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What Is The Best Way To Learn From Jiu Jitsu Instructional Videos?

What Is The Best Way To Learn From Jiu Jitsu Instructional Videos?


Ideas on how to get the most out of Jiu Jitsu instructional videos...

It seems a little bit of a strange question to ask, what is the best way to learn from videos. I am nearing my 40s. It has been many years since I have been in school. Even when I was a student, I was often apathetic about my grades.  Yet, I find myself asking how is the best way to learn with Jiu Jitsu videos; maybe this is yet another example of how Jiu Jitsu improves every facet of life. In the past I would watch a video once and try to implement a few moves into my game. That is probably the approach most of us would take. However, as Jiu Jitsu becomes a bigger component of my life, I want to ensure I am getting the most rate of return on these investments.

The lecture "Study Less, Study Smart” in the video below is from psychology professor Dr. Marty Lobdell from Pierce College.

There are many great lessons from the video but here are a few of the highlights noted by Life hacker website.

  • Study in chunked sessions: Your ability to retain information diminishes after about 25-30 minutes, so break it up into multiple, smaller sessions. Reward yourself with fun activities during your breaks
  • Have a dedicated study area: Don't study where you do anything else. Don't study in your bed, where you play games (even if it's your computer), or in front of the TV.
  • Know the difference between recognition and recollection: Recognition requires a trigger for you to remember something and you may not get that on a test. Study actively with focus on recollection. Quiz yourself and don't just glance over highlighted notes.
  • Take good notes: Find a note-taking method that works for you and expand on them after your class lecture to increase retention and understanding.
  • Be ready to teach what you've learned: If you can teach it to someone else, you have a solid grasp on the material.
  • Read textbooks effectively: Use the SQ3R Method—survey, question, read, recite, review—to actively retain information. Just reading it is not enough.

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John Danaher said the following on learning from a video, “Learning from my videos: Often I am asked what is the best way to watch and learn from my instructional videos. Instructional videos have been around from the earliest days of the arrival of Jiu Jitsu in North America. They all followed a similar pattern. They were a collection of an outstanding athletes favorite moves, usually within a given general topic domain, say, guard passing. Despite being present for decades, they had only a sporadic effect on the development of most students - a kind of “flavor of the month” effect where a popular current move was offered in an introductory and rather random fashion and you tried to copy it as best you could. When I went to create instructional videos I wanted to completely split away from this traditional model and instead, capture what is doubtless one of the major themes of my teaching; that DEEP AND COMPLETE EXPLORATION OF A FEW TECHNIQUES WILL GARNER FAR GREATER RESULTS FOR A STUDENT THAN SHALLOW TINKERING WITH MANY RANDOM TECHNIQUES. I teach in terms of sub systems where A GIVEN TECHNIQUE IS EMBEDDED WITHIN A COMPLETE FRAMEWORK OF SUPPORTING SKILLS THAT MASSIVELY INCREASE THE CHANCE OF THAT TECHNIQUE BEING SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED AGAINST SKILLED RESISTANCE. As such, my videos were radically different from the norm. Instead of being a forty five minute sampling of moves they were up to ten hours of highly detailed analysis of every skill required to get a few winning moves to work against the best athletes in the world. The idea was to move away from sampling videos and offer genuine coaching videos that could have a real impact not only on your game, BUT EVEN HOW YOU THOUGHT THE GAME. Because the videos are so different in format and style - I recommend watching them differently. Watch them sections at a time. Only the most zealous students can watch for hours and stay focused. I generally recommend watching a section or two and trying to work those lessons into your next session on the mats. Use it as you would a series of private lessons that you can repeat at will over months and years to get to the level you want. Just as you never learn by reading a book, but only by RE-READING IT, so too with these videos. Use them as a reference guide that you can access 24/7 in small or large doses to get an insight here or there as you progress over time. Bear in mind that we may learn a staggering amount of information over the years in Jiu Jitsu - BUT ALMOST AS STAGGERING AS HOW MUCH WE LEARN IS HOW MUCH WE FORGET! The videos can remind you constantly of the many details and concepts that are so easy to pass over until the magic of time and repetition makes them permanent and the knowledge becomes fixed inside of you - then my work is done. I hope I can help you get closer to your goals! Wishing you the best!”

Ultimately, learning from a video is a process. There are no magic pills for success.  Through effort and organization we can see the highest rate of return for the time and money spent.

Want more from John Danaher? BJJ Fanatics has his Kimura System! Click Learn More below!


Sliding the elbow above the defender’s shoulder line causes a similar effect as when you slide the elbow below the shoulder line when attacking an Americana shoulder lock. This movement eliminates a lot of the shoulder’s rotational ability before the submissions begin to hurt so that when you add just a little amount of pressure, the pain will be great enough to cause a defender to tap. Another thing I like to do when attacking the kimura is use my hand to rotate the defender’s arm forward away from them. This will also eliminate the shoulder’s ability to rotate comfortably.

John Danaher has changed the leg lock game with his technical leg lock system. Get his DVD "Kimura: Enter The System" and learn his kimura system from one of the best instructors in the game! BJJ Fanatics has it here!


Kimura: Enter The System By John Danaher


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