Jiu-Jitsu and YouTube: Boon and Bane (English Version)

The original post was written for Brenno Neto, our columnist. For the purpose of facilitate access for people from another countries, him self made an English version.


Today, the digital easiness is amazing. Internet is a great example of how it is possible an easy and fast access to any subject. Naturally, the same is true for jiu-jitsu. With a few mouse touches it is possible to see thousands of videos showing fights, positions, classes, improvements, diets, orientations, jiu-jitsu history, historical battles, evolution, comparisons, criticism, opinions and much more. As one could fairly expect, alongside with easiness, inherent drawbacks are also noted. I will call them as “filters problems”. And I will explain why. It is necessary knowledge to filter the contents accessed almost instantly. In the current text I would like to talk to you about jiu-jitsu videos. I will highlight two contrasting issues noted nowadays. The first issue is regarding the beneficial effect of using videos toward improvements of positions, techniques, and etc. The other topic deals with the need of filtering the healthy from the unhealthy content freely available for the readers.

It is wonderful to have access to several jiu-jitsu videos. I learned a lot watching many videos. I had the opportunity to learn ways to adjust positions I was taught by my Master (Rodrigo de Pinho Borges – Black Team Brasília). I was able to study some details of different positions trained during the classes, I learned options and variations, new positions and a lot more. All these contents available online, especially at YouTube (and specialized jiu-jitsu sites), are very useful to jiu-jitsu athletes and scholars of the soft art. It is always good and enriching to have access to this knowledge.

Unfortunately, it is necessary however to use filters (and good filters) to avoid complications associated with all this easiness. It is vital, for instance, a technical knowledge in order to make a critical evaluation of what is seen. It is not rare to face a lot of criticism surrounding some videos in which the technical knowledge is deficient. How to evaluate whether or not the technique is wrong? This is why we need the specific filter of knowledge.

The technical development of jiu-jitsu athletes “graduated only via internet” could not be different than deficient. Jiu-jitsu is a martial art which requires perseverance and dedication to reach a high level technique. It is mandatory to train on the mat (real life) for those whose whish are to learn jiu-jitsu. The development of the muscular memory is not possible using exclusively the audio-visual support through interne videos. Supervised training by a black belt is also pivotal in order to be provided the necessary adjustments and technical corrections (the so-called details) of the soft art athletes. It is worth remembering, especially for beginners, this supervision is even more essential.

I am not against any audio-visual resource as a supplementary material in the development, learning and technical evolution of the soft art, but as a support and not as the main practice. Before all these contents freely available, many black belts graduated. And the knowledge was taught inside the mat and, until today, in the humble opinion of this columnist, is still the best way to learn jiu-jitsu.

There are two tips I would like to suggest for the readers and I have myself followed them. I often watch jiu-jitsu videos at YouTube or in any other specialized site. To avoid any wrong learning, however, I always present what I learned to my Big Master (sometimes I call my teacher like that). He often corrects some details and shows me options I would not note without his guidance. Another tip is that I usually try to watch videos from people with good reputation or videos indicated by someone with the proper experience and critical view to judge the quality of the video. It is important to remember that a good fighter is not necessarily a good teacher.

We evaluated therefore two different points of using internet videos to learn jiu-jitsu. One is an extremely good option while the other is concerning. The choice is yours! Try use these resources as a complementary part of your training to graduate as a good jiu-jitsu athlete. Have a good training and excellent learning!!!

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Jiu-Jitsu and YouTube: Boon and Bane (English Version)

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