The Importance of the Instructional DVD
Whether it’s snip its off YouTube, buying DVDs or reading books - all these streams of knowledge will help benefit your game.
DVDs are the best of these three options. All the techniques are organized in a way that helps you better memorize the concepts. Usually each position has several options for you to practice. This also helps you develop a deeper understanding of the technique. In jiu-jitsu, you never want there to be a shortage of options in any position. So the more you know from every angle, the more dangerous of a practitioner you will be.
Contrastingly, Youtube gives you a very shallow understanding of each technique usually. Most techniques are way too fancy and will not work on live opponents. That usually can just be considered a waste of time. You want to learn techniques that have the highest hit rate of working and suit your physique. DVDs are especially made to show you practical techniques that actually work. You will almost never find these kinds of techniques on Youtube. The details of these techniques are well protected by their instructors and they will only give it away for money, such as a DVD. Even then, many instructors on DVDs don’t like to go into too much detail.
Books can be a good source of information, but in a way, it’s an outdated form of communicating concepts as visual as BJJ - videos are the way to go. So although DVDs do cost money, it’s worth it. You have to make sure you choose a DVD with an instructor that has a game that suits your own. If you love spider guard, there is no point in investing in a Bernardo Faria DVD that focuses on half-guard when you should be buying a Cobrinha DVD. If you’re a white, blue and even purple belt, I would recommend consulting with your professor to decide which instructional will help you most. Many DVDs are not all encompassing and they may focus on small specialties.
One good way to make this decision is to think about the biggest holes in your game. Obviously none of us are perfect and we have many things to work on, but pick something that has been frustrating you the most. For example, have you been having serious trouble escaping from side mount or mount? Then perhaps you should find a DVD that specializes in escapes. Or perhaps you keep getting your partners’ back, but you’re having trouble maintaining the position or finishing your opponents – then you should find a DVD on back taking and control.
Think about some world champions that you admire and what type of game they use in competition. As I mentioned earlier, Bernardo Faria is a deep half-guard bottom player, Cobrinha has one of the best spider guards, Marcelo Garcia has many specialties – over the years he has shown that he is a master of the x-guard, guillotines, armdrags, back control and rear naked choke. The Miyao and the Mendes Brothers have been amazing at using the Bermibolo. Caio Terra has a sophisticated fifty-fifty guard amongst some other deadly guard techniques.
So although DVDs can cost anywhere from thrity to one-hundred dollars, it may not be a bad idea to see what they can do for you. Some say that they may not have the time to see all the techniques that are on one DVD, but that’s not true. No one is asking you to sit and study the DVD like you’re preparing for a PhD. Before every class, look at one technique and try to remember it. When you go to your academy, try it out with some friends, play around with it and make it your own. If you find it too difficult to do, or your body doesn’t work well with it, then you can always try another technique the next day. If you can really absorb two to three techniques from each DVD into your game permanently, or at least until you find something better suited for you, then they money was well spent. You can’t put a price on useful BJJ techniques.
Grab a few technique ideas to drill here: Gameness Technique Videos