18 Jun 2021



The BJJ world is overflowing with a vast amount of BJJ instructionals. Reviews, like mine, can help people make the decision on whether a title is suitable for them or not. 

Choosing Videos to Review
I no longer accept invitations to review instructionals. If I review something, it's because I chose it myself and I bought it myself. I sometimes use a discount code. The reason for this is because reviews take me a lot of time to study and write up. I don't want to waste time on content I'm not really interested in. 

How I review the content
When I review a title, I will watch it in its entirety and then focus on a few stand out techniques or concepts to try in class. I don't have time or space to practice isolated drills, I'll just try them while sparring. If I fail in using the tech properly (which is more likely first time of trying) then I'll go back to review the content and try again next time. I'll do this until I feel I've sampled a decent proportion of the instructional. As you can imagine, this takes a long time to do. 

My perspective on how good or not a series of moves or the way they're taught is personal to me - I've been training since 2003 and I am a black belt. But I'm also old (in my fifties) and I'm small (135lbs). Whatever people might say about jiujitsu is the same for everyone, I can reliably state that being old and small is NOT THE SAME experience as being young and big. Hence, my reviews will be biased in that regard. 

What my reviews offer for you
I hope you'll find my reviews useful and enjoyable to read. Some titles can be very expensive and, like most BJJ students I know, they don't stop at buying just one title - they tend to get addictive and you end up with hundreds of videos. So picking and choosing what title to buy would help if you had more info to go on. 

Although my experience of the techniques is unique to me, I do try to write with a wider audience in mind. For example, I'll often state whether the content is suitable for a novice or if it suits someone with more experience. 

History of BJJ Reviewing
When I began BJJ in 2003 there wasn't a lot of content around. A friend lent me VHS tapes of Gracies in Action, Craig Kukak's set and Cesar Gracie's set. As a complete noob though, I'm not sure how much they helped me as I continued to get smashed in class. I gave up on watching BJJ content until I reached my purple belt. At this rank I got a bit panicky and questioned my lack of technique diversity, so I invested my time trying to watch as much content as I could. Luckily, my purple belt days coincided with an explosion of BJJ content on Youtube and through DVDs. More recently, video on demand content has replaced DVD discs thanks to the likes of BJJ Fanatics, Digitsu, Budovideos and the many many specialist fighter websites eg RogerGracie, Ryan Hall, Marcelo Garcia, Artofjiujitsu etc etc. 

Does watching BJJ instructional content improve your game?
Damn right it does! Video tutorials form an important part of the overall jiu-jitsu learning experience. How much of a role they play depends on your personal circumstances and your experience level. Videos, group class training, private lessons, seminars, open mat, competitions...all of these should form part of a healthy jiujitsu learning experience.

Where can I read more of your DVD reviews?
I have a list of all the tutorials I have ever reviewed here. I hope they help.



About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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