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Many people are seeking extra ways to improve their jiu-jitsu game. Whether a serious competitor or a hobbyist who has a limited schedule, many people are turning to BJJ instructionals to help improve their game.
My goal in this BJJ instructional guide is to help you understand how to use BJJ instructionals, how to pick the right one for you, and whether or not they are truly worth the investment.
What Are BJJ Instructionals
BJJ instructionals are online digital courses that teach different aspects of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. They are typically taught by world-class competitors or well-known jiu-jitsu coaches and professors.
Some BJJ instructions are geared towards teaching a broad number of techniques to help build a foundation for BJJ. These are typically geared towards lower belts such as white belts and blue belts who need to master the basics.
Other BJJ instructional videos might be more specialized and geared towards a BJJ player who is looking to improve a particular aspect of their game. A few examples might be a BJJ instructional on leg locks or an instructional on the butterfly guard.
The great thing about BJJ instructionals is that you can learn from the best BJJ players and grapplers from all over the world. You are no longer limited to learning only from your local gym.
Of course, BJJ instructionals are not a replacement for going to class and learning hands-on from a qualified BJJ instructor. But they are certainly a way to help you stay up to date with the current grappling trends or for helping you level up your jiu-jitsu game at a faster pace.
Are BJJ Instructionals Worth The Investment
If you have yet to purchase a BJJ instructional online you might get a bit of a sticker shock. Though I do believe that most instructionals are worth the investment, they are by no means cheap.
Some instructionals cost hundreds of dollars. That is the same price you might pay for a few months’ worths of training at an academy. On the other hand, it’s also about the same price you would pay for a few BJJ private lessons.
That being said, it really depends on your financial situation. I can not really say whether or not you would feel that they are worth the investment. If you are struggling to put food on the table then, of course, I would probably tell you to save your money.
If you have a limited amount of money you can spend on jiu-jitsu then priority number one should always be paying monthly to your local BJJ academy. However, if you have some extra money you want to invest in learning, then BJJ instructionals are an excellent option to help you develop your game at a faster pace.
To me, the number one thing you can do to make sure you are not wasting money on a BJJ instructional is choosing the right course from the start. If you are new to jiu-jitsu then you are going to waste your money purchasing the latest leg lock instructional.
How To Choose The Right BJJ Instructional
The number one way to get your money out of a BJJ instructional is by purchasing the right one from the start. For example, if you are a beginner then you want to choose BJJ instructionals that are made for beginners. This might be on the jiu-jitsu basics or perhaps on escapes. You need to focus on what is going to best suit you for where you are in your jiu-jitsu journey.
Or perhaps you have been doing jiu-jitsu for a few years now but you still struggle in bottom guard. In this instance, you might want to purchase a BJJ instructional that specifically teaches you how to improve your bottom guard game.
Another example might be that your school never seems to practice takedowns and the stand-up game in grappling. If this is you then you might consider purchasing an instructional for BJJ takedowns. The last example might be that your school does not teach no-gi and you have never been taught a leg lock in your life. If so then, of course, you might consider purchasing a leg lock instructional.
That’s really what is so great about BJJ instructionals. That is you can continue to expand your knowledge in many areas of grappling even if your school does not put a lot of focus on that specific area. This way you can always keep up with what is going on in grappling from anywhere in the world.
Just remember, of course, to stay in your lane. Until you are more advanced in jiu-jitsu you should keep focusing on building a foundation of techniques. This is why the first instructionals we are going to cover are for BJJ white belts and beginners.
BJJ Instructionals For White Belts and Beginners
Like previously said, if you are a beginner then you need to be focusing on BJJ instructional that is suited to your skill level. You should be focusing on the very basics of BJJ and learning the simple tried and true techniques.
Since you are probably spending a lot of time in vulnerable positions this is also a great time to focus on escapes. This is a time to master a handful of techniques both offensive and defense from each of the major positions in BJJ. It is not the time to overwhelm yourself with too much information trying to learn too many techniques at once.
