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Best Practices for Learning from Instructionals

One invaluable resource in the Jiu-Jitsu world are instructional videos. The issue is often, how to digest so much material. As someone who has gone through his share of Danaher instructionals, these are some of the best ways to maximize your learning from them.

Choose the Right Instructional

Not all instructionals are created equal. Before diving into a video series, do some research to ensure it aligns with your current skill level and goals. Look for reputable instructors, well-organized content, and positive reviews from the Jiu-Jitsu community. If you are a six month White Belt, learning heel hooks probably isn't the best idea. Not saying that you can't, I'm just pointing out that escapes and guard retention instructionals are probably a better investment with where you are currently.

Active Watching

Passive consumption won't cut it with instructionals. Treat each video session as an active learning opportunity. Take notes, pause, and rewind to review techniques. Focus on details, subtle movements, and the instructor's explanations. Engage with the content actively to enhance retention.

I will often take notes with timestamps so it's easier for me to go back to important areas or techniques.

Create a Structured Learning Plan

With Jiu-Jitsu's vast array of techniques, positions, and strategies. To prevent overwhelm, create a structured learning plan. Break down the instructional into smaller sections and prioritize areas that align with your current training needs. This methodical approach helps in building a solid foundation before moving on to more advanced concepts.

There is nothing that says that you have to process an instructional within a few week or even months. Digest them at your own pace.

Repetition is Key

Mastery comes through repetition. Don't hesitate to re-watch instructionals multiple times. Repetition helps to internalize techniques and concepts, making them second nature on the mats. Incorporate what you learn into your training sessions regularly to reinforce muscle memory.

Something that I've done in the past is taking a segment of the instructional and making it my goal for the week during sparring. While doing this can result in "losing" rounds, that's not the point at the moment. The goal is to understand and actively implementing what you're learning.

Solo Drills and Shadow Rolling

Many instructionals focus on partner drills, but that doesn't mean you can't practice alone. Solo drills and shadow rolling allow you to work on movements, transitions, and techniques without a training partner. This independent practice enhances your understanding and execution of fundamentals.

Ask Questions and Seek Feedback

Engage with your Jiu-Jitsu community, whether it's your instructor, training partners, or online forums. Ask questions about the techniques you're learning and seek feedback on your execution. Constructive criticism is a powerful tool for improvement.

Recording your sparring and having it reviews can really help with this.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is the key to progress in Jiu-Jitsu. If you're going to learn and implement the material from an instructional, you need to be diligent. If you're studying the material but not applying it enough or even at all during sparring, it's not going to do you any good.


Jiu-Jitsu instructionals are a treasure trove of knowledge waiting to be unlocked. By approaching them with intention, active engagement, and a strategic mindset, you can accelerate your learning and enhance your performance on the mats. Remember, the journey to mastery is a continuous process, and each instructional viewed is a stepping stone toward becoming a well-rounded practitioner.

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