Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Mission for Submissions

I’ve been reading a number of books with photos and descriptions of various submissions, but I feel like there’s always something missing. Books are no substitute for a good teacher, but they can be useful guides for remembering things you’ve already learned. I, unfortunately, wanted to learn new techniques I hadn’t learned before. I turned to, a free Jiu-jitsu video tutorial website, for guidance. is run by a colleague of mine, Ari Bolden Sensei from the Jiu-jitsu BC Society. He runs a Jiu-jitsu school in Victoria, BC (Canada). Ari Sensei is very skilled and has a diverse training background, having studied both traditional forms of Jiu-jitsu as well as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, with ties to Eddie Bravo.

I wanted to learn to use the rubber guard more effectively, since I’m pretty flexible. Unfortunately, the instructor I’ve been training under is not a specialist in this particular guard. He’s a bigger guy who’s getting on in age and therefore does not have the necessary flexibility to make the most of this versatile position.

I remembered Ari telling me about his site months ago when it was just starting out. Now there are over 150 video tutorials of all kinds of submissions, including a few featuring Eddie Bravo. I excitedly poured over all the material on the site, looking forward to working on the techniques at Jiu-jitsu that night. When I did get to the mat, I found myself trying to remember the techniques, but failing. The only one I could remember how to do was the last one I looked at before going to class. I really should have known better, but I got carried away looking at all the cool new stuff.

So here’s my tip. If you’re going to use videos to help develop your skills, pick a few specific techniques you want to learn (no more than 3 at a time), then work toward developing these first before moving on to the next ones. If you try to learn too many all at once, you confuse yourself and dilute your learning of each technique.

Also, I generally advise beginner students against the use of videos and books without the guidance of a teacher or advanced student. Beginners need to learn important fundamentals first, which are not really covered in tutorials for specific techniques.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Lori! I look forward to seeing you at the seminar in Dec!

Lori O'Connell said...

You too, Ari! Leave a spot open for me on your dance card. ;)

Silverstar said...

First time here and I am also a Canadian woman studying Ju Jutsu.
That was a neat video, I would like to work on my ground work, so its nice to see some new techniques to try.:)

Lori O'Connell said...

It's always good to hear that more women are getting involved in the martial arts. What city are you training out of? There's just so much to be gained from it. Good luck in your training! :)

Nathan Teodoro said...

Love your blog. I've just "discovered" it in a link or comment on Mokuren Dojo. Great work!

Nathan/TDA Training

Lori O'Connell said...

Thanks for the feedback Nathan! I'm glad you like it. :)