At this point in the game there should be no questioning whether or not you can learn from videos. The answer is unequivocally yes.
There are a ton of examples that can be found after just a simple YouTube search. Not only are there people out there having great success at the local level after just a few videos, (especially with John Danaher’s Enter the System) even World Class Athletes can be found showing off their success from moves learned through video.
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But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Athletes at the top of their game have learned from video for years. The studying of tape on an opponent has been practiced for as long as videos been around, in every major sport. Learning tendencies, plays, tells, special moves, etc. So even without the video being an instructional, you can definitely learn from watching video.
The better question would be not can you learn from video, but how do you best learn from video? For a top level athlete or coach, the answer is a fairly simple one. Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, you simply incorporate it into your training. But for the average Joe who really has no control over what’s being taught in class, it’s going to take a little more effort.
The best way is to get in on some open mat time. Depending on how your gym runs day to day practice, working your new found techniques into the end of class roll can be difficult on some occasions and even looked down upon in others. Not to mention that depending on the move you’re trying to work, you might only get one shot at it during a roll. Trying to learn a new move by only using it once per day is going to make the learning process a long one.
By attending the open mat sessions at your gym you’ll have a lot more opportunity to get things done. Even if you just roll for the whole session, you’ll get a lot more chances to try new things than you would have during the couple of rolls you normally get at the end of practice. However, the best solution would be to find a partner who’s willing to work with you and then take the time to actually drill the move.
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Once you’ve got a pretty good grasp on it, work some situational grappling to further refine it. Let’s say that you’re working a couple of passes from Gordon Ryan’s Attacking the Guard. For situational grappling you would start off in your partner’s guard, then both you and your partner would have very clear goals. For you, your only objective is to pass.
For your partner, their only objective is to sweep or submit. If either of you accomplish your objective, you simply start over from the beginning. After the buzzer goes off to signal the end of the round, you reverse roles so you both get a chance to work the moves.
It may seem odd or intimidating for some to ask another student to drill with you during open mat. Especially if you’re new to the sport or newer to the gym you train at. But if you start off with “Hey, I just got the new John Danaher Pin Escapes. You want to drill some stuff with me?” I’m sure you’ll find that there’s a very long list of people who haven’t bought the videos, but who REALLY want to know what’s on them. So you’ll most likely have no shortage of people willing to work with you.
John Danher is one of the few people to have athletes be successful at the highest levels in both Professional Grappling as well as MMA. He has systemized his approach to teaching,learning,and APPLYING his Jiu-Jitsu. Enter the System with John Danaher!