Can You Learn from BJJ Videos?
It cannot be argued that the best way to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is from a qualified instructor who is also able to present the information in the best possible way for all types of learners to digest and then ultimately implement the information. But besides the instruction we learn in our classes, are there other tools or resources that can be used to strengthen this learning? What about online videos and dvds? What role can these tools have on our learning?
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain how we as students learn new things. One of the most common breaks the types of learners into three categories. These styles of learning are the Visual, the Auditory, and the Kinesthetic.
Each of our individual learning styles is made up of a mixture of these types, with one of the three usually being more dominant than the other two. The person who is dominant in the visual area may be able to see something once or twice in class and be able to pull it off. The training partner who is more auditory, can seem to pick up things simply from someone verbally explaining them. Whereas someone who leans more kinesthetically would be someone who has to move slowly through the technique because they want to feel the muscle memory begin to develop to feel comfortable with the move.
We all go to class, watch the technique, listen to our coach or instructor and then put the move into practice--all to varying degrees of success. If you're lucky, you're a quick visual learner, because you may only get to see the move demonstrated a few times until it's time to practice. For you primarily auditory learners in the room, the coach may call out some additional instruction or tips to help refine the move based on what they are seeing in the class. All the while, you're getting your kinesthetic learning fix practicing with your partner. A standard class usually has elements that can hit the various styles of learners right where they need to be.
But let's say we wanted to take advantage of the visual and auditory aspect to review or add to the insights we picked up in class. Online resources can be a great way to achieve this. Having access to materials that can be reviewed, studied and then practiced can be an incredible asset to anyone's BJJ development.
Taking classes with a qualified and knowledgeable instructor who is able to add elements to their teaching that reach each style of learner, is the best way to learn as was stated earlier. Does this have to be the only way we learn. There was a time not too long ago when many regions of the world were without qualified BJJ instructors. There are still some remote pockets of the US and worldwide that have not yet gained an experienced instructor to teach them. For this reason, it's helpful to look at other types of resources. Specifically, what role can BJJ videos play in someone's learning?
Recently, John Danaher went to social media to talk about an interesting case he experienced personally related to the idea of learning from videos. Check out John's post below.
Here' John introduces us to Placido Carl Santos, the student who served as his uke or training partner during the filming of his remastered "Leglocks: Enter the System" instructional. Placido just so happens to be a student of John's black belt, Travis Stevens.
John tells the story of Placido who recently entered a local grappling tournament and was able to defeat his opponent by employing techniques he was exposed to during the filming of the instructional.
By working with John during the filming, Placido was able to see the techniques, hear the explanation and also kinesthetically "feel" the techniques. This helped him in his tournament with only brief exposure. Though Placido most likely spent time putting into practice the moves that he picked up from the session, we do know that his exposure to the Danaher system was relatively new.
In Danaher's opinion, online resources and BJJ videos can be incredible resources to help give insights and explanation of techniques that you may not have access to normally. But without practice in your own training environment, this information will be useless. By having access to the information at home, the visual and auditory learner can review and absorb the material. Even if you are primarily a kinesthetic learner, having the material available for review and repetition can help work to refine it so that your time on the mats is more efficient.
The online video or DVD resources can be employed effectively regardless of which type of learner you predominantly find yourself to be. If you are a visual learning, the online instructional can be viewed an endless number of times. Listening to the exposition by the instructor can also strengthen the knowledge, if you happen to learn more from the auditory information. Regardless of how you learn, you must employ the kinesthetic side of things to make a full understanding of the techniques.
The next time you're in class, take a step back and see how you learn best. And don't be afraid to add some supplemental materials like online videos and resources to your toolbox to help you get the most out of your instruction. First and foremost, we want to see you in class--but don't think that you can't learn from videos. These resources can strengthen and speed your progress through intense study and practice on the mats.
If you're ready to "Enter the System" of John Danaher and join the darkside as some online have joked, you'd better get the newly remaster version of his magnum opus from BJJ Fanatics now before your opponents and training partners do. This is a vastly improved version with more content and better breakdown of the system. Get it here.