Top 10 BJJ Online Resources
My instructors at Titans Fitness Academy, Renzo Gracie black belts Kevin Taylor and Peter Martell, discovered Brazilian jiu jitsu before there was a lot of content available on the Internet. They learned technique through visits to Renzo’s academy in New York, VHS tapes, and trial and error. These days, we are fortunate to have access to anything we want with the wave of a mouse.
When I look for BJJ content online, my focus is technical videos and theory, training tips, interviews, and gear reviews. Others enjoy chatting in online communities and reading about other people’s experiences in the BJJ world. Here is my list (in alphabetical order) of ten online resources that offer something for everyone:
My teammate Scott Nauss was a big fan of BJJ Legends long before I discovered it. Where he has a similar build to contributor Matt Corley, he frequently reads his gear reviews and also enjoys his BJJ DVD set reviews. The site also offers reviews on related products such as supplements and electronics, reports BJJ/MMA news, provides technical videos and breakdowns, and they publish a magazine with great deals on subscriptions.
Brendan and Dan at Gi Reviews know gis and want to share their knowledge with you. They and their guest reviewers, including females, have reviewed pretty much every brand of gi out there and offer guides for purchasing your first gi and fitting unique body types. There are also how-to guides for gi shrinkage, patch removal, and many more gi-related alterations. Brandon loves gis so much he created his own brand, OK! Kimonos. Keep your eye out for our interview here on Breaking Muscle where he talks about how and why he created his own line of kimonos and what differentiates it from all the rest.
Have you ever watched a fight in the UFC and thought, “Wow! How did (s)he do that!?” The Gracie Brothers, Ryron and Rener, are sons of one of the founders of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Rorion Gracie. They offer breakdowns of notable fights in the UFC and a lot of other detailed technical instruction. I love their explanations of why things work and what mistakes to avoid. I enjoy watching the actual fight as I watch the breakdown. My most recent favorite is the breakdown of Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche’s fight.
Stephan Kesting has thirty years of martial arts experience. He shares both his knowledge and the knowledge of others from the BJJ community in the form of technical videos on YouTube, articles, apps, and DVD sets. Any question I’ve ever had about BJJ, I’ve been able to find answers on Grapplearts. Kesting’s affiliate site, Beginning BJJ is invaluable for people who are new to jiu jitsu. It offers a newsletter and free content to help newbies wrap their head around the fundamentals of jiu jitsu. I recommend signing up for his newsletter and downloading his Roadmap to BJJ to all of the students in my women’s BJJ class as well as those in the beginner’s class at Titans Fitness Academy.
David, a purple belt in BJJ, is the mind behind The Jiu Jitsu Lab, a blog that offers in-depth technical analysis, competitor profiles, and overviews of their winning strategies. He explains singular techniques and positions from multiple angles and gives readers a new way of looking at game concepts and pulling everything together.
I love Lapel Choke a lot. I follow them on Facebook and they’re always posting great technique videos that are relevant to my game.
Seymour Yang AKA Meerkatsu is a BJJ brown belt whose gear designs have become popular in the BJJ community. He has worked with brands like Tatami, OK! Kimonos, and 93 Brand Jiu Jitsu and has opened his own webstore for people to buy his self-designed products. Before his success in design, he was well known for his gear and gi reviews. Although I’m a female and much smaller than Seymour, I always check his site for reviews about the cut and fit of any gi I’m thinking of buying because I know I’m about three sizes smaller and so if a gi fits him in a particular way, I feel I’ll get similar results if I buy a gi a few sizes down. It’s a theory anyway. I also really like the quality of his photography and the attention to detail he includes in all of his reviews.
Meg Smitley’s blog was the first I found with reviews of women’s gear when I searched about three years ago. Her reviews are thorough, with lots of photos, and her sense of humor and good nature shine though. She also covers topics such as injury recovery, competition, women’s issues, open mats, and - with her recent new addition - pregnancy and jiu jitsu. Meg is a Gracie Barra purple belt under Dave Birkett and Marc Walder. She trains at Dartford BJJ in Dartford, Kent in the United Kingdom.
I don’t spend a lot of time on online communities these days but there is a lot of good content on Sherdog regarding gear for BJJ and MMA. A lot of the reviewers share links to their reviews in the Equipment and Gear Review section and there are areas for members to discuss everything BJJ and MMA related. I don’t read much more than the reviews but it’s a very popular online community for those in combat sports.
I don’t read a lot of articles about BJJ unless it’s “how to” or “what to buy,” but I really like Valerie Worthington’s insight and read all of her work as it comes out. She received a black belt from New Breed Academy in Santa Fe Springs, California, and is a co-head instructor for Women’s Grapping Camp. Valerie has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Dartmouth College and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University. Her education and experience are apparent in her writing, but what I like best is the way she rationally explains her thoughts in a way everyone can understand and respect. Not everything in BJJ is gear and technique based. Valerie helps us to decipher a lot of the mental aspects of the game and navigate the BJJ world more intelligently.
I hope you will find these resources as helpful as I have. I know I have left out a lot of great ones so please share your favorites in the comments below. Happy browsing!