If I could go back in time to my first day in class and give myself some advice here is what I would say. Focus on getting good at a few different techniques from each position and drill them over and over. An example plan would look like this:
What I Would Focus On Mastering First
- Master a handful of guard passes and half guard passes
- 1-2 guard breaks
- 2-4 takedowns
- A few escapes from side control, knee on belly, mount, and back mount
- 1-3 submissions from side control, knee on belly, bottom guard, mount, and back mount
- A few sweeps from guard and half guard
So with that in mind let’s look at some BJJ instructionals that might be best suited for white belts and beginners.
Instructionals For No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu
There are many reasons you might want to focus on No-Gi jiu-jitsu instructionals. A common reason that I find is that some people go to a BJJ school that does not have a no-gi class, On top of that it is the only BJJ school in town. If this is you then finding a good no-gi BJJ instructional might be the only option for you to improve your no-gi game.
Another reason simply might be that you are 100 percent focused on no-gi grappling and could care less about learning moves in the gi. This might be the case for someone interested more in MMA or just does not care for learning gi jiu-jitsu. Either way, you simply are not looking to spend money on an instructional that has information that is not applicable to you.
High Percentage Chokes No-Gi by Lachlan Giles:
Many of the chokes you learn in BJJ rely heavily on the use of the gi. Thankfully, this no-gi jiu-jitsu instructional is focused on high percentage chokes without the gi. Lachlan Giles is an amazing teacher who has coached some of the best no-gi grapplers in the world including Craig Jones.
The great thing about no-gi chokes is that if someone does not tap they simply go to sleep. For this reason, high percentage chokes are a more guaranteed way to get your submission.
The No-Gi Open Guard Bundle by Lachlan Giles:
The no-gi open guard bundle is actually a bundle of 3 different jiu-jitsu instructionals put together. It is a 3 volume set that includes K Guard No-Gi Open Guard, De La Riva & Waiter Open Guard Volume 2, and RDLR ( Reverse De La Riva ) & Leg Entanglements.
Of course, you could also purchase each of these instructionals separately but they are meant to be a collection. In addition, you can often get the bundle for a better price than purchasing them individually. Though this is a great no-gi collection it might not be the right choice if you are brand new to jiu-jitsu.
The Complete No-Gi Guard Passing System by Marcelo Garcia:
Marcelo Garcia is considered to be the greatest BJJ competitor of all time by some accounts. As a nine-time world champion, he certainly deserves to be placed amongst the greatest for sure. Marcelo Garcia is not just a great competitor but also a great teacher as well.
In This BJJ instructional Marcelo Garcia teaches how to effectively pass the guard in no-gi jiu-jitsu. After all, knowing how to pass the guard is fundamental to any jiu-jitsu game. It will equip you to learn how to attack the most common no-gi guards including, the butterfly guard, the inverted guard, the De La Riva, and more.
10th Planet Fundamentals by JM Holland & Zach Maslany:
It is hard to think about no-gi jiu-jitsu without 1oth planet. After all, it was once controversial in the jiu-jitsu world that Eddie Bravo was going to start a school that did not have gi classes. So you know that 10th planet has been perfecting the no-gi game for quite some time.
If you are interested in learning more about the 10th planet system then this jiu-jitsu instructional is right up your alley. You will get insight into 10th planet warm-ups, flow rolls, and some of the most unique jiu-jitsu techniques you can find.
Best Instructionals For Takedowns
Another area you might want to invest in is learning effective takedowns. Unfortannaly some BJJ schools put very little focus on takedowns. That said, it’s hard to use your BJJ on an opponent if you can’t take them down to the ground in the first place.
No one is saying that an effective BJJ player needs to know every takedown in the book but you will need to at least master a handful of takedowns if you want a well-rounded grappling game. With that said, let’s look at some BJJ instructionals that are focused on takedowns.
Wrestle-Jitsu by Kody Steele
Here again, I am a little biased since Kody Steele is also another one of my jiu-jitsu teachers. That said, I personally know just how good of a teacher and takedown artist he really is. One thing Kody is certainly known for is showing casing his high-level wrestling skills at the highest level of jiu-jitsu competition.
