The sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu has evolved significantly since its creation in the 1920s. Nowadays, it’s quite common for competitors and hobbyists alike to look outside the gym for ways to improve. Just like a language, jiu jitsu revolves around expanding your knowledge base. And with the accessibility of the internet, instructionals are the best way to do just that. With an instructional, you’re able to have a look into the minds of the highest level BJJ competitors and coaches, but not much in life is free.
Many people can’t justify spending money on instructionals. The price tags on some of the more sought after videos can reach upwards of $200, after all. Luckily, YouTube has a plethora of high level BJJ instructionals that are absolutely free. We’ve put together a list of some of the free options that, along with being highly technical, are systemized BJJ instructionals just like paid content would be.
Tom Halpin’s Back Attacks and Back Attacks 2.0
Very similar to Danaher’s back attack system, this series contains tons of information about attacking the back. Best of all, it’s laid out in a way that makes progressing through the videos quite easy. Halpin starts off by explaining the basics of back mount and how to control the position. Then, he moves on to things like the “straightjacket” style arm trap and body triangle. For someone studying these videos, it’s advisable to watch them from the beginning instead of jumping around, as they build upon each other. In the second edition of his series, Halpin adds new improvements he’s made to the system, as well as ways to attack the turtle position.
This huge series, with 8 volumes of videos, is the go-to guide for anyone looking to learn all about wrestling for jiu-jitsu. Formerly known as “Salamone’s Wrestling Plan for the Jiu Jitsu Man”, this instructional features 7x national champion Rich Salamone teaching a comprehensive course on wrestling. Starting with stance and fundamental movements, Salamone leaves no stone unturned as he goes over everything from set-ups to front headlocks. The amount of content this has is unreal, made up of over 17 hours of technique. Many of the techniques Salamone mentions contain details on shifts in balance and weight as well as small tips that, when used correctly, are game-changers.
RVVBJJ’s Gordon Ryan Guard Passing Study
In this series, Rory van Vliet teaches a floating pass system similar to Gordon Ryan’s. Being a black belt under Rob Biernacki, van Vliet’s instruction is very practical and centers around easily applied concepts. Throughout the 17 part study, van Vliet touches upon why the specific techniques work, allowing you to understand guard passing more as a whole. Towards the end of the series, van Vliet also covers adapting the passing to the gi. If you enjoy this one, RVVBJJ’s YouTube channel has several other playlists of connected instructionals.
Dominique Bell’s Single Leg X
Dominique Bell, ATOS black belt under Andre Galvao, Compared to the other playlists mentioned in this article, this one is relatively short. Nevertheless, it’s full of great information. Bell starts by explaining an entry into SLX from a de la Riva guard. He goes over counters to the most common defenses and shows sweeps in all directions. Dom Bell’s Instagram and YouTube channel are known for showing techniques in very easily digestible ways, and this is no different. If you enjoy what he shows in his YouTube course, be sure to check out his full Single X instructional at BJJFanatics.com.
While in person learning is (and will always be) superior, learning from BJJ instructionals has its benefits. Personally, I like to use them to get a different view on a position or technique. Different instructors emphasize different things, and learning from just one source will not give you a complete game. For example, the way I play knee shield is very different from how Lachlan Giles does. After studying his videos, I was able to make changes and also review important details of my own guard. By learning fine points and concepts from a variety of sources, you’ll be able to create a style that feels right for you.
Hopefully you’ll be able to improve your BJJ game with these free instructionals!