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Just Started BJJ - What Videos Should I Watch?


Woooooo!! Second class ever this week... got my ass handed to me of course.

HOWEVER, it's funny, cos i watched SOOOO much MMA that i intuitively figured out a lot of submissions and moves and shit. Liek i could keep people in the guard and pass the guard, and pulled off a guillotine and a rear naked choke etc... All cos i watched so much of it.

Also, the fact that i've been doing muay thai for YEARS meant i was generally stronger and better conditioned than most of these people in the beginner class, so that definitely helped... BUT i have a feeling the BJJ is a sport that watching videos/techniques actually is a VERY GOOD adjunct to class trainign to learn.

I can't do this with the striking arts, but i think with BJJ, it's so much like chess and intricate (seemingly more than striking) that this is how it happens.

So just wondering if you guys know of any good video instructional stuff that is good for me to watch as i'm winding down after class while having me dinner etc...

I know the Gracie Academy with those two gracie kids has some good stuff. but anything else?



for the first couple of months, just focus on mentally running through the movements and techniques that you were shown in class. Trying to pick up new techniques at this stage will just confuse you.

Further down the line there is an insane amount of good material available free or cheap on the web.

One thing that I do really recommend is to sign up for Stephan Kestings starting BJJ emails.


Completely agree.

Get good at a couple of submissions from each position, a couple sweeps/reversals/passes, and not getting submitted (not putting yourself into bad positions which leave you vulnerable). It's better to get really good at a couple of moves and actually be able to pull them off successfully a high percentage of the time than it is to learn every possible move from every possible position but not be able to pull any of them off unless facing complete newbies.

Once you get really good at those moves, then you can start to expand your arsenal to help you deal with higher level competition.


thanks man!

Yeah, i've been spending 20 minutes after each class "visualising". I'm thinking about buying one of those high-end grappling dummies to drill at night what i learnt in the class earlier.

Also, thanks for the email recommendation!



Yeah, BJJ is like striking: having a large quiver of fancy moves and accidentals to throw off opponents is great, but 90%+ of the time it's effectively applying the basics that wins matches.

...I think even more so if you're doing BJJ to add a ground-game to your striking for MMA.


The two quoted posts are WISDOM.

Points to emphasize:
1.) Common moves/techiques. There is a lot of bridging, shrimping, posting, sitting out, and "switching" in grappling.

2.) Defense - I am not talking about "escapes proper" but rather postures and positions that keep you out of trouble or make you difficult to submit. Don't be afraid to tap, but not having to or simply being "tough to sub" makes showing up more fun.

Things like trying to be on only one of your hips/ass cheeks when on the bottom, not putting your hands on the ground when you are in someones guard (as opposed to controlling part of their body, not letting your opponent control your wrists, sleeves, collar, hips, or head, etc. all make you "tougher" and give you opportunity to apply the "moves".

I think Saulo Ribeiro's book is good resource, as good as any book can be on the subject, and is worth the money. I remember watching a video with good material on defensive postures, but I am blanking on the name.

Congratulations on training outside of your comfort zone/experience.


Robert A


Thanks gang,

I've Saulo Ribeiro's Jiu-Jitsu University book to my amazon wish list.

I am actually looking to drill the basics and not get into learning a whole arsenal of shit - so i guess i was looking for a video to show correct form/technique on the basics more than anything. My instructors are great (both black belts from Brazil, and current world class competitors, ADCC etc..) but obviously there's so much attention they can pay to you.

But yeah, I'm really excited/loving it. Even though it feels like i'm totally out of my depth - like when i started Muay Thai 6 years ago and had no clue, and couldn't even hold the pads properly or anything, and all the wankers in the class had no patience with my ineptitude and i'm thinking:

"mother fuckers, show some respect! You're all beginners anyway, and i'm gonna be submitting ALL your asses in a couple of months time.."

Hehe. The good thing is, cos i'm such a well trained athlete ahem, at this IS the beginners class, i'm pretty much better conditioned than ALL these people. So i'm out working all of them and mounting them with ease and then i'm on top and i say something like "ok, i have no idea what to do from here, it's my first lesson..." and they;'re like "oh..." then they sweep me and submit me.

Also, and this is HIGHLY unprofessional, but there was a cute chick in the class, and i was rolling with her and it was kinda arounsing, i have to say. Good job i was wearing a groin guard to prevent any embarassing situations :-/

Thanks for the tips boys!


OK, Saulo's stuff is a great place to start. Simple, talks a lot about basic principles and amazingly well explained and demonstrated.

Main thing I would tell you to focus on is why techniques work. There are some basic principals that once you understand them you can apply them to many situations. Why a choke works, why a shoulder lock works. How to make space by moving your hips. Why a pin works. That kind of thing.


