GSP Training DVD Volume I review, updated with Volume II


Purple Belt
Apr 3, 2005
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Maybe this should go under equipment review. But oh well. I'll post it to both the grappling and stand up forum since he deals with both. He has two instructional DVDs. This review only covers volume I. I'll do volume II later.

I'm an armchair martial artist. Well. I actually do martial arts (ITF TKD and Sambo), but I do it as a hobby. I'm not looking to become the next GSP (too old at 34!). So that is where I'm coming from with this review. I don't know what put it in my mind to buy these. I just suddenly thought, "Lets see what GSP has to say about some of this stuff..."

Also I have two other DVD instructionals: Cesar Gracies Jiu Jitsu DVDs and Vladislav Koulikov Sambo series.

Lets get on with it.

The DVD is very short (39 minutes). And that is a definite downside. He glosses over some stuff that you'd really like him to go over more.

There are three sections to the instructional: Standup, Takedown/Takedown defense, and conditioning.

Standup: Basically deals with two things. Slipping punches and countering and spinning techniques. Very basic. If you've had any sort of standup training at all you are not going to get much out of it.

His Karate background comes through with his spinning back kick/spinning hammerfist. He also shows how to properly counter these techniques and he does a good job explaining it. But if you have a Karate type background you already know the counter. This section is not bad, but not really worth the price of admission on their own. A nice extra.

Takedown/Takedown Defense:

Personally I thought this section was excellent. He goes through four or five basic takedowns from a clinch. And this is where the beauty is. In my Sambo DVD Vlad says things like, "Okay. We could go over the basic version, but everyone already knows that. So I'll show you something more advanced..."

Meanwhile those of us with no wrestling background get frustrated because we want to see the basic techniques. A guy with a good solid wrestling background isn't going to get much from this section. For me, it was exactly what I was looking for.

My only complaint is that he doesn't really cover takedown DEFENSE much. He shows some good takedowns and shows the counter the Wizard. But even that was somewhat helpful. Because watching it allowed me to Wizard someone in Sambo who was trying to get the single leg on me.

In short. I was quite happy with this section.


He goes through some weightlifting routines that anyone can do. The equipment he uses are not really specialized. And the routine is doable and good. It doesn't take a lot of time either. He does four sets, but a guy like me could probably do one set a couple times a week and find my overall condition level vastly improved.

He also outlines a sprinting routine. This entire routine takes only 12 minutes.

It was a good reminder that it doesn't take a ton of time to get in better shape. It just takes doing it. I'll probably try to work in his sprinting routine a couple of times a week. I mean twelve minutes isn't too much to ask. As we get older we middle aged guys spend more time bitching about how we don't have enough time to get in shape than the amount of time it would take to actually DO IT.

Overall a good DVD. I'd recommend it to those who have a more traditional martial arts background who want an introduction to some no gi takedowns. For someone who has a highschool wrestler, however, you'll probably know most of it already. Unless you are really dying to know the spinning back kick/hammer fist and the counter to it...

Again. The only thing that really disappointed me with this DVD was that no time was really spent on Takedown defense. I'd like to have heard some philosophy. More counters. Etc.
Nice! Can't wait for you review on Volume 2.


Volume II....

Definite positives and negatives to this one. Lets start with negatives.

The exercise portion of the DVD is the EXACT same one as the first DVD. This is, of course, a bit of a disappointment. When I instructional is only around 40 minutes long you expect to get new material on all of it.

Second negative...there is little explanation of the holds on this DVD. This is NOT an instructional for someone trying to learn some submissions for the first time. That, btw, is the Cesar Gracie DVD (who does an awesome job of explaining everything). GSP pretty much says, "From here you can do the Kimura..." He doesn't go into detail about the Kimura.


If you've been in a submission grappling class and at least have some working knowledge of these holds you are probably going to get something out of this DVD.

His description of ground and pound strategy was very good. I personally will never use it because I'm never planning on doing full MMA, but it was still interesting. GSP is an intelligent fighter who has thought a lot of this through.

He shows some very good transitions from being in your opponents half-guard to ankle lock, heel hook, Kimura, etc. Some of these depend on starting a good ground and pound on your opponent, but I think they can work for regular submission wrestling as well. I really liked them. In all honesty I have the hardest time going for leg locks. I never know when I should go for it. So it was some good stuff. And he also shows what to do when someone defends well (chaining submission attempts together).

He also goes over the MMA guard and some strategies you should try from there. Good submissions, how to time it, how to chain it into oomplata (sp?)

Once again. Some real good stuff here. But some definite drawbacks as well.
Conditioning is the same on both DVDs, which I thought was kind of cheap.

Still, I liked the tapes.
I liked them too. But it is definitely a mixed bag. Overall positive, but mixed...