Whether you are brand new to grappler takedowns or have a background in wrestling this instructional will show you how to modify the fundamentals of wrestling to the ruleset of jiu-jitsu. Though this instructional is focused on the no-gi game, Wrestle-Jitsu is effective for both gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu.
The Buchecha Takedown System In The Gi by Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida:
If you are looking for an effective BJJ instructional for takedowns in the gi then you might wanna check this one out. The Buchecha Takedown System is taught by Marcus Almeida who is the only ever 13-time world champion.
So if you wanna build some confidence in your gi takedown game this might be the right choice for you. Learn how to set the pace and take down your opponent and control the match with this jiu-jitsu instructional!
Simple Judo Takedowns For BJJ by Matt D’Aquino:
In the USA it is probably more likely that you come from a wrestling background than a judo background. That said, judo has some very effective takedowns and throws for BJJ. This should come as no surprise seeing as how BJJ originally evolved from judo.
That said since judo has become an Olympic sport that is quite a bit different from BJJ not all judo takedowns are going to be as effective for BJJ as they are for judo. In this instructional 4th Degree Judo black belt and Olympian Matt D’ Aquino shows you some simple judo takedowns that work great in BJJ!
BJJ Instructionals For Escapes
If you are always finding yourself in bottom side control, bottom mount, or with someone hanging on your back then you might want an instructional that focuses on escapes. Jiu-jitsu escapes are something that is really important to master at all levels. But if you are newer to jiu-jitsu learning escapes is a must.
Fundamental Grappling Escapes by William Tackett:
If you read through my best instructionals for white belts then you have probably already read about this one. That being said, escapes are always going to be a very fundamental part of your game. In Fundamental Grappling Escapes you will learn how to master escapes from side control ( including Kesa-Gatame ), mount, and back control.
I personally do private lessons with William and the first thing that I wanted to learn from him was escapes. His techniques on escapes were game-changing for me. Not only is William a great teacher but he is also an active competitor who uses these escapes at the highest level of competition!
Fundamentals Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escapes Gi & No-Gi by Lachlan Giles:
Of course, this is also an instructional we talked about earlier for white belts and beginners. But that is just because I think escapes are something people should really focus on when they are getting started.
That said, mastering escapes is something that you never stop perfecting. This instructional covers the fundamentals of escapes for both the gi and no-gi practitioner.
Get Off My Legs Gringo by Craig Jones:
If you are intimidated by the modern leg lock game don’t worry you are not alone. But if you wanna keep up with the young no-gi guys you are going to at least learn how to defend against leg locks. So if you are tired of tapping as soon as someone gets a hold of your foot then this might be the right instructional for you.
BJJ Instructionals For Guard
Knowing how to grapple from closed guard or even half guard is something that separates BJJ from many of the other popular grappling styles. That said, there is a lot to cover here but let’s just talk about a few instructionals that might be able to help your guard game.
Jiu-Jitsu For Old Guys by Bernardo Faria:
Though this might be marketed towards ” old guys” I think this instructional is relevant for all ages and belt levels. That said, if you are an older jiu-jitsu guy this might be perfect for you. If you can keep someone in your guard you won’t have to rely on being faster than your opponents.
The Roger Gracie Closed Guard:
Roger Gracie is also someone who many consider being the best competitor of all time. He is a 10-time world champion and a 2-time ADCC champion. The great thing about it is that he was so successful with tried and true old-school jiu-jitsu mastery. Sometimes the best thing you can do is really master the fundamentals.
Not only does it cover closed guard submissions from the closed guard but it also covers sweeps to help you move from closed guard to a more dominant position.
The Guard Retention Anthology Bundle by Lachlan Giles & Ariel Tabak:
This bundle does not hold back in covering a ton of content. It contains as much info on guard retention that you are going to find in any BJJ instructionals. This bundle contains both the Around and Under Instructional as well as the Through The Legs and Close Range instructional.
You can, of course, purchase them separately but most likely you can save a good amount of money by purchasing this bundle. It’s got a ton of content so it will likely keep you busy for quite some time. That said, this is probably not the first instructional I would get if I was brand new to jiu-jitsu.
