Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: The Ultimate Handbook for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Students by Paulo Guillobel

RATING:  

RECOMMENDATION:

Yes.  Especially for Coaches or aspiring Coaches.

OPINION:

This book is great little handbook for the aspiring Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner.  In this easily understandable and accessible book, author and BJJ black belt Paulo Guillobel lays out 21 principles, or concepts, that are essential to becoming proficient in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

These “principles” describe the INVISIBLE aspect to the art.  The concepts behind the technique.  When the principles are understood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu becomes much easier to learn and apply.

This little book organizes and categories the main principles of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It is a gift-wrapped notebook for any BJJ practitioner, whether you are brand new, or an experienced instructor.

I picked up this book as a Brown Belt.  Although I had already been taught these principles by my instructor, it was nice to have it all written down in one resource.  The many analogies provided to illustrate the principles also helped me gain a fuller understanding of them.

This is an easy to read and to-the-point book.  At only 112 pages with medium sized print it can be read cover to cover in a few hours.  There are lots of photographs (black and white) to illustrate key points.  It is organized very nicely so that chapters relating to a certain principle can be easily found.  Everything in this book will (or should) be taught be a competent BJJ instructor, but the author has gift-wrapped a nice little reference notebook that can solidify or enlighten your current understanding. However,  Its a book.  Some people don’t like books.

 

ROBERTO ‘Cyborg’ ABREU – Cyborg Guard Collection DVD

RATING:  

RECOMMENDATION:

Yes.  There is something on this DVD set for everyone. But most of the techniques would be best suited for advanced Blue Belts. The Tornado Guard section would probably best for advanced Purple Belts.

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SUMMARY:

In this 2-disc instructional DVD set, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu shows some of his unorthodox guard positions. This set focuses exclusively on the guard position in the Gi. Sorry No Gi grapplers, there is nothing for you here. All the techniques shown require collar and/or sleeve grips, pant grips or lapel grips, so Gi enthusiasts should have fun with this set.

All-in-all Cyborg’s guard collection is a great collection of different techniques. Cyborg is likable and personable. He teaches the techniques very well and there is very little language barrier. There so much variety on this set, that virtually everyone can gain benefit from it.

A wide variety of different types of non-classical guards can offer a new perspective for some practitioners. Cyborg teaches in an enthused, fun manner that makes viewing easy and enjoyable.

The techniques shown are ALL gi dependent. The production on the instructional is good, but not great. We only get to see one camera angle which is typical for most instructional DVD sets.

JEFF GLOVER – DEEP HALF GUARD DVD

RATING:  

RECOMMENDATION:

Yes.  This is for anyone who wants to begin playing with the Deep Half Guard, probably around Blue Belt.  I would also recommend this for anyone who is of smaller stature.

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OPINION:

Jeff Glover’s 2-disc DVD instructional is an entertaining and informative journey through an unusual position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu…THE DEEP HALF GUARD.  Jeff Glover, who is an extremely decorated BJJ competitor, is known for his limber and playful style, his wicked Darce Choke and of course, the Deep Half Guard position. Because he is smaller man he finds benefit of playing such an unorthodox guard because the opponent’s weight isn’t directly over to smash him.  By using the Deep Half Guard, he positions himself under just one of his opponent’s legs and controls it with all four of his limbs.  Using this control he is able to off balance and sweep his opponent.

The first disc of the set is entirely dedicated to the Deep Half Guard.  Jeff sets off the first section with the defensive side of the position by showing how to escape the gamut of bad positions (Back, Mount, Side Control, Knee-on-belly, Reverse Knee-on-belly, and the Front Headlock) into the Deep Half Guard.  He explains the step-by-step movements of the escape techniques very well, ultimately ending up in the Deep Half.  Next, Jeff teaches a series of entrances into the Deep Half Guard from a more neutral position such as the normal half guard and the open guard.  Lastly, Jeff covers a variety of sweeps from the Deep Half Guard.  This disc also includes some bonus material, such as an interview with Jeff, several of his competition matches, and a TIPS section.  This TIPS section has great detail and is where Jeff emphasizes key components to the half guard and how to avoid common errors.

The second disc is a nice treat because it goes beyond the Deep Half Guard.  Jeff flips the role of the position and starts off the disc by Continue reading JEFF GLOVER – DEEP HALF GUARD DVD

JIU JITSU UNIVERSITY by SAULO RIBEIRO

RATING:  

RECOMMENDATION:

Yes!  For everyone.

OPINION:

Jiu Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro has been the most respected Brazilian Jiu Jitsu book since it came out in 2008.  This 368 page book is chockablock full of high quality photographs and is supremely organized, detailing hundreds of techniques.  The book is structured by belt ranking white through black.  Each Belt Rank Section has an accompanying theme:  White Belt is about SURVIVAL, Blue Belt is about ESCAPES, Purple belt is about THE GUARD, Brown Belt is about GUARD PASSING, and Black Belt is about SUBMISSIONS.  Each Theme then has a sub-theme, for example ESCAPES →THE MOUNT. Then with each sub-theme there are several individual techniques, for example ESCAPES → THE MOUNT → ELBOW ESCAPE.  This arrangement of theme/sub-theme/technique, continues throughout the book.  Along with the hundreds of great photographs detailing each individual technique from different angles, there are short, clear and easy to understand captions.  These captions always accurately describe to the reader the contents of the photos step by step.  Sometimes there are even Continue reading JIU JITSU UNIVERSITY by SAULO RIBEIRO

RYAN HALL – BACK ATTACKS DVD SET

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RATING:  

RECOMMENDATION:

YES!  Most of the concepts at the beginning of the series are for white belts and up. However, some of the concepts, movements and techniques may be more beneficial for Blue Belts and up.

