REVIEW: I have to say I’m very impressed with the quality and type of instruction in the DVD’s. Roy Dean is easy to understand (no pidgin English). The video is shown from different angles so you can see the technique done from all sides. It has a easy to use interface that shows submissions based on positions. The video looks professional not like it was done in a garage with a mat and curtains hung up for back drop. If you are a beginner I wouldn’t start here. I’d start with Saulo Ribeiro Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Series One. I did a post a while back called "Review of Saulo Ribeiro’s Jiu-Jitsu Revolution, Series One". Why I say that is, Roy Dean shows techniques that build upon foundation learning. If I had looked at this in the first few months I was training I would have been over whelmed and would be missed the finer points that make it advanced.
The video goes into submission combinations and talks about having what I call "fall back positions". If you miss the submission you "fall back" to another submission. I took what I learned to class, after watching the Back and Mount segments of the video, it made a huge positive difference in my game. Mr. Dean really helped me capitalize when I got a superior position. In layman’s terms, once I got the back or mount I submitted them with little effort.
I’m going to buy Roy Dean’s other videos and he has a permanent place in my BJJ video collect. Great video!
One of the best books out there for the BJJ beginner or white belt is Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro. I learned the Scoop from Saulo’s book at home when I was first getting started. It was easy for the more experienced belts to get my back then. When I learned to Scoop they still tapped me out but I began to survive. It was the first step in improving my game. Chris and Justin demonstrate the Scoop in my video from last nights class. We call it Monday Night Magic because Chris always comes with magic moves for us to learn.
Some of the finer points of the Scoop I want to point out are:
Don’t slide down to far. If you end up nearly flat on your back all your opponent has to do for a Arm Bar is swing a leg around.
Keep the points you win. What I mean by that is when you get that first leg off make sure you keep the same side elbow down. Don’t let them get back ground they have lost.
Even for advanced students I think the Scoop is good to know.
There are some books that should just be standard in every BJJ practitioners library. They should be well known throughout the community. For example: Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro. So how did I miss Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss. The answer is simple. I judged the book by its cover. You know they tell you never to, but I did. It was named "Guerrilla" and had a bullet hole between the words "Jiu Jitsu". It didn’t say anything about all the super throws and takedowns in it. A friend of mine convinced me to look at it and I was astounded. Where Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques shows you no-gi throws and takedowns, Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu shows you gi and more! Here was the book I had really been looking for. It even had the Ashi-Barai takedown that I had just learned and was looking for the name of. This is a Judo for BJJ book like no other. I went on to see all kinds of flying takedowns. So some would poo-poo this as just flash. I say what a great way to catch your opponent off balance. No one expects a flying attack. Get a partner, put in the repetitions, and catch them with their pants down. Judo has superior takedown and throwing technique while BJJ has superior ground fighting technique. Anyone who wants to excel in BJJ needs to have more then a ground game. Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu has excellent color photos and good descriptions with each technique. I am now looking into getting the DVD’s (which once again look silly) Position: Impossible "Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu". Please a guy in a gi with a pistol? Dave Camarillo has got the moves just not the marketing skills. In the mean while I have picked out a few throws to start practicing at class. My love of the Balloon Sweep should translate nicely into the Tomoe-Nage Armlock that Dave shows in his book. I’ll have to do a post on it after I prefect it.
Westside Jiu-Jitsu where I practice is changing its logo. Georgette of Georgette’s World was taking thoughts for a slogan for a patch. All the Gracie’s have their school patches. It seems like you need a icon for your image. I really like Saulo and Xande Riberio’s pinwheel design. Everyone one who is anyone has something that gives them a branding. I don’t want to be left out. I have decided to help sponsor one of our purple belts, Richard Cesena, as he treks around the world going to tournaments. I have purchased a small space to put JiuJitsuMap.com on his gi. But as of right now I don’t have a patch, slogan, or logo. My original idea for JiuJitsuMap was "Mapping out Jiu-Jitsu". Not very catchy I might say but better then what I had. Where would I even go to get some patches made up if I had something to print on them other then my URL? If any of my readers have some ideas please feel free to share.
