YouTube replaced our BJJ professors?
Can you skip instruction and practice what you learn on YouTube to get better faster?
Even though in a previous article I talked about the pitfalls of going to Professor Instagram, I have to concede that there is a WEALTH of well-written, high quality instructional material out there on the internet. Thanks to the likes of Jiu Jitsu X, BJJ Fanatics, and Grappler’s Guide, we now have access to content from the best minds in the sport. Gone are the days of having to hunt down poorly dubbed, low quality VHS tapes from Brazillians. Additionally, we have gyms on every corner of every major metropolitan area now. With the abundance of schools and studying material out there… do you even need regular Jiu Jitsu classes to unlock your Jiu Jitsu potential?
Hear me out, instead of learning a random technique of the day, what if you took an instructional and divided it into segments. After that you spend a month on each segment, working the techniques in open mats with some training partners. If something’s not working out, you ask an upper belt or Professor what’s wrong, and you take note of that. As long as you stay diligent, shouldn’t your skills start to improve over time as you study and practice the content in the instructional?
We all love our Professors, but if you think about it they have a lot on their plate. In between teaching a load of students and running the gym, it’s hard for them to really give all their students their full attention. Can your Professor go through their entire roster of students, identify everyone’s game, and break down what each student’s biggest weakness is? I know damn well, my Professor doesn’t have time to know my game that intimately. With so many people to juggle, your Professor probably has to make some compromises. Even if you’re itching to practice your lackluster back escapes, the technique of the day might be toe holds from top half guard. There’s a certain point where your own progress becomes your responsibility.
In today’s day and age, we have access to a wealth of knowledge and information. It’s true that we can learn almost anything online, and Jiu Jitsu is definitely one of those things. This isn’t to say that you can learn Jiu Jitsu purely through instructional videos as live sparring is integral to Jiu Jitsu; however, with enough diligence it is very possible to develop a solid game. As long as you focus on fundamentals, practice techniques frequently against resisting partners, consult upper belts/Professors, and gather data; I don’t see how this is any worse than learning random techniques during class time. Now these 2 approaches aren’t mutually exclusive. You always have the option of independent study on top of attending your regular classes.
Something to think about...
Truly Yours, Anonymous White Belt