Can’t Train? Learning From GB Videos

Given the current state of preventative measures for limiting exposure to Covid-19 virus (at the time of this writing), many Jiu-Jitsu schools have decided to suspend classes for a short period of time.
This is a temporary measure and soon enough we can all get back to our regular training schedules.

In the meantime, we can satisfy our craving for learning Jiu-Jitsu by watching video instructionals and augment our knowledge on some specific positions. If you have a favorite training partner to drill with, this is the best way to take those video ideas and get them into muscle memory.
In some instructors opinions, learning from YouTube videos gets a bad rap. Why? Largely because beginners tend to be most attracted to fancy, advanced moves that have a limited usefulness for their level of experience.  Instead of focusing on inverted guards or rolling back takes (that take a more advanced degree of fundamentals in order to be effective) the newer student would be far better served by focusing on the basics that their head instructor is showing in class.
That said, we are supposed to have fun learning Jiu-Jitsu and so it is ok to explore some of the more advanced positions in Jiu-Jitsu – through video resources. And we won’t tell your Professor that you have been watching berimbolo videos.
Gracie Barra Online should be your first resource for online video instructionals.
Check out GB Online website ( where you can find FREE video tutorials by Master Carlos Gracie Jr., Prof. Victor Estima, Prof. Gabriel Arges and more.
Check out GB1 Online with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
In addition to the free content, Gracie Barra has brought some more advanced, detailed instruction by several of GB’s top instructors like Prof. Roberto “Tussa” Alencar, Prof. Henrique Machado and more as Premium content where for a reasonable fee, you have access to a complete system (P.s.:. As most of GB students already know, all this GB Online content is now available to all GB active members, and GB Online is also streaming live classes for all sutendts registered in the site.).
Check out GB2 Online NoGi by Prof. Roberto “Tussa” Alencar and his world class NoGi Jiu-Jitsu game.

Following a series of videos focused on a specific position is a far better way to learn Jiu-Jitsu than going down a YouTube rabbit hole and watching hours of random, unrelated cool moves… that you most likely can not put into your game and will do little to actually improve your Jiu-Jitsu.
Of course there are many GB schools with YouTube channels with a wealth of videos and you can follow GB instructors Instagram (and other social media) accounts for some continually updated video content as well.
My best advice on how to learn from videos is this:
1) Pick a position and focus on that. You can amuse yourself watching random cool moves for hours, but you probably aren’t going to add the ideas to your own game. A much more productive way to get something that you can keep from studying video is to narrow your focus to a specific position and go in depth. If you notice, the trend in Jiu-Jitsu video instructionals has been to concentrate on a single position (ex. outside hook guard) or even a single move (the omoplata). This is because it is simply the best way to understand and absorb the material.
2) Watch numerous videos on same technique. When you get obsessed with learning more about a specific technique – let’s say the triangle choke – it is very helpful to watch how different instructors teach the exact same move. Watch 10 videos on how to attack the triangle from the guard and you will notice 2 things:

Each instructor will have a slightly different way of explaining the triangle and one instructors way may turn on a light bulb for you.

There will be common pieces of advice that all of the instructors will emphasize (ex. Move your hips to create the angle). These common pieces of advice we can take as essential and as the most important points to master.

3) Learn how the moves in a position connect. If you listen for it, many instructors will give a subtle tip on how to set up the technique or how to use your opponents reaction to get the technique. We can get so focused on the my mechanics of a new move that we completely miss the vital setup for the technique. Take the armbar from mount – it is easy to avoid if your opponent attacks it straight on… but if they set it up with a choke first, it is extremely difficult to defend. Same move – but different effect depending on if it is setup or not. The same is true with most techniques in Jiu-Jitsu and you need to pay attention to this information in the videos.
What GB videos have made the biggest difference in your Jiu-Jitsu game?