September 12, 2013

"Leg Drag Workshop" by Tim Sledd: DVD Review

Avid readers of The Ground Never Misses will recall the review of Carlos Machado's "Unstoppable," where he essentially took footage from a seminar and condensed it into an instructional DVD.  Quite simply it was brilliant! Condensed material made as accurately accessible as possible... what more could one ask for.  Take the same approach and add in a position such as, shall we say, the leg drag (which no one has covered in a DVD instructional format) and you have the great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructional "Leg Drag Workshop" by Tim Sledd.

Tim Sledd, head instructor of Small Axe BJJ in Bedord, IN. and one of Andre Galvao's first American black belts, is one of those sleeper cell grapplers in middle America that no one has heard of, but they will be in no time.  Training under Galvao has afforded Tim the luxury of rolling with some of sport BJJ's most elite grapplers, giving him a unique perspective on one of todays hottest positions: the leg drag.  Useful for both sport BJJ as well as self defense and MMA, the leg drag has become a staple at the world over, and Sledd couldn't ask for a better camp in which to learn the leg drag.

Filmed over the series of two different seminars "Leg Drag Workshop" is a must have DVD for any grappler at any stage of development.  Breaking every aspect of the position down to the most minute detail Sledd is a patient, focused instructor whom has absorbed the subtle differences in how his team mates apply the leg drag position.  This is arguably the best part of the DVD, getting a lesson on how Andre Galvao applies pressure with the leg drag as opposed to how the Mendes brothers do.  Three experts in their own rights but playing the same position quite differently due to the size differential. 



Even though this is filmed over the course of two seminars Tim offers a comprehensive position tutorial with excellent production value, both the video and sound production are solid.  From the looks of it Tim taught these seminars in nice small rooms without a lot of resonance and noise bouncing.  The editing is smooth and every comment he makes is clear and easy to hear.  On the bonus material you can hear folks talking in the background but it does not diminish from the lesson he offers.  And though there are not multiple cameras, Tim does a great job moving to show the technique to multiple angles. 

Instruction wise Tim Sledd has a gift!  Honestly if this cat forgot to mention a detail, then I am not sure what it is because training with Tim you are going to know where EACH appendage is and what its job is.  Clear, concise, and accurate positional information is constantly flowing from Tim's lips, and honestly that is the key to what will make this DVD stand out.  Sure... right now mid-2013 it is the only leg drag DVD on the market, but that will change before you know it.  The quality and detail of instruction will make Tim Sledd stand out and weather "Old Man Time."  Tim looks at the leg drag as a position, not a technique, which is most likely how he was taught, which in turn makes sense why Atos is AWESOME with the leg drag!  The positional cues such as "Active Toes" / "Knee Staple" / ensuring the spines are aligned etc. are great linguistic cues that help the viewer remember the lesson much more clearly.

Indiana University Workshop:
1. Intro                                                                      5. Half guard
2. Concepts                                                               6. Butterfly Guard Pass
3. Cross Side to Leg Drag                                          7. Skip Knee to Mount
4. Closed Guard Pass                                                 8. Passing Spider Guard
                                                                                  9. Closing


Ground Zero Workshop:
1. Basic Leg Drag Position                                          7. Half Guard Pass
2. Mendes Position                                                     8. Butterfly Guard Pass
3. Reverse Position                                                     9. Skip Knee to Mount
4. Attack From Side Control                                     10. Spider Guard Pass
5. Back Take                                                             11. Questions
6. Closed Guard Pass                                                12. Drills
                                                                                  13. Closing

Another aspect I like about Mr. Sledd's approach to the leg drag is his emphasis that this is not just a modern sport position (ie. read: fad).  The leg drag is not only an amazing sport BJJ technique but it can also be used in self defense and MMA, and Sledd is constantly reminding us of that.  In the bonus section he even uses a cover, clinch, takedown into leg drag. 

 The bonus section is often folks' favorite with instructional DVDs with goodies and fun little extras to try, and while Tim does offer a couple "bonus" techniques (nothing on the bonus section is the same as the seminar content), overall the "extras" seem to be strategic troubleshooting entries.  How does one get to the leg drag position when our opponent is elbow escaping from mount?  Transitioning to the leg drag from back mount. 

Bonus Material:
1. Basic Takedown                                                       4. De La Riva
2. Mount to Leg Drag                                                   5. DLR Sweep #2
3. Leg Drag from Rear Mount                                       6. DLR Sweep #3
                                                                                     7. Outro

I cannot wait to see more DVDs from Tim Sledd and/or visit him in Indiana and take one of his seminars, because the detail this man brings to the table is out of this world.  Honestly this $34 will get you further on the mat then whatever you are going to waste it on this weekend.  Click here to be redirected and to place your order today! 

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