Is Gracie Academy a Good Deal?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by MidMoRedzone, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. MidMoRedzone

    MidMoRedzone White Belt

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    Although I've been on Sherdog forever it seems, I've never been much of a poster, and at some point spent most of my time in the picture/multimedia section. In fact, I joined in August 2002, before any of my kids were even born! :)

    Now I have five kids and as I've reinvigorated my interest in MMA, I've been thinking about some time of BJJ-type training for the family. We are short on money, so the idea of joining a local gym seems unlikely.

    I came across Gracie University and it seemed like a potentially good program that I could use to get the whole family involved.

    It's hard not to fall in love with Rener's passion for his "product"/art, but I I thought I'd reach out to Sherdog to see if the Gracie University was a good deal. Does anyone use it for him/herself or the family? Has it been beneficial?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  2. esteven

    esteven Blue Belt

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    I have some familiarity with the program.

    If going to a gym is REALLY not an option, then it's a decent alternative. It's also a decent introduction to jiu-jitsu. However, if you decide you like it and want to continue beyond their Combatives (with their Master Cycle course), it will probably cost you nearly (if not just) as much as a family plan at one of the more affordable gyms, depending on your location and number of family members participating. As for getting a feel for BJJ, with the cost of the program and mats (you'll NEED mats), you'd probably be better off looking for some kind of trial program. Most places offer two weeks to one month for free, but some will let you pay for a couple of months contract-free, and yet others use no contracts at all.

    The techniques it shows are effective for self-defense, and geared for beginners to learn. However, the material in their Combatives program is pretty skeletal, and doesn't address sparring (the fun part). In fact, they kind of discourage it. Practicing the techniques without live rolling is akin to practicing basketball without ever actually playing basketball; not only are you skipping out on the best part, but it's also the part where you learn how to actually apply the techniques that you've been practicing. Without rolling, your progress will be severely capped.

    Where are you located? If you're on either coast (particularly in California), gym memberships will be higher than in the middle of the US. No idea about other countries. Given the cost of the GU program, it may not be much of a bargain (particularly if you go beyond their blue belt material). Ultimately, there IS some good stuff in there, and it's presented well, but the situations in which you wouldn't be better off going to a gym are limited.
     
  3. Einarr

    Einarr Banned Banned

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    No, learning just from watching videos is bad. Also, why do you have five freakin' kids!? And why do you expect to be able to train when you have so many children? News for you, buddy - for the next 18 or so years you will have no time to train or do much of anything.
     
  4. YellowFury

    YellowFury Blue Belt

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    how come no one considered he's talking about the physical location considered he said gracie academy, not gracie university

    edit- nvm i noticed he said they aren't likely to join a local gym. most likely referring to GU
     
  5. esteven

    esteven Blue Belt

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    Since you think that a 30-hour work week is excessive, I think we can chock it up to the fact that some people have better time-management skills than you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  6. esteven

    esteven Blue Belt

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    I was a bit confused on that, too, until I read the rest of his post. Since he's dubious about affording a "local gym," he's CLEARLY not talking about the academy in Torrance! :icon_chee
     
  7. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Go for it. Get the kids DVD as well. Something about bully proof. Look for a local judo club as well.
     
  8. esteven

    esteven Blue Belt

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    I've actually heard pretty good reviews about their kid's DVDs ("Bullyproof," I believe it's called), if some of your kids are very young. Apparently, it has some nifty "games" that introduce kids to jiu-jitsu movements. Sounds like a good idea to me.
     
  9. Deathstriker

    Deathstriker I eat Simba and wear his skin

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    Lots of people who want to save money send their kids to Judo first.
     
  10. jujijimmy

    jujijimmy Blue Belt

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  11. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    A team mate has them and use them for his kids class. The bullyproof program rename everything and makes it fun. For example: takedown class is called take the giant down. The back take us called ride the pony. I think they only teach one bar and the NRC. They had to stop teaching the rnc because a student defended himself at school against a bully and choked him out. My students are starting to have kids old enough to learn. I am considering having a free class on Saturday and have one student/dad run the kid program.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  12. Ramsey Dewey

    Ramsey Dewey Orange Belt Professional Fighter

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    Easy there champ! Lots of people with kids train. Many of them even fight professionally. Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day. Some of us use that time more wisely than others.

    As far as Gracie Academy goes, I'm not a big fan of the concept of exclusive instruction through video correspondence, but you could do much worse than Rener's stuff. Any training is better than none at all.
     
  13. Einarr

    Einarr Banned Banned

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    A 30 hour work week is excessive for me because I can live comfortably working 20. I'd rather not waste my youth being an office monkey - I work to live, not live to work.
     
  14. joker26

    joker26 Blue Belt

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    find a judo club and buy some DVDs of BJJ
     
  15. Anthas

    Anthas Yellow Belt

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    A friend and I toyed around with the combatives program before I started Bjj and MMA. I had a broken rib and didn't want to live roll with it...
    Even without doing it properly I learned more in two months with that than I did at the gym in the same amount of time. Don't get me wrong, joining a gym is the way to go in the long term, but at the begining I think it's way more important to get the knowledge and have some options than actual live rolling... and the amount of detail and knowledge the combatives gave me helped me advance way faster when I finally joined a gym. Unfortunatelly, in a lot of bjj gyms there is not an structured program of teaching, and you get the same lessons no matter what level you are in...Is like starting to write without knowing the letters...
    It's a great option for introducing your family to Bjj.
     
  16. MidMoRedzone

    MidMoRedzone White Belt

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    I wanted to thank everyone for their replies so far. Maybe not so much the guy that isn't so fond of me having five kids, but you can't please everyone.

    Sorry for the confusion, I did mean to say "Gracie University," and I'm not sure why I used "Academy." (I've updated my initial email, but I was unable to change the title.)

    I know someone mentioned that a lot of gyms offer trial programs, and I know that is true for me. I live in Omaha, NE, so I know there are plenty of gyms that offer something, as well as a BJJ club that my younger brother briefly trained at years ago.

    I do appreciate the responses.
     
  17. dalexan242

    dalexan242 Blue Belt

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    The Bullyproof DVDs are worth their weight in gold if you have a kid and want them to learn to love doing BJJ with you. Even though he has now "graduated" to formal BJJ classes at our gym, mini-me still begs to play the gracie games with me when we're at home.
     
  18. Estebanantonio

    Estebanantonio Green Belt

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    It depends on what you mean by "good deal". You can buy the Gracie Combatives DVD set for about $120.00 or you can buy one of their monthly subscription plans that vary in price.
     
  19. Estebanantonio

    Estebanantonio Green Belt

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    edited to clarify

    I have a pretty fair amount of experience with the Gracie University. The question "is it a good deal?" Is hard for me to answer, money wise probably more than other online videos.

    The material that is taught at the begining (Gracie Combatives) is not taught in alot of bjj schools as far as the self defense side but also lacks any resistance type training. Personally I'm a big fan of positional rolling with resistance even for beginers. After the combatives so far it's basically "sportive" with some fighting/self defense techniques and the positional rolling added.

    So to really train you'll need mats and a decent size space. I would also recomend checking into the local Judo club at the Y or whatever Judo is usually reasonably priced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  20. artesuavesam

    artesuavesam White Belt

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    Any jiu jitsu is better than no jiu jitsu. :)
    Can recommend Eddie Bravos mastering the system too. It is like $5 per month and WELL WORTH IT.

    :)
     

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