A question for any BJJ aficionados out there...

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by El Arquitecto, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Hello all, thanks for taking the time to read my thread.

    I want to begin studying BJJ but due to my job and Muay Thai training I don't really have the time to go to another gym. I have a friend who also wants to learn and we've decided to train together and teach ourselves, or rather, use books, videos and articles to teach us.

    So my question is, could you fine and knowledgable gentlemen at Sherdog guide me a little, using your experience, and advise on the things you may think would be useful? By this I mean, what books or videos would you recommend? Should we practice positional control first and then submissions or mix it all up?

    I know nothing about BJJ (well, the extent of my knowledge comes from Joe Rogan's commentary in the UFC) but I'm supposing there is some kind of standard when it comes the progression of one's skills. With what does one normally begin?

    Basically guys, I know nothing, you know lots. I'd be eternally grateful for any useful advice you could share with me. Thank you.
     
  2. Calibur

    Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

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    If you have time to train with someone else, you have time to train BJJ with an actual coach. You should do that.

    If that, for some reason, is absolutely not an option (are you sure it's not.) than the Gracie Combatives series is pretty good for learning basic bjj on your own.

    As for books, I think Renzo Gracie's Mastering Jiu Jitsu book is good for absolute basics, but it's not really a book about jiu jitsu moves. It's more like a history book with moves thrown in. BJ Penns MMA book is actually a really good step by step guide to training MMA.

    That said, find an actual teacher.
     
  3. jericksen5

    jericksen5 Brown Belt

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    honestly, you and your buddy could train together and learn videos for years. Then you'll roll with some kid whos been getting formal instruction for a few months and hes going to smash you. Theres no substitute for formal instruction from someone whos qualified. Otherwise, I wouldnt waste my time.
     
  4. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Thank you for your reply! I will look into those things.

    You make a good point about my free time. The problem is that I can practice with a friend whenever I want but BJJ classes will always be at a set time and the clubs I've found don't really coincide with my timetable.
     
  5. Legend Killer

    Legend Killer Yellow Belt

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    I would suggest getting someone who knows what they are doing to help you out. You and your friend practicing on your own will not get you anywhere really. You will not learn the subtle nuances and details of jiu jitsu that someone with experience understands. Jiu-jitsu isn't meant to be self-taught. More so than knowledge, there is a safety concern.

    You guys may potentially hurt each other. You don't even need to be going 100% to hurt each other. Something as simple as a person who is trying to exit a omoplata after a drill rep trying to situp as a means of exiting. That could blow up a shoulder real bad.

    I would assume you have exhausted all BJJ possibilities. If they all conflict with your schedule then maybe you can look into another grappling art with a qualified instructor? Wrestling? Judo? Catch? Sambo?

    Do you want to do BJJ so you can move onto MMA? If so then look at how much time you are devoting to Muay Thai and see if you can cutback on your standup and implement more groundwork.

    The post (and anyone else who suggests an instructor) isn't meant to deter you from jiu-jitsu but rather help you advance. :icon_chee
     
  6. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Thanks guys, your comments will be taken into account. I'm under no illusion that an actual teacher cannot be replaced by a video but for the time being, at least, it's how it's going to be. And due caution will be exercised at all times!
     
  7. ZuZitsu**

    ZuZitsu** Purple Belt

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    I agree u should find an instructor, however if money is an issue....

    Find a blue belt to show you some stuff! I mean typically you wouldn't learn from a blue belt but there are some very good blues out there. Im a blue belt (just shy of purple) and I could definately teach a rookie a ton of stuff, however I would never teach in a real atmosphere (kind of against the BJJ rules until you are a purple)

    So you might find a blue belt who will want to start teaching when he is a purple, brown or black so it will be good practice for him as well.

    If that fails....find a white belt. Any experience is better than no experience.
     
  8. Hamsterdam

    Hamsterdam Orange Belt

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    It's hard to emphasize enough how much better training under an instructor is than watching tapes. The little things you learn from someone watching and critiquing you is beyond what you can glean from a DVD. If you REALLY can't train, sure, watch DVDs, but don't do anything advanced; stick to basic drills and techniques, try to make sure that you do it as perfectly as possible and repeat them a lot. Then when you can train with someone, you'll have a good base to start learning. Just don't be that guy that walks into a gym and wants to roll because he and his friends have been training in his basement for like, two months.

    Also, Demian Maias Science of Jiu-Jitsu is great for understanding theory and Roy Dean's Blue Belt Requirements is very well done. I would suggest those two.
     
  9. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Hahaha, black belt in the basement, white belt in the gym. Agreed!

    Thanks for the suggestions too.
     
  10. blfdgrappler

    blfdgrappler Orange Belt

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    I'm with everyone else. I can't stress enough how important it is to find a qualified instructor. Jiu-jitsu isn't just a collection of moves you pick up from videos or books. More important are the REASONS behind why you use certain moves when. Beyond that, Jiu-Jitsu is a very transitional game, where various techniques flow into each other. A decent instructor can "connect the dots" between moves for you. You really are cheating yourself if you do not find an instructor, plus you run the risk of not having anyone to show you when you are doing various techniques wrong. I'm not hating. I'm just trying to emphasize this point in order to help you.

