Yes, watching instructionals probably helps your BJJ

Like most of’s readers, I spend far too much time watching BJJ videos. Each time I visit YouTube I am inundated with world champions teaching techniques and once I click on one link, I find myself venturing aimlessly down a rabbit hole of random videos.

With all the anecdotal reports of the success of video-based learning as a tool to help you grow as a grappler, I decided to investigate the current research regarding the efficacy of studying tape to learn new skills.

In a systematic review of the effectiveness in video based learning(VBL) published in the International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences, it was shown that learning outcomes are usually enhanced by VBL. The study illustrated that VBL is best used injunction with receiving face-to-face instruction too. For those relegated to watching instructionals on your cellphones don’t fear because you can learn even on a small screen you can still learn.

It is important to note that none of the above studies were specifically done on learning BJJ because unfortunately there isn’t much money being invested into the research of the pedagogy of grappling (Boo!), it is interesting to see that in general video based learning does work.

The studies seem to show that VBL should be used as an addition to face-to-face instruction. Watching a DVD isn’t an excuse to skip class, it is something that can supplement it.

Do you find videos help your game? Sound off in the comments below.


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