BJJ Instructionals For Guard Passing
Not only do you need to have a bottom guard game, but you need to also know how to pass your opponent’s guard. This is one of the most fundamental steps in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Here are a few BJJ instructionals that might help you pass your opponent’s guard.
Battle Tested Pressure Passing by Bernardo Faria
This will help you pass your opponent’s guard whether or not you are the most athletic or youngest person at your gym. It simply shows you battle-tested tried and true pressure passing!
Best BJJ Instructionals For Back Attacks
Getting control of your opponent’s back is a very powerful position in BJJ. However, if you do not know how to maintain back control and submit your opponent it loses a lot of its power. Here are some instructionals if you are looking to improve your back attacks.
Maintaining Back Control by Andrew Wiltse:
In order to submit your opponent from back control, you must first learn of to maintain back control. This instructional will show you how to take, control, and of course submit your opponent from the back!
The MG Back Attack System 2.0 by Marcelo Garcia:
This back attack instructional by Marcelo Garcia covers a ton of content and is a complete system for back attacks. You will learn to maintain back control and submit your opponent with Marcelo Garcia’s Back Attack System 2.0!
BJJ Instructionals For Mount Attacks
The next area you might want to dive deeper into is mount attacks. This is certainly one of the most dominant positions in BJJ and it is important that you know what to do when you get there. Here are some BJJ instructionals on mount attacks that might help you out.
The Roger Gracie Mount System:
Roger Gracie is often considered the best BJJ competitor of all time. He has had amazing success with truly mastering the effective fundamentals of old-school jiu-jitsu. He embodies the Bruce Lee quote ” I do fear the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks one time, I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times”.
Roger Gracie has truly mastered some of the best and most effective jiu-jitsu techniques that work against all skill levels. This is not the longest instructional out there but maybe that is not a bad thing. Instead, it is a simplified system that can help you master some of the most effective mount attacks.
The Mount Attack Encyclopedia by Bernardo Faria:
Another instructional you could go with if you are wanting to improve your mount attacks. Learn how to establish mount, control your opponent from the mount, and last but not least learn how to submit your opponent from the mount position!
BJJ Instructionals For Side Control Attacks
Another area that you might want to improve is your side control attacks. Here are a few instructionals that you might want to look into to enhance your side control game.
Side Control Dominance by Andre Galvao:
If you are looking for a master class on side control this might be just what you are looking for. It contains nearly 8 hours of content from one of the greatest of all time!
The Roger Gracie Side Control System:
Though this instructional does not contain as much content as Side Control Dominance, it does a contain simple and effective side control system that you can quickly implement into your game. Roger Gracie is a master at perfecting the most effective tried and true BJJ techniques. So you know everything that he teaches works!
Instructionals For Leg Locks
Last but not least is instructionals to improve your leg lock game. If you want to keep up with the modern jiu-jitsu game, especially in no-gi, then you can’t ignore leg locks. Like it or not leg locks are here to stay. So check out one of these leg locks instructionals and avoid getting left behind.
Leg Lock Anthology 50/50 by Lachlan Giles:
Lachlan Giles never fails to impress his fans when it comes to quality content. He always gives great detail and does not hold back on teaching his leg lock secrets. So if you need to catch up on your leg lock game you might want to look into Lego Lock Anthology by Lachlan Giles!
Craig Jones Leg Lock Instructionals:
Craig Jones is well known for being a leg lock master. He has submitted some of the greatest grapplers in the world with his famous leg lock game. This is actually not one instructional but rather I’ll just mention Craig Jones three separate instructionals on leg locks.
The first one is Get Off My Legs Gringo. This is because even if you do not care so much about submitting people with leg locks you should at least know how to defend against them.
Next, is Craig Jones’s classic, Down Under Leg Attacks. This instructional is his foundational program and an introduction to his leg lock system. Last but not least, is Battle Tested Down Under Leg Locks. This really builds on down under leg attacks but with some new leg lock techniques, he has further perfected.