    If money is an issue, I do second the advice to find some organized curriculum out there: Marcello Monteiro's White to Blue, Roy Dean's White to Blue, Gracie Combatives, etc. You might check out some of Dave Camarillo's basic videos on MMA Faestro (e.g., Jiu-Jitsu 101) -- they were really helpful to me early on, and he gives you a good dose of theory too. An organized curriculum will help keep you on track, so at least you have a structure for what you are learning. You might supplement it with a good book like Jiu-Jitsu University, etc. Good luck, but really consider trying to find a way to train with an instructor. With that type of help, you will make progress by leaps and bounds instead of at a snail's pace.
     
  11. SLaKKJaW

    SLaKKJaW Blue Belt

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    No... actually, I think you are.

    I don't think videos and books are of much use until you've got some legit grappling experience. Not years, but a few months of solid mat time. Otherwise you're not going to have the proper perspective on how a move or position feels/should feel and you're going to have MASSIVE holes in your position game that an instructor would hem up for you.

    If you can't get some instruction from someone with at least SOME solid experience, I'd save the money and work it out to where you can.
     
  12. nefti

    nefti Red Belt

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    how about if two bjj guys decided to teach each other muay thai via books and dvds?
     
  13. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Just do a lot of basics. Demian Maia's 'Science of BJJ' is a great series, he really breaks everything down. Focus a lot on defense and escapes early, don't worry too much about subs right at the beginning. I would also recommend Saulo Ribeiro's book 'Jiu Jitsu University'. It's a great reference text.

    I would be careful about starting out with any really distinct stylistic influences. So for example, Eddie Bravo's stuff or Marcelo Garcia's. I love both those guys, especially Marcelo, but their styles are very unorthodox and won't work for everyone.

    Drill the basics to death, and roll a lot without worrying about tapping one another.
     
  14. Clinchster

    Clinchster Green Belt

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    me and my brother did the exact same thing you are doing now, we ate every ounce of bjj up! I'd lurk on these forums, read magazines, and you tube it up. We would find techniques we thought were simple and effective and we would drill the living hell out of them! and honestly, when we went to our first grappling gym we subbed a lot of the whitebelts and often stalemated the blues (pretty much playing strictly defense) Now, we THOUGHT we had a pretty good grasp on how to grapple, but good god we had no idea! Especially when we rolled with purples or browns.
    The only reason the lower belts didn't just beat the brakes off us was because their fundamentals weren't good enough to exploit our weaknesses. So moral of the story is, garage grappling is better than nothing if you're smart about it...but nothing beats a real instructor and rolling with people who know how to grapple.
     
  15. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Thank you, this advice is great :)
     
  16. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Thanks a lot for sharing your story with me :) It's an inspiring read. Take care
     
  17. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    I think that, other than potential injuries, there isn't much to be worried about. At the very least, you will know not to leave your neck hanging out to be choked quickly. Be careful, and check the resources here on this thread.

    Of course, look for quality instruction and attend it as much as possible. You might not be able to attend 6 times a week, but if there's a school you can attend, even if it's far and you can only go once a month, it's better than just rolling at home against people who know nothing about grappling, not to mention that you can have a talk with the teacher and the students and maybe find someone closer to you who can teach you a few things. Everything can be solved with a chat. There are always people interested in BJJ who absolutely can't attend any classes. Sometimes, all that it takes for a new timeslot to open is having interested students. Not to mention that you can always find fellow enthusiasts who could end up joining you for your training sessions at home, some with some actual training, or at least, the extra 10 bucks to help with the gas to attend a training session in a distant school.

    Remember that BJJ is pretty cool but it's not the best thing since sliced bread. Other grappling arts are good too. If you can attend a judo school, for example, you're in good hands.
     
  18. El Arquitecto

    El Arquitecto White Belt

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    Good advice, I appreciate it. You know, I hadn't actually considered the possibility of another grappling art, I suppose I've always considered BJJ to be the be all and end all of submission fighting. But, in light of your comment I will look around. Many thanks.
     
  19. curb1850

    curb1850 Green Belt

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    This is good advice. Be careful, it would suck to get injured doing this kind of thing.
     
  20. Tony Manifold

    Tony Manifold Brown Belt

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    I won't counter anything said by the above in regards to the benefits of actually learning in a school under a proper instructor, they are right. With that said, that is obviously not an option for you. I will say you can learn without an instructor around all the time. there are a lot of black belts today that did without a proper instructor in the beginning.

    Here is my advice.
    Buy these
    Budovideos.com - Jiu-Jitsu University Book by Saulo Ribeiro & Kevin Howell
    Budovideos.com - Jiu-Jitsu Revolution 6 DVD Set with Saulo Ribeiro

    Saulo's book is very good at giving the why and the theory and his videos are great. He also has a fairly basic game in the sense that it is based on solid BJJ principles rather than attributes.

    Next, schedule a private with an instructor (you and you buddy can share) and explain what you are doing. Explain that you are planning to use those resources as reference material between sessions. Pick a subject (say guard passing) and spend an hour or two going over the topic. go back and work on it, refer to the book and video to refresh your memory. Spend a month or two on it and go back to the instructor. Have him critique your skill and fix any errors, then get the next step. Repeat.

    Back in the early days of BJJ in North America this is how a lot of us learned. We would go to a seminar, learn some stuff, practice it and go to another one or invite the guy up. It is slower, not as effective but it can be done.

    If you do this for awhile, you will probably fall in love with BJJ and make the extra effort to train at the school, or maybe your situation will be different by then.
     

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