OK, I want to learn BJJ. I made that decision but where do I even begin?
Signing up at an accredited school is the first step. Accredited is a subjective term here since anyone with a business license to rent property can start up a school. Do your research through word of mouth and the Internet. But if you want even more of a supplemental learning or just can’t fit in classes as a regular routine, there are too many other sources to explore.
The world is currently at your fingertips and you can try YouTube. You can try Googling. Anyone can upload a YouTube video from your average Joe’s to World Champion black belts. If you choose to watch free videos, do your research on who is actually a credible source. If you do get information through a credible source, the moves may look cool, but they could be too advanced for someone who is new. Even if you’re able to grasp the concepts while your helpful partner plays a dead fish, attempting to try it on a resisting person may create some issues and overall it would be better to learn more realistic moves that you can actually execute. Bloggers can offer advice and useful tutorials but just like YouTube, it’s free and pretty easy for anyone to get involved. Like everything else on the Internet, the techniques may be actually legit or not really.
BJJ magazines aren’t fully mainstream at the moment so many people can order them online if unable to find them in a physical store. Many of these magazines highlight the BJJ celebrities and talk about current events, gear, and culture. There are articles that do showcase specific techniques and drills with pictures and detailed descriptions.
DVDs usually are not free, unlike YouTube. Similar to YouTube, anyone can produce one, but because they take more time to produce, generally DVDs are sold by people with relatively higher level experience.
Books. You can buy colored picture books that go through step by step directions by going to a bookstore or purchasing an item online.
You could get with a buddy and practice what you see in the pictures, but this can be difficult if there is no more experienced third person to make sure sure you are actually doing it correctly. Jiujitsu certainly relies on the small details. Placing your base as your hand instead of an elbow, at a 30 degree or 90 degree angle, a few inches close to someone’s head or farther way can make a pretty significant difference.
Seminars are often offered by higher level belts who have had some kind of BJJ competition qualification. Rarely will these events be free unless you have the hook up, but they focus more on a specific technique that the instructor has generally refined. These are a little different from the normal class because it is more about learning, watching, and drilling rather than hard sparring.
BJJ is huge in Brazil, which is pretty expected since that is where it originated so you could always take a trip down there to fully get engulfed in training and culture straight from the source. This would be an expensive route but memorable experience.
Tired of reading? If so, it makes perfect sense. That was a lot of information all at one time, the exact point of this post. With all that being said, stay tuned for the next articles on pinpointing the right type of supplemental training best for you.