Hello BJJ Community. I wanted to encourage you all to see this time as a great time to work on things for your fitness and jiu jitsu in a different way. I truly believe each of you has huge potential to increase your knowledge, strength, and skills even if you are staying at home. We all would rather be able to train at the gym where we have the benefit of in person coaches and our teammates to support us, but that isn’t now and that means we can use this time to strengthen our resolve, adapt and utilize what resources we do have which I believe are many. There is a huge opportunity to improve in ways you may have never imagined.
So here is a couple of things I wanted to suggest.
First, I wanted to alert you all of two free instructional video courses that can help you during this time. These are free on the "BJJ Fanatics” website. These two instructors are offering their courses for free to help the BJJ community during this time.
“At Home Judo Workout” by Travis Stevens https://bjjfanatics.com/collections/all/products/judo-home-workouts-with-travis-stevens (Travis Steven’s is a judo olympian and a BJJ Black Belt. I like his teaching style.)
Building your toolbox of solo drills and exercises is a huge benefit to you and will not only make your jiu jitsu way better but will also reduce the risk of injury when returning to the mats. These are skills not just for the current time but will help you the rest of your life. Make these a part of your daily routine.
The second thing I recommend is to spend a little time each day watching and studying jiu jitsu online. There is an enormous amount of content that is free online. I recommend you search and watch competition and instructional videos with any of your favorite jiu jitsu people. If you aren’t sure who to watch, here is a list of people I like to pay attention to:
Demian Maia - Considered by many to be the best jiu jitsu fighter to ever compete in mma. There are black belts and then there is Demian Maia. Really good at taking the back and choking his opponents. Almost unstoppable. He is 42 years old, still competing in the UFC, and is ranked #7 in the world. Competes at 170 lbs.
JT Torres - Multiple time world champion with straight forward attacks which include good wrestling takedowns. 170 lbs competitor.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeda - One of my favorite grapplers of all. Bigger guy but extremely aggressive and straight forward takedowns to guard pass to submission.
Marcelo Garcia - A legend who has perfect technique. Makes high level grapplers look like beginners. Can choke anyone.
Henry Akins - I love old school jiu jitsu that is proven in street fights. Henry is one of Rickson Gracie’s black belts and did countless “challenge matches” back in the day when people wanted to prove that their art would beat jiu jitsu. Henry still teaches today the things that will work when it really counts.
Craig Jones - One of Australia’s best. Great at leg attacks and chokes.
Jeff Glover - A very strange character and person. Known for being very entertaining when grappling. Inventor of the “donkey guard”. Allows himself to get in really bad positions that I would not recommend for the beginner. But you can learn a ton watching Glover in the area of being relaxed. There is an element to BJJ of knowing when to relax and when to be tense. Glover is a master at being relaxed in such a way that it throws his opponents off and Glover becomes extremely difficult to control. He doesn’t always win and he seems to place higher priority on having fun, entertaining the spectators, and experimenting. His competition matches look like probably what he does in practice goofing around. An amazing grappler to analyze.
Renzo Gracie - Old school jiu jitsu combined with the new at its best. Really fun to listen to him teach. Has fought in mma and trained countless champions in BJJ and mma. Son of Robson Gracie and grandson of Carlos Gracie who is one of the fathers of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
John Danaher - Very strange man who can get really detailed on everything. He is a Renzo Gracie black belt. Explains BJJ and martial arts from a big picture view but will also get into the fine details of every technique. Is the coach of Gordon Ryan who many consider to be the best grappler in the world right now.
Rener and Ryron Gracie - Brothers and founders of “Gracie University” an online BJJ academy. They also run the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA. They teach the “Bully Proof” program and the “Gracie Survival Tactics” (GST) courses. Bully Proof is designed for kids but is good for everyone and will help anyone defeat your average bully. GST is for military and law enforcement. All of it is really good stuff to study and learn. Rener is a really funny and entertaining teacher. Kids will love him.
Mikey Musumeci - Multiple time world champion. Competes at 141 lbs. Recently competed in the Absolute Class at the European IBJJF Worlds and defeated two giant men. He has a style of rolling that is very fluid and mobile.
Ryan Hall - Coach Jeff likes a lot of Ryan Halls materials. He is a phenomenal jiu jitsu competitor and fights in the UFC at 145 lbs. Ryan Hall has a great conceptual approach to jiu jitsu.
Dean Lister - Old school fighter and one of the best American grapplers ever. Jock Willinck's coach.
I recommend thinking about what things you would like to understand more. Is it basic fundamentals? Is it certain techniques? Self Defense? Sport? Then looking at instructionals by any of these people. Then watch competition matches of these folks and see how they apply them. Watching competition matches is good but often what is happening is hidden so watching the instructional videos will help you see what is hidden.
Most important thing is to have fun watching and learning. Don’t worry if you do not understand everything. Nobody does. As you learn a little every day you will be amazed at what you pick-up and retain. You will also notice that each coach or practitioner has a different style and emphasis. You will start to see the concepts more instead of step by step moves. You will begin to understand jiu jitsu at a deeper level. This type of study will go a long way when you come back and start rolling again.
In addition to staying active with solo drills, take time to watch instructional videos online. It will challenge your mind and help keep you motivated to learn more. OSS!