Kit Dale is well known as the funniest grappler in Australia (Sorry Craig) but he’s also running an instructional site to spread his training methodology. It’s one of the first things you’ll find out when searching for information on Kit Dale, the man does not believe in what most people would consider “traditional” training methods. More specifically, he doesn’t believe in the need for drilling techniques and instead focuses more on the actual principles underlying them and working them out through rolling. Understandably, he’s something of a controversial figure in the BJJ world and has been part of a debate over whether drilling is even necessary to excel. Here we’ll have the first review of his “The Art of Mastering Jiu-Jitsu” but will follow up shortly with more of the full range of content available on his site.
The Art of Mastering Jiu-Jitsu
As he doesn’t focus on individual techniques, Kit’s course is broken down into lectures instead. This isn’t a bad thing, I actually really enjoyed Kit’s lectures and without giving too much away, his concept-driven approach to Jiu-Jitsu is one that’s becoming steadily more and more popular with some fantastic coaches using it. The first ten of his lectures aren’t actually related to the physical act of grappling but instead are more theoretical. He discusses some really important topics that you’ll hear people worry about almost every day, from something as simple as how to compete all the way to dealing with the anxiety that quite a lot of people can feel around BJJ. One particular lecture that I really liked was about focusing on the why of a technique, as opposed to the how, in order to learn, or teach, the ability to adapt to a wide range of scenarios.
Kit is also big on learning through experience and positional sparring, something that’s already a particular favorite of mine. This ties in with a lot of his earlier lectures as he really stresses the importance of learning how to problem-solve in a live scenario. He also talks about some more advanced methods of problem-solving like changing the pace, anticipating your opponent’s movements or avoiding telegraphing your own. When Kit does start going through specific grappling concepts, he covers basic elements before going into more advanced aspects in order to give everyone something to learn. He also covers both Gi and No-Gi, but particularly his lecture on Gripping Concepts for No-Gi was fantastic.
As you progress through the course to just past the halfway mark, he starts to go through his concepts for passing guard. The thing I loved about this section was that it was not just based around closed or open guard, but also included Z-Guard, X-Guard and Half guard. The next step is sweeping principles from someone playing either of those three guards and when you watch the whole thing, it can really give someone new to these positions a fantastic overall view of not only how to play it, but how to beat it.
He ends then with a section on Mount and various escapes, including a really valuable seminar on escaping the Outside Heel Hook. The last section was really useful in rounding out the whole course, narrated matches between Kit Dale and some of the world’s best competitors like Keenan Cornelius and Hector Beltran. All in all, I would say anyone starting out in BJJ will gain mountains of knowledge from this course and it would be well worth buying it. Those of you who already have a few years of consistent practice might come across several things you already know, but you should still be able to take away some great insights from a fantastic teacher.
We will also be reviewing the rest of Kit Dale’s content shortly, click here to check if they’re available.
Or to see for yourself and purchase membership for Kit Dale Training, click here.