Back in the early years of BJJ in the 1990s, people used to study the latest techniques coming out of Brazil by watching grainy VHS tapes; the problem was a lack of information. BJJ practitioners today have the opposite problem; too much information, all in HD with easy playback options but no way to filter out what is quality and what is not, especially if you are not an experienced player.
The Proliferation of Online Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Classes
The most recent business model to come out of the online instructional market is the online learning site. World famous BJJ champions, especially those renowned for their teaching ability as well as their competitive accomplishments are increasingly offering subscription sites in which anyone with an Internet connection can watch them teach their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes, including viewing their sparring sessions.
In today’s article, we will be looking at the crème-de-la-crème of these online Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes to help our readers who may be considering subscribing to these sites make an informed choice.
Our Pick of the 5 Best BJJ Learning Sites
Simply put, Marcelo Garcia’s site is the gold standard when it comes to online Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. It has by far the most extensive library of videos of any site out there, with over 2,500 technique videos and another 2,500 sparring videos. The site’s navigation, developed by Marcelo Garcia’s black belt student and chess prodigy: Josh Waitzkin, is by far the most intuitive and responsive layout; with easy search and categorization, slow motion, mirror (for left handed folks), and their ‘In Action’ clips which allow viewers to see snippets of select moves taken from sparring videos. The site mostly teaches Marcelo’s game; butterfly, X-guard, guillotines etc. so those who feel that this is not their style should keep this in mind.
#2: Art of Jiu Jitsu Online
This is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu site started by the world famous Mendes brothers. It was recently revamped in late-2016 to include filming of almost every class taught at the academy, including those by their assistant coaches. They currently have over 3,500 videos in the library; with the only criticism being a lack of sparring videos. Nevertheless, the quality of instruction is not in question and both Rafa and Gui, already fluent in English, provide some of the most detailed and technical explanations around; in fact this might be the most technical and detail oriented of all the online Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. However, just like the above, the style taught follows their own personal game: De la Riva, berimbolo, 50/50 etc.
#3: Caio Terra Online
Even as a rooster weight or light featherweight competitor, Caio Terra has been known to enjoy a good amount of success even in the absolute divisions. This is attributed to his extremely deep understanding of techniques and concepts and is reflected in his teaching style (as any participant of one of his seminars will tell you). While the website does not show the number of videos available to non-members; Caio’s online Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes site has a unique feature in that it has lesson plans so people can follow along to a curriculum as well as live-streaming options.
This site, launched by Braulio Estima, uses the exact same interface as MGinAction. If you are a long-legged lanky spider guard player who wants to emulate Braulio’s style; then this is the perfect online Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes site for you. While it is far newer and does not have as many videos as MGinAction; it already has built up to over 1,000 technique videos and over 600 sparring videos.
Created by Saulo and Xande Ribeiro; the original world championship winning siblings, this site follows a slightly different format to the sites above. While they do feature many videos taught by the brothers themselves at their academy, what sets this site apart is their ‘seminar series’ where they have many high profile guests such as Andre Galvao, Luiz Panza, Dean Lister and a myriad of others to teach a mini video series on their own game. Currently, the site has almost 1,500 videos total.