“Online Instruction… A great training resource!!!”

The latest training resource to hit the markets is “Online Instruction” of Jiu jitsu and while “online instruction” has often received a bit of a tough wrap I must admit, I am all for it and find it to be a fantastic training resource! Of course just like anything, “online instruction” seems to vary in quality depending on who you are choosing to learn from. While I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend that you learn exclusively online, I do feel that it can really complement your regular class training and offer some great insights, techniques and tips in addition to what your instructor is already teaching you! As far as my experience with “online instruction” goes, I have recently signed up for both “Gracie University” (www.gracieuniversity.com) and Marcelo Garcia’s “MG In Action” (www.mginaction.com).


I find both to be great learning tools and each has their own particular specialty. “Gracie University” teaches the Gracie Jiu jitsu system in the exact same order as set out by the founder, Helio Gracie. Ryron and Rener Gracie (Helio’s grandsons) have set out to teach Gracie Jiu jitsu in the most highly efficient and detailed method possible so that everyone from a raw beginner right through to a seasoned veteran of the art can pick up the intricate details that make Gracie Jiu jitsu so effective and effortless! The Gracie Jiu jitsu system taught by Ryron and Rener Gracie is based on Self Defence as it was originally designed by Grandmaster Helio Gracie and can be practised by men, women and children of all ages, shapes and sizes. Ryron and Rener Gracie are passionate and gifted teachers and each lesson feels as if you were there taking a private lesson from them! I highly recommend that you sign up at www.gracieuniversity.com, remember it’s free to sign up and you still get access to some basic material and a glimpse of what else is on offer! And while you’re at it sign up for the Gracie insider newsletter at www.gracieacademy.com! 🙂


Marcelo Garcia has finally launched his “MG In Action” website and let me say that it was well worth the wait! For those of you who may be interested in competing in Jiu jitsu either gi or no gi then look no further as Four time World Jiu jitsu Champion and Three time ADCC World Submission Wrestling Champion shows you all the techniques, strategy and tactics that have made him into one of the greatest Jiu jitsu Athletes of our time! Get a bird’s-eye view of Marcelo teaching techniques, explainin strategy and sparring in preparation for various competitions! There’s loads of great content and Marcelo is a great instructor! Check it out at www.mginaction.com and enjoy! 🙂

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!


Jiu jitsu Kingdom


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11 Responses to ““Online Instruction… A great training resource!!!””

  1. slideyfoot Says:

    I’m a fan of quality online instruction: Rener Gracie and Marcelo Garcia are both excellent instructors. However, where Gracie University goes wrong and Garcia goes right is that online ranking is a terrible idea.

    I remain very dubious of that part of the Gracie Combatives course. I’m also not convinced by the way they try and market ‘self defence’ GJJ and somehow vastly superior to what they dismissively call ‘sport’ BJJ, which to me seems something of a false distinction created by marketing.

  2. jiujitsukingdom Says:

    Hey Slideyfoot, how are you mate? I must admit that I although I feel that Online Instruction is a fantastic idea, I am still a little skeptical about the online ranking system but surely we can agree that the Gracie Academy dont just hand out belts! They are one of the harder schools to actually get your black belt from!

    Although as far as grades go, I would probably like to see people test in person for purple belt and above, even though there is a shortage of Gracie Jiu jitsu instructors, I still feel that this would be better for quality control. I am sure that the Gracie University will continue to grow and improve in he future and I think they are off to a great start! As for self defense as the basis of true Gracie Jiu jitsu, I dont really feel this can be questioned? Just my opinion though, although I believe that you can defend yourself effectively by having training in most grappling arts not just Gracie Jiu jitsu. I believe the grappling arts in general have a lot of value and merits that can be beneficial to everyone alhough I just happen to favour Gracie Jiu jitsu! 🙂 I dont think there is anything wrong with marketing their system as self defense when that is its true focus! Anyway have a great week and stay tuned for some great content this week!!
    Kind Regards

  3. slideyfoot Says:

    The problem with the online ranking is that the instructor isn’t physically present, and doesn’t get to observe the progress of students over a long period of time, in the course of sparring with diverse range of training partners. While it is clearly tough to get belts through the Gracie Academy itself, Gracie University seems a rather different matter.

    Having said that, it is still early days, so we’ll see (not to mention I haven’t been through the process myself, which would be the sensible way to test how legitimate the ranking method was).