Everyone loves to see the Flying Triangle or the Flying Arm Bar. They are spectacular. But how often are they used and what percent of submission come from them? Lets face it, not many. The guy who wins the most matches in BJJ or MMA has good solid skills in the basics. The secret to high percentage submissions is simplicity. The more steps there are to a submission the longer it takes to set up and the more likely it will fail. If a submission takes 4 steps to work, it only needs one to go wrong and fail. A example of a high percentage sweep that comes to mind is the Hip Bump Sweep described in Jiu Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro. It is simple to master and very efficient in execution. If I were to give it a percentage I’d say 85% of the time I get it. In the submission category the first one that I think of is what I call The Giant Johnson. It is done from cross body. You are on top and you arms are over you opponent and below his arms. You simple reach under his arm and around his head and lock your hands together. You now have a blood choke on him with his own arm and yours on the other side. Simple and quick! That is where the high percentage techniques come from.
You know the old saying “Keep is simple stupid”. I can’t think of a better application for it then in Jiu Jitsu and MMA.
So you got your blue belt, Congratulations! If you are feeling like me you are excited. The thrill of achievement has you thinking, “what do I need to do now to get my purple belt”. The simple answer is time and practice. This isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear but what you expected, isn’t it? After asking my instructor and other basic research the average blue belt takes 3 years to get a purple belt. But you are pumped up right now. You say to yourself, as I do, “but I’m not average”. The fact that you are out looking for what the requirements are and trying to start working towards your purple belt helps reinforce that. After all the average time for a white belt to blue belt is 1.5 years and you did it in less, didn’t you? So you will achieve your purple belt sooner then 3 years. This is how I plan to do it. I hope my ideas inspire and help you to pass your purple belt test early.
A big part of Jiu-Jitsu is muscle memory. If you play basketball you shoot hoops over and over to improve your shot. Its no different with Jiu-Jitsu. It is just a little harder given you don’t always have a partner. So what can you do to improve muscle memory? Most of the books in, My Bookshelf, have drills in them. You can find drill routines on YouTube.com.
You get the idea? I love Saulo Ribeiro’s book, Jiu-Jitsu University. It has some really good solo drills. I would recommend you get it and see what I mean.
Start to build your drill routine by identifying where you want to improve. I personally know I want to be strongest in my survival and escapes. After that comes sweeps and submissions.
Some considerations you might want to take into account as you build varied drill routines.
How much space to I have to work with?
How long can I take on a routine?
How often should I do my drills?
How will I know I am progressing and need to change my drills?
Are my drills effective or am I just making a fool of myself?
These are the questions I am asking myself as I build my drills. I have already begun to notice changes in my game. The techniques I’ve been drilling at are becoming automatic. I do them without thought. This has forced my opponents to change tactics and now I have a whole new set of techniques I need to better understand so that I can survive or escape. This means I need to create new drill centered around them or include the techniques I need to improve on in my present routine.
Please share with me your drills that have helped you improve your Jiu-Jitsu.
Unless you are financially secure and can spend every waking minute at the dojo or gym with a qualified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) instructor going over technique and training you need to do some homework. But I don’t have any one to work or roll with you say. How am I going to train at home? I thought the same thing. I first tired using my wife as my grappling partner. That didn’t work. First of all if she got bruised, which is common in Jiu-Jitsu, what were people going to think. “Hey did you see that bruise on his wife?!” You can only imagine where that would lead in peoples minds. So I got a few books to read. One of them was Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro (Click it). I was so impressed by the way he taught and what he taught I began searching for more from Saulo. I soon found his DVD instructional series starting with Saulo Ribeiro Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Series One. Six Volume DVD Instructional Series for Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts (Click It). It was just what I needed for training at home. I could watch it, ponder it, and be ready to maximize my time when training. I still couldn’t get the same level of physical training at home as I did at the dojo but now I felt like I could make progress outside of my two classes a week. I think it is starting to show in my training too. I’m remembering what I see on the DVD during a match and I’m starting to have success because of it. The next thing I need is a Grappling Dummy (Click it) and some mats. I think that will take me to the next level of solo training at home. I’ve also been considering a subscription to Gracie University online.