February 11, 2014

"The Grapplers Handbook: Gi and No Gi Techniques" - Review of Jean Jacques Machados Latest DVD

Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos have released the DVD set "Grapplers Handbook: Gi and No Gi Techniques" which very well could be considered the pinnacle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD sets.  A companion to the two books under the same title, "Grapplers Handbook (GH)" offers a unique approach that we have not seen a lot of in the DVD instructional realm and that is a glimpse into the game plan of a high level master.  With this 3 disk DVD set you will be introduced to Jean Jacques complete grappling blueprint for both gi and no gi.

Jean Jacques Machado is considered by many to be one of the most technical grapplers alive today where his ability to execute is only overshadowed by a keen teaching prowess that few possess.  When his other four brothers need the details to a certain position or move they come to Jean Jacques as he truly embodies his own quote "the more you know, the less you do."  The devil truly is in the details and lets be frank... BJJ instructionals are a dime a dozen now days, so why should you buy this DVD set over any other out there?  The answer my friends is two fold; exquisite details in both the strategy of the pedagogy of the presented material as well as the beautiful editing and camera work provided by Black Belt Magazine-Video. 

I will be blatantly honest here and say outright that this material and the format it is presented is geared towards the intermediate to advanced grappler.  Not to say beginners could not glean a lot from the lessons contained in the three hours here, but Jean Jacques assumes a base knowledge for the viewer.  Again he lays out a strategy and game plan, so this is not the conventional "let me show you every arm bar from the guard" type of training.  In lieu of being exhaustive JJM has pinpointed some choice techniques and grouped them into the following categories over three disks:

  • Passing the Guard
  • Attacking from the Guard
  • Top Attacks
  • Takedowns
  • Art of Pulling Guard
  • Mixed Martial Arts
Details of the techniques are taught along with slow motion and full speed versions for each segment demonstrated.  This is imperative when training with JJM, as his attention to detail often requires several reviews just to get into the context of the technique.  I must admit that one of my favorite aspects of this set is the overhead camera angle which offers SO much detail while JJM is instructing that I cannot believe others are not following suit.  Especially when we are talking about ground grappling, a third angle is desperately needed to see the complexities of the technique.

For instance when approaching the single leg Machado takes on  the subject from all angles; literally.  Walking the student through each scenario when grips are attained: push / pull / neutral, Jean Jacques lays the groundwork for understanding the principle, not just memorizing wrote technique.  Your entry to the single is predicated on their response to the manipulation stimuli.  Ultimately they have limited options as to which way they can go, and all options leave a leg exposed.  A glimpse inside the mind of a master is rare, and that they can convey such information is even more rare.  Practitioners of all levels will reference this DVD set over and over throughout your martial journey.

I have yet to read the two volume text of the same name; "Grapplers Handbook"  so I cannot speak as to how much they are similar or different, though I have it by good measure that Jay and Jean Jacques cover much more detail in this DVD set.   But you can purchase the 3 disk DVD set via Amazon by clicking here which will open a new tab on your browser. Every serious grappling student should own this set, and anyone considering producing a DVD should take note of the production quality, camera work, and editing done by Black Belt Magazine - Video. This is the standard all should be striving for. 

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