You are already doing things the wrong way. If you are outworking people you aren't doing BJJ correctly. The fact you end up getting subbed shows just how far outworking someone will get you. And are you really outworking them or are they letting you work?

BTW, you shouldn't wear a cup when doing BJJ. They are illegal in comps and you can hurt people's arms when doing armlocks.


^^what Ze said.

When I go with a newbie, I pretty much let them take whatever position they want, then sub them from there when I decide to. It's good practice for me to work escapes from bad positions against people who won't react the way I expect them to. And it's also more fun than just subbing them 20 times in 5 mins.


This is why i do nogi for MMA. I don't want to feel people junk and the purpose of an armlock is to hurt the other guy........ If you are training you can go slow and control the application, If it is a competition then the guy should tap. Cups are required in MMA Who wants some other guys junk free swining all around?



I not sure if this is legit or not

I guess a beginners class might have people from different walks of life
so if you do any training
your probably more well conditioned but that is relative right?
more conditioned then whom?

as for figuring out sub from watching MMA.
good luck keeping that going.

I would recommend watching no video.
ask your coach.

you should try to keep what they are teaching you in class in mind
not jump ahead 12 steps and confuse yourself.

and Ranzo if you are doing nogi only - you are missing out.
The Gi is where all the control and technique are.
its not a waste of time at all.


I agree there is too much missed on a video. The small things and feeling your opponent make all the difference and you will never get that from a video.

kmcnyc- I do some stuff with a GI but I am focused right now on MMA and I don't feel it helps a whole lot in that aspect. For self defense and general practice its great and I will do more in the future just not right now........and I will wear a cup thank you. Lol


Hey yeah, i'm doing exclusively no-gi for now for the purpose of of MMA. I know the pursists will tell me i need to learn the gi version and bla bla bla, not interested in having that argument. This is the path i'm going down and that is that.

And no way would i do this witohut a groin guard. I mean just the other day, during my first lesson, i was rolling with a little dude who wasn't wearing a groin guard and totall squished his junk with my knee and i was like "dude, you need to wear a groin guard...." i thought this was ESSENTIAL equipment?

I can envisage this being even more necessary rolling with girls, that is HOT, and i do NOT want that to become apparent, if you know what i mean. hehe.


Jesus what are you 15 years old?


Hi, yeah, no i totally get that. It's weird, coming from a Muay Thai background where out 90 minute classes easily last two hours sometimes, and this one we finish one hour ON THE DOT.

It's like the first half hour we spend drilling moves and the second half hour is "sparring". And after we're done, i look at the dudes taking the class and i'm like "ok, so now we do some conditioning exercises? Seriously? That's it? Go home?"

So me "out-working" them is feeling like - ok, i need to get my heart rate up and a sweat on to feel like this is worthwhile.

However, the WHOLE time i know this is NOT the object of BJJ. But the thing is, the class i'm in is soooo clearly new guys too, like if i've been doing it for 2 days, the rest of the people in the class have been doing it 3 weeks - 3 months, that they're all still at that stage of trying to "out work" each other - and sometimes all any of us really know how to do is "sweep" and "mount" and pass each other's guard - so that's all i spent monday's lesson doing :slight_smile:


Hey Mr Dude with the weird way of not writing full lines cos you think you're oh so clever :wink:

Yeah i been doing Muay Thai for 6 years and i train SERIOUSLY that whole time, like even now my training programme is 6 days a week, two times a day on most day which is WAAAAAAAAAY more than the hobbyists in the beginner class of the No-Gi BJJ i take part in.

No i understand that i ain't going to learn all the subs from watching MMA, jesus, i KNOW THAT, but i feel like this is A LOT different to the striking art fot that - in that... ah shit, sorry, i've taken some GHB and i'm about to pass out, i'll finish this thought/post tomorrow morning



No i'm a LOT older than that, why, is that bad??? LOL


the way I see it, for Muay Thai and for BJJ, conditioning is something that you do in your own time. If I am paying for an hrs lesson, I want most of that to be technique and drilling. Teaching some basic conditioning concepts in a beginners class is OK but once you get to intermediate, that's your own lookout.

When I used to train Muay Thai, the warm up was down to you. The class started on the hr, it was up to you to arrive early, jump rope, stretch, shadowbox whatever to warm up. When I teach BJJ, it's the same thing. I might do a few conditioning drills based on the movement that the technique I am teaching will use but that's it.

For the Gi/nogi argument. I personally feel any grappler benefits from sticking a gi on as a training tool. That said, if someone else wants to do just nogi because they want to be a UFC fighter, fine by me, if they are not on my team, it's no skin off my nose.


Yeah, i like that attitude, i was a little bit worried that the BJJ classes would require extra conditioining that would wear me the fuck out. I already do a ton on a daily basis. It's actually refreshing to be in a class that's just - drill a couple of moves, then spar.