OPINION:

This is a 3 disc DVD set covering Ryan Hall’s principles and technical strategies for attacking the back.  All in all the set has some great content and can be a game changer for anyone interested in the back.  Ryan has a very talkative teaching style and gives loads of fast paced details.  So fast indeed that the viewer will undoubtedly watch it several times to absorb all that he is laying out.  He also frequently uses unique analogies to help the viewer understand the principles of back control/attack.  These analogies will probably be hit or miss depending on the viewer, but he throws enough of them out there that some are bound to click.

Ryan begins the series with simpler, but extremely important, principles.  He repeatedly emphasizes the importance of positional control throughout the series.  He breaks his positional control concepts down into two main categories, lower body (hooks) and upper body (harness) control.  One of the early gems in the set is his method to achieve or recover the back position he calls “The Chair Sit.”  This is an essential part of his back attack method.  He couples this with upper body control position he calls “The Harness.”  The set continues with movement options to gain access to the back as well as attacking the turtle position.

With these principles being well covered, Ryan then goes into finishing or submission sequences including the Rear Naked Choke, Ezekial Choke and the Bow and Arrow Choke.  He finalizes the series with the unconventional Rolling Back Attack sequences.  This flashy but useful movement is covered in great detail (the entire third disc is devoted to this).  This is another goldmine of information. In typical Ryan Hall fashion, he starts off by explaining and demonstrating key concepts that must be understood before attempting to do a Rolling Back Attack.

The amount of information and detail is stellar!  If anyone has trouble getting or more often keeping the back mount position, this set will help a great deal.  The Rolling Back Attack section could be an entire instructional all by itself.  That it is included in this set is the icing on the cake.  The layering method of his instruction is great.  Ryan makes sure the viewer understands the underlying principles before learning the specifics.  For those that love lengthy and descriptive, principle-based teaching, this is right up your alley.  It is very apparent that Ryan is not reading from a script.  He is speaking (teaching) informally and sincerely.  It is obvious that he knows the topic well and is confidant teaching it. There is really nothing left out of this topic (Back Attacks).  With this set, the viewer has access to a whole and well-rounded back attack system.  The set is organized very well with specific chapters on each disc clearly labeled so that you can skip ahead to any one of them without having to watch others.

Ryan’s fast-paced teaching style can be a drawback for some.  He zips through the topic and veers off on tangents that he feels is relevant to the point he is trying to make.  If your attention is not sharply focused on his teaching you can easily get lost.  So, in order to get full benefit from this series and piece together for yourself all that he is throwing at you, you’ll have to be fully alert and fully focused.  This is not a casual viewing…it’s going to take some work on your part.

GRACIE COMBATIVES DVD SET


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RATING:   

RECOMMENDATION:

100% yes.  This set is geared for the beginner. So WHITE BELTS will undoubtedly gain the most from it. However, the heavy focus on self-defense is great for any experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioner who has never been taught, or has neglected this aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I would think even Purple and Brown Belts , even though they may be familiar with the techniques, will most likely pick up details that they have never seen before. Furthermore, this is a MUST HAVE for any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor, not only for the technical information, but also for the great example of HOW TO TEACH!

OPINION:

Gracie Combatives is the must have for any BJJ practitioner. This 13 disc set lays out a solid foundation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from a “self-defense first” approach.  Even so, most of the lessons can be applied to sport Jiu Jitsu as well.  This is the Gracie Academy’s 36 core techniques / lessons that are taught and perfected first and foremost.  The instruction is given by Rener and Ryron Gracie who give an unprecedented amount of detail.  The information is presented in a logical and easy to understand manner.  Even if you have years of Jiu Jitsu experience, you will pick up details you thought you knew. You may have seen these techniques before but I have no doubt you’ll discover new depths to these so-called “basic” techniques.  The production is the best I have ever seen in an instructional DVD set!  Each lesson has smooth camera transitions from multiple angles.  With a viewing length of almost 16 hours you will undoubtedly have to watch this set over the period of several days or weeks!

*Disc 13 of the set focuses on a “Blue Belt Test.”  This was originally geared for people unable (due to geographic reasons) to train at a qualified school.  The thought was that folks could send in a video to “Gracie University” of themselves performing the entirety of the Combatives set, have it reviewed and evaluated, and upon passing the test receive their Blue Belt through the mail. This received harsh criticism from the rest of the BJJ community and has hence been altered (mainly due to the influence of Masters Rickson Gracie and Pedro Sauer)  that you can no longer get a Blue Belt through the mail. Instead, upon successful completion, you would receive a “Combatives Belt,” which is a white belt with a navy blue strip running its length.  For the full explanation on that topic, watch https://youtu.be/keRaWLVOuPQ but it is lengthy.  Basically you can just ignore DISC 13 as it is probably not relevant to most viewers.

The amount of detail is amazing.  There are numerous little aspects of each technique that even an experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioner will benefit from it.  The instruction is clear, concise and presented in a very logical and easy to digest style.  The set is supremely organized and set up where you can go back and reference any lesson without having to watch or skip through other sections.  The production of this set is incredible!  Easy and pleasant viewing throughout.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructional and Product Reviews