How to Learn BJJ Online

There has been an explosion of online learning courses for Brazilian Jiujitsu these past few years. It seems like every major instructor has their own online BJJ subscription channel.

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For a monthly payment, you can get unlimited access to a BJJ curriculum. So, how can you maximize your training with these online subscriptions? What are some of the pitfalls?

Let’s break it down.

Can you learn BJJ online?

Yes. You can. You have two options. You can learn for free by looking up videos on Youtube or apps. Or you can learn by paying for an instructional service. These are usually either a one off course or a monthly subscription. With some programs, you can order video modules a-la-carte that are otherwise part of a monthly subscription. 

Any reputable instructor will not give your a real belt promotion for enrolling in their course. Remember, an “online belt” is not a “real” belt. Instead of a belt, however, some courses might offer you certificates of completion. 

Learning BJJ online can be either a supplement to what you learn at your gym or it might be your only option if you don’t have a gym nearby. 

What is the best online BJJ curriculum?

There are so many online bjj courses that the best depends on your needs and level. It may also depend on the association of your professor as well. 

Head over to our reviews of online BJJ subscriptions for more information on selecting the appropriate service.  Hint: we recommend BