produced after 2020 have good production quality, but older ones often don’t.
- Innovation: This isn’t so important if you’re a white belt, but if you’re more experience, look for an instructional that offers new and innovative techniques, concepts, or strategies that you may not have seen before. This can help you add new tools to your BJJ game and surprise your training partners or opponents with unexpected techniques.
How to use BJJ instructionals
BJJ instructionals are great tools, if you know how to use them. To get the most out of them, you’ll have to do more than merely watch them passively. Here are a few tips on how to learn from BJJ instructionals effectively:
- Set goals: Before you start using BJJ instructionals, set specific goals. What techniques or positions do you want to improve on? By setting goals, you can use the instructionals more efficiently. And you’ll also know when you’ve achieved your own definition of success.
- Focus on one topic at a time: Avoid jumping from one instructional to another (like I always do…). Instead, focus on one technique or position and use the instructional to learn and drill it. Repetition is essential for mastering any skill, and BJJ is no different.
- Take notes: Take notes while watching the instructional, as this will help you remember the details and key points of the technique or position. You can also use these notes to review and refresh your memory during training, so you won’t forget what you wanted to train.
- Practice, practice, practice: Use the instructional to learn the theory, but then practice it with a partner during open mat sessions or drills. This will help you apply what you learned and improve your timing, precision, and confidence.
- Find a partner: What always works best for me is to watch an instructional together with a friend, and meet up before and after class to drill the techniques in the instructional. This helps a lot to trouble shoot the techniques, it makes the process more fun and it keeps you accountable.
Where do you buy BJJ instructionals?
There’s many places to buy BJJ and grappling instructionals nowadays, some of the best options include:
- BJJ More: You can buy your first BJJ instructional right here on this website! It’s called Blue Belt in 1 Day and it’s sure to help you get your blue belt faster!
- BJJ Fanatics: One of the biggest and most popular websites for buying grappling and BJJ instructional videos, with courses from many well-known instructors and a variety of topics and techniques. It’s owned by Bernardo Faria, former world champion and the original BJJ Fanatic.
- Submeta: A budget-friendly option created by Lachlan Giles, a world-class BJJ practitioner and coach. The website offers a variety of courses on different techniques and positions.
- BJJ Mental Models: A BJJ community and platform that includes audio courses by BJJ black belt Steve Kwan and othe rhigh level competitors. The courses focus on understanding the underlying principles and concepts of BJJ rather than just memorizing techniques.
- Jiu Jitsu X: A website created by Keenan Cornelius, another well-known BJJ practitioner and coach. While not my personal favorite, it offers a variety of courses from Cornelius and other top-level athletes.
- Grappler’s Quest: A website from BJJ black belt Jason Scully that has been around for a while and offers a lifetime price for access to its courses. Some people still enjoy it, although I personally think this one has been overtaken by the competition.
- Individual Publishers: Some BJJ practitioners and coaches sell their own instructional materials on their websites or platforms such as Teachable. These can be a great option for learning from a specific instructor or focusing on a particular technique. Here are some examples of instructors that sell courses on their own platform: Jon Thomas, Dominique Bell, Roy Dean, Andre Galvao, Stephan Kesting, Roger Gracie, Rob Biernacki, Rener Gracie, Travis Stevens and Shintaro Higashi (for judo).
BJJ Instructional Reviews
I have a lot of grappling and BJJ instructional reviews on my website. Here’s a list of some of my instructional reviews per category.
Best BJJ instructionals in general
Are you new to BJJ instructionals and just curious which kinds there are? I have some reviews that outline what the best BJJ instructionals are in general. I made sure to include instructionals from less known instructors (so not just John Danaher), like mixed martial arts fighters Ryan Hall and Demian Maia, BJJ legends Marcelo Garcia and Buchecha, and alternative sources like BJJ Globetrotters.
- Top 10 Best BJJ Instructionals Ranked (on any platform)
- Top 5 Best BJJ Instructionals for Beginners & White Belts
Check out my #1 favorite BJJ instructional of all time
Ride like Craig
There’s a number of different places where you can learn BJJ online, and some are better than others. I reviewed all the major BJJ instructional platforms. Read these reviews to see which place you’ll like:
- BJJ Fanatics Review: Top 10 Best BJJ Fanatics Instructionals
- BJJ Fanatics Insiders Club Review (2023)
- Submeta Review – The Best Place To Learn BJJ Online?
- BJJ Mental Models Review | Is Premium Worth It?
- Grapplers Guide Review: It’s Not worth it in 2023?
BJJ instructional reviews per topic
BJJ instructionals are a vejry useful tool when you want to do a deep dive into a specific position. Here’s the best grappling BJJ instructionals for some of the most common topics:
- Top 5 best closed guard instructionals: Beginners, Gi & No gi
- Top 5 Best Half Guard Instructionals You’ll ever Watch
- Best BJJ escapes instructional – coming soon! (Spoiler: the best will probably be this one.)
- Best leg lock instructional – coming soon!
- Best single x guard instructional – coming soon!
- Best takedown instructional for BJJ – coming soon!
BJJ instructional reviews per instructor
It’s a great idea to choose one instructor to follow, so you can learn their BJJ game consistently. If you try to follow different isntructors at the same time, you’ll hear a lot of conflicting information. So here’s the best instructionals from some of my favorite BJJ instructors:
- Best Danaher instructionals & Which Order to Watch (2023)
- Top 5 Gordon Ryan Instructionals You Should Watch
- Top 10 Best Craig Jones Instructionals (& 6 to Avoid)
Individual BJJ instructional reviews
I review a lot of individual BJJ instructionals, mostly from my favorite instructors (Craig Jones, Lachlan Giles, Gordon Ryan, John Danaher and some others). If you have a specific instructional that you’re thinking of buying, definitely check to see if it’s in this list:
- Craig Jones power ride review: 3 Key takeaways
- Mexican ground karate escapes review: 1 big surprise!
- Get Off My Legs Gringo Review: 1001 Details from Craig Jones
- Systematic Submission Dilemmas Review: 3 Craig Jones Lessons
- Power Bottom Review: 3 Reasons I like Craig Jones’ Bottom
- Make Z guard great again Review: How to knee shield like Craig Jones
- The anti-wrestling equation review: Craig Jones wrestles??
- False Reap Accusations Review: 2 Lessons from Craig Jones newest Instructional
- Craig Jones Power Top Review: 3 styles to pass
- Gordon Ryan Strangle Escapes Review: 3 Things I (Dis)Like
- Danaher Feet to Floor Review (Volume 1, 2 & 3)
BJJ instructional books
Most BJJ instructionals are video instructionals, but some people prefer instructional books. That’s one of the many reasons why I created my own product, which is a digital book (including checklists and flowcharts). And there’s other BJJ instructional books too:
- Blue Belt in 1 Day: My own course, it’s a BJJ instructional book aimed at beginners. I recommend this as people’s first instructional, as it covers the only techniques that actually work for beginners.
- Jiu Jitsu University: an absolute classic – but also horribly outdated? It has pictures to illustrate techniques, and it covers the basics well. But some of the techniques they suggest are very 1990 and definitely don’t work anymore in 2023.
- Mastering jiu jitsu: written by John Danaher and Renzo Gracie, this is a classic too. It’s a little theoretical compared to Jiu Jitsu university with fewer images of techniques. But it’s good, I liked it.
- Mastering the 21 Immutable Principles of Brazilian jiu jitsu: My favorite BJJ instructional book (other than my own), it does a good job of introducing you to concepts that you’ll use throughout your complete BJJ journey.
Are BJJ Instructionals Worth It?
Whether BJJ and grappling instructionals are worth the investment depends on your goals, budget, and learning style. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Cost: BJJ instructionals can range from free online videos to expensive bundle sets of more than $1000. Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend.
- Learning style: Some people learn better by watching videos than by attending classes. If you are a cerebral learner, BJJ instructionals may be a great investment for you.
- Specific goals: If you have specific goals, such as competing at a high level or mastering a particular technique, BJJ instructionals may be worth the investment. They can provide you with valuable insights and techniques that can give you an edge over your opponents.
Just keep in mind that BJJ instructionals are actually great value for the money compared to if you’d go to a seminar or take private classes.
Also read: Are BJJ Instructionals Worth the money?
Which BJJ instructional should I start with?
The best BJJ instructional to start with as a white belt is Blue Belt in 1 Day. That’s my own course, it’s text based, easy to consume and you’ll learn everything a blue belt knows.
After that you should buy an instructional on a relatively easy topic. The most commonly suggested topic for a white belt is closed guard, but I think half guard is at least as good a topic for beginners. And many beginners like John Danaher as an instructor, because he explains everything in detail. So good options are New wave closed guard by John Danaher (for no gi grappling) and Go further faster closed guard by John Danaher (for jiu jitsu in the gi).
Where To Download Bjj Instructionals For Free?
Can you Pirate BJJ instructionals?
Although you might be able to pirate BJJ instructionals, I’d caution against it. It’s illegal because it violates copyright law, and it doesn’t help support our athletes and grow our sport. Moreover, there are very affordable BJJ instructionals available, such as Submeta.
Why are BJJ instructionals so expensive?
Although some people may find BJJ instructionals expensive, they’re actually incredibly good value for the money. You can get 8 hours of instruction from our best athletes for $200-$300, which is only ~$25 per hour. There’s no other sport in the world where you can get instruction from the top athletes, no matte rhow much you pay (try getting an instructional from Steph Curry, Tom Brady or Cristiano Ronaldo).
Why are instructionals so popular in BJJ?
BJJ instructionals are more popular than in other sports for a few reasons.
Firstly, BJJ is an incredibly technical martial art, and there are countless techniques and positions to learn. Secondly, unlike other sports, BJJ does not have as many opportunities for athletes to make money through sponsorships or competitions, so they turn to making instructionals. Finally, BJJ has an adult and relatively affluent audience.