    Marketing as self defence is one thing: every martial art does that. The difference with the Gracie University propaganda is that they are dismissing every other BJJ school as some kind of inferior ‘sport’ derivative, while only they possess the ‘true’ jiu jitsu.

    The arguments I’ve seen from Gracie University remind me very much of the arguments styles like wing chun and aikido put forward to explain why they don’t compete. So for me, Gracie jiu jitsu is taking a giant step backwards as a result, putting itself in the same position as critics of the early UFC, who thought competition was beneath them and not a true test of fighting ability.

    However, the Master Cycle may well rectify the current major issue of no resistance training, as I’m told sparring will be a part of that stage of the curriculum. I’m also hopeful some Gracie University students will try and evaluate their ability through competition. After all, there are tournaments around which don’t have time limits or points (the main criticisms offered by Gracie University), such as the Submission Only tournaments run by US Grappling.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hey Slideyfoot, how are you? I dont mean to argue with you but you realise that any grading from Gracie University is recognised by the Gracie Academy so why would they want to lower their standards? While I too am reluctant to recommend that someone SOLELY learn online I do believe the Gracie family are really trying to spread the word and bring the art back to its self defense roots. I too feel that it is extremely important to train with a wide variety of training partners under expert supervision to really learn, progress and reach your potential. Although before I started training Jiu jitsu, myself, my brother and a few friends would get together and wrestle each other in the living room trying to emulate what we saw take place on the early UFC’s and we had a lot of fun doing so! Imagine if we were actually able to have got together and learnt how to execute the techniques correctly from a quality online instructional source!!! We would be so much further along the journey than we are now and for those who are unable to attend a class due to their circumstances, at least they are able to learn some good basic skills that could save their lives!!!

      And who knows, it may even encourage them to pursue Jiu jitsu further and start taking formal lessons!!! You are right that it is still early days and I’m sure that Ryron and Rener will continue to improve the program! As for the “propaganda”, I dont think that they are saying all schools are no good and cant teach you anything of value, just that most schools tend to place more of an influence on the sportive type techniques be they gi, no gi or mma. In saying so, they just want to be clear that if you ar learning the art with the main intent of learning self defense, they feel you would be better served learning from people who focus on self defense! Just as you would probably go to a competition based school if you wanted to compete in the Mundials or an MMA based school if you wanted to fight in an MMA match. I believe than you can learn a lot about all three aspects from most Jiu jitsu schools but if you really want to learn a particular facet then you seek out the leaders in that field! But of course each to their own and even amongst the Gracie family there are differences in opinion. for example if you check out the fightworks podcast over the last two weeks you will hear conflicting points of view from Relson Gracie (2nd son of Helio Gracie) and Renzo Gracie (Grandson of Carlos Gracie)! Anyway it is always good to debate and learn from other people’s point of view as well as challenge your own thoughts and ideas, I just hope poeple are able to suspend their opinions for a little while and try out the systems before they pass judgement! have a great week and I’ll talk to you soon!
      Kind Regards

  4. slideyfoot Says:

    Whether they intended to or not, Gracie University is lowering the standards of what it means to be a blue belt. No sparring and no resistance means for me, it has little value as a rank.

    There is also the problem that they are not simply aiming this at people who don’t have a class nearby. This is being offered as SUPERIOR to the classes nearby. Seriously, video instruction is being placed above a qualified black belt, on hand to teach in person. That’s outrageous: they are absolutely saying that “all schools are no good” except for their own. To quote them:

    If you dilute your training with impure, unrealistic, sport applications of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, you will hinder your ability to respond quickly and effectively with the right technique.

    This is also why Renzo got so pissed during that Fightworks Podcast interview:

    You know, its become a joke. Let me tell you what the real jiu jitsu is: the real jiu jitsu is the one that doesn’t back away from a challenge. It goes at the obstacle and defends its flag. It’s like, if you want to claim that you have the best fighting style, you should be in the UFC kicking some ass. That’s where the best competition is.

    So when people call me, saying “this is the real jiu jitsu,” the next thing they are going to say is “I cannot use it, because I could kill you!” [laughs] You know, that’s what I heard my whole life, from those fake martial artists who claim they were better than everybody else. So believe it my friend, I live my whole life watching this and seeing this. We were always against that, and now suddenly one branch of my family is turning into that! It’s claiming that, but doesn’t go on the proving ground to prove it, does not step into the place where he should actually be representing jiu jitsu, to do it.

