We are getting to the day and age where it seems you can learn just about anything online. More and more people are turning to online courses to learn a skill over books and even schooling. But one area that might be an exception is learning BJJ online. Is it even possible and if so what are the best ways to learn BJJ online.
The best way to learn BJJ online is through paid instructionals and membership websites. That said, you can learn BJJ online for free by reading free content and watching youtube videos. That said, if you can afford it then I would suggest spending the money to learn jiu-jitsu through online courses.
Of course, you are probably wondering just how much jiu-jitsu you actually can learn online. After all, can you really learn something so physical sitting down in front of the computer? Let’s answer this question before we get into the details of the best ways to learn jiu-jitsu online.
Can You Learn BJJ Online?
Learning BJJ online is not the same as learning knowledge about how to lift weights or lose fat. After all, BJJ actually requires that you roll and practice with other people right? Can you really learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu online or is it just a waste of money?
You can learn a lot of BJJ online, however, you can’t truly learn every aspect of jiu-jitsu online. You simply can’t replace live training with a good teacher and other students to roll with. That said, you would be surprised how much BJJ you can learn online.
There is nothing you can do about the fact that you need to practice BJJ with other people. You can learn a lot of BJJ by yourself but this is simply to help complement your live training at an academy. So don’t think about online BJJ training as something that can replace you going to an academy.
Think about it as a way to improve your game when you are not in class. Maybe you are very busy with business, family, or school, and can only make it to class a few times per week. If so learning online can truly help you keep jiu-jitsu fresh on your mind and keep up with students who might be able to attend more classes than you.
For many people, it is not that they do not have any free time to learn BJJ, instead, it can be hard to make class times fit their schedule. If you work a 12-8 P.M. shift and your academy only offers lunch and evening classes then it might be nearly impossible to make it to class. In this kind of situation, you might have to learn BJJ online as a replacement for only being able to make a few live classes.
But at the end of the day, you will still need to find a way to roll with other students to really learn BJJ. In addition, you do need a good jiu-jitsu professor to monitor your progress and make sure you are executing techniques correctly.
What Is The Best Way To Learn BJJ Online?
There are a ton of good ways to learn BJJ online. You can watch videos, read blog posts, or purchase courses. I would say that the best way to learn BJJ online is through digital courses. Of course, this is not the cheapest option, but the courses are typically well structured for easy learning. Because of this, I do think BJJ instructionals are usually worth the money.
Usually, the reason a course might not be worth what you paid for it is that you purchased the wrong course. If you are brand new to jiu-jitsu you probably do not want to start out by purchasing a course on mastering the berimbolo. But rather you would want to purchase instructionals designed for white belts and beginners.
By purchasing a course you can be very specific about what you are focusing on learning. If you need to get better at takedowns then you can purchase a course on BJJ takedowns. Or if you need to work on your bottom guard then you can buy a course specifically on mastering your guard game.
I think this is especially true for people who are new to BJJ. If you are new to BJJ you should be looking to find an online program to help you master the basics. There is of course a ton of free content online that you could use as well. However, you might suffer from information overload and not really know what to focus on.
So in my opinion, purchasing specific instructionals to focus on certain areas of your game is the best way to learn BJJ online. To help you choose the right program for you I have created a BJJ instructional guide!
That said, if you simply cannot afford to make this kind of purchase at this time there are some other options that are free.
Can You Learn BJJ Online For Free?
Of course, there are many people out there that might want to learn BJJ online but simply cannot afford to pay for jiu-jitsu instructionals. Thankfully, there are some great free resources to learn from as well. The biggest difference is that it will likely not be perfectly structured like a well-designed digital course would be.
However, this does not mean that you cannot learn a ton of jiu-jitsu online from great instructors for free. My only suggestion would be to not go blindly looking for random techniques and submissions to learn. Instead, pre-plan what part of your game you need to work on and focus on going deep into it.
The best resource to learn jiu-jitsu online for free is of course youtube. There are a ton of great BJJ youtube channels that have great content that is completely free. So I would suggest finding a few good channels to start learning techniques from.
Then plan on exactly what you need to work on before you actually start looking up videos to learn from. This way you don’t get shiny object syndrome and start watching all sorts of entertaining videos. This is fine to do sometimes but set some time aside to focus only on learning BJJ online.
Have a preplanned list of exactly what you want to learn. For example, perhaps you do not have many sweeps or submissions from bottom guard and end up just stalling until someone passes your guard. The plan would then be to find a channel you trust and learn say two sweeps and two submissions from bottom guard.