    The only guys that are doing this now, is my team, and actually I’m from Gracie Barra. So if you’re talking bad about Gracie Barra, I was one of the founders. You talk bad about Gracie Barra, you talk bad about me! If you claim that I don’t know jiu jitsu…it’s a joke, you know?

    Having said all that, I do think it’s a well-produced DVD set, and Rener is an excellent teacher. I have watched it all the way through a number of times, and I’m now working through the course with my girlfriend, so I can empirically test how effective it is as a teaching tool (seeing as she has never trained in BJJ before, and has no interest in attending a class).

    So as a supplement to somebody already training, or an option if you’re hundreds of miles from the nearest school, it has its place. As a ranking system, it is absolutely no subsitute. To progress in BJJ, you have to spar, with full resistance.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hey Slideyfoot, like I said earlier I do agree that you need to train with various training partners of different sizes, shapes, experience levels etc to progress quickly and reach your potential! However I do believe the Online course put out by Ryron and Rener is of great value and quality, I guess only time will tell how successful their online ranking system is! To each their own or as I like to say whatever makes you happy! 🙂
      Kind Regards

  5. slideyfoot Says:

    Oops – sorry, using blockquote tags seems to have made that go a little nutty! ;p

  6. Hank Lin Says:

    As a reader of the comments I have to disagree with slideyfoot. Of course doing sparring and competing and stuff would make you stronger, but it’s not for everybody. The average person just wants to learn self-defense and do something that instills confidence. Not everyone is interested in becoming the toughest guy who could tap everyone out at the gym.

    The learning from online is very good, especially when compared to a place where it’s more half-assed where the instructor teaches 1-2 moves a class then have everyone spar each other. I mean that’s the way gyms are all over the country. Online you could slow down, ask questions, rewatch all that stuff so it has its advantages and it has its disadvantages of course.

    In the evaluation, yes it would be best if an instructor him/herself conducts the testing in person. However, also remember that if a belt awarding system was given based on a person’s performance in the gym tapping ppl out, then if you have a really tough guy who’s destroying everyone, he could be destroying them either through good technique or just sheer strength. Evaluation of purely the person’s execution of technique and reflex can have its own merits because you can’t fool someone on camera if your technique is good or not, smooth or awkward, reflexive or slow.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Some interesting ideas and points of view covnveyed there Hank. All I can really say is “each to their own”! Some people will really like the idea and agree with it wholeheartedly and others will disagree with it. I say do whatever makes you happy and if you enjoy learning new techniques online then go right ahead! And let me say this, Ryron and Rener are great instructors, I have had the privelidge of attending a seminar a couple of years ago by yron and was very impressed and I believe their videos to be top quality! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      Kind Regards

  7. slideyfoot Says:

    Thanks for the response, Hank.

    IMO, sparring isn’t about being the toughest person in the gym: it’s about testing if what you’ve learned actually works. If you never spar, then you never know if you can really apply the technique against a resisting opponent.

    I would respectfully disagree with your closing statement, as I feel you can easily fool someone on camera, because there is no resistance. I can do all sorts of fabulous submissions and sweeps in drilling, because my partner isn’t offering any defence: they’re letting me do the technique. If I try those same techniques in sparring, it is much, much more difficult. Without resistance, you’re basically just doing two person kata.

    The average person who wants to learn defence surely also wants to know that what they’re learning does in fact work? If so, then surely it is best to find that out in a class environment, rather than when you’re being attacked on the street?

    However, I do agree with you that Gracie Combatives is a well-structured course. As I said in my long review, I think the level of instruction is exellent. The problem is the belt ranking: if they removed that part of the course, I could wholeheartedly recommend it.

    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hey there Slideyfoot, how’s things? Nice to hear from you. And of course I am aware that your gripe never was with the quality of online instruction, it was always about the online testing! Like I said to Hank, “each to their own”. I’m sure a lot of people will love the online instruction and welcome it with open arms, where others will disagree with some/or all of it and sometimes be critical but everyone has the right to an opinion. I say do whatever makes you happy! Train hard, train safe and always seek to improve your techniques and make them more efficient and effective against your training partners. If you do that, your Jiu jitsu will grow!
      Kind Regards

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