Sometimes it is better to keep it simple and not try and learn too much at once. Personally, I think it would be better to go deep and master a few things instead of jumping from technique to technique and never really getting good at it.
You Can Learn BJJ Through Free Blog Posts
Though blogs won’t really do as good of a job as video for learning submissions or takedowns, there is still a lot to learn from written blog content. What is really good to learn from written content will probably look a little different, however. For example, you can learn the concepts of BJJ online rather than specific techniques.
That said, you can still find articles online that can help condense the information you are looking for. For example, I have an article called 11 submissions from side control that you must know. If you need to work on your side control submissions an article like that could help you condense the information you should focus on.
So if you have a specific part of your game you need to work on certain articles that can help you come up with a game plan to focus on. So decide what exactly you want to focus on learning and search for articles that can help you develop a game plan.
You can also simply learn general information that can help you learn BJJ online as well. For example, you could read the information on topics such as how often you should train or perhaps articles on how to lift weights to improve your jiu-jitsu.
Learning Jiu-Jitsu Online As A White Belt
If you are new to BJJ I think it is very important to know exactly how you should be learning BJJ online. You certainly don’t want to just start searching random BJJ techniques on youtube or buying random BJJ instructionals. There really is no one part of your game that you need to work on particularly because quite frankly you don’t really have a BJJ game.
Instead, you need to be focusing on learning the very basics of jiu-jitsu. You can worry about advanced leg locks and other things a little later down the road. Depending on exactly how long you have been training will determine what you need to focus on.
If I could go back in time and give myself a blueprint on what to focus on as a white belt I would focus much more on mastering a few techniques from each aspect of BJJ instead of trying to learn too many techniques.
Positional Hierarchy In BJJ
- Rear Mount
- Knee On Belly
- Side Control Top
- Half Mount
- Guard Top and Guard Bottom
- Turtle Top And Bottom
- Half Guard Bottom
- Side Control Bottom
- Knee On Belly Bottom
- Mount Bottom
- Rear Mount Bottom
One of the first concepts to get familiar with in BJJ is the positional hierarchy. Basically, it is numbered from the most dominant position in BJJ to the least dominant position. So as you can see the best position to be in is the rear mount. So naturally, since it is the best position to be in the worst position is the exact opposite, which is rear mount bottom.
Both top and bottom guard are pretty much seen as a neutral position in BJJ. Some will also say that top and bottom turtle are neutral as well but personally, I would take top turtle over bottom any day of the week. That said, you can assume that anything above these positions is a dominant position and anything below is an inferior position.
So if I was starting from scratch I would start by learning one or two escapes from the bottom positions of the positional hierarchy. After all, if you are new to BJJ you will probably spend the majority of your first training year in these positions.
Then I would start to work my way up the hierarchy. I would learn a few sweeps from both the bottom half guard and bottom guard. Then I would master a few submissions from each of the more dominant positions in the positional hierarchy.
Lastly, I would also master a few takedowns and throws as well. Just doing this will give you a decent base in BJJ.
Best Online Programs For BJJ White
If you want to go into a little more depth on this subject I would suggest reading my article on the best BJJ instructionals for white belts here. But basically, I would suggest starting with two different instructionals. The first one I would be Fundamentals Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escapes by Lachlan Giles.
This is a great resource to get started with because it goes into depth on how to escape from each of the positions you will find yourself in as a BJJ white belt. Learning how to escape will give you the confidence to be more efficient at learning a more offensive game later down the road.
Next, I would suggest going with the Foundations Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu By Bernardo Faria. This instructional covers the basics of what you need to learn as a BJJ white belt.
It does not go into as much detail as some might like but it does cover a ton of content in one instructional. It is best to be used as a reference guide to the basics of BJJ when you are having a hard time remembering a certain technique.
Learning BJJ Online As a White Belt For Free
If you cannot afford any instructionals at this time then I would simply take the concepts we talked about earlier and look up videos from each of those positions. In addition, choose a few good takedowns to focus on as well. A few good recourses to start out with would be my articles:
- Best BJJ White Belt Escapes
- 11 Best BJJ White Belt Submissions
- Best BJJ White Belt Takedowns and Throws
Those would include what I would consider being some of the more simple yet effective techniques for a white belt to start out with. The main thing I want to encourage is that if you want to learn BJJ online as a white belt focus on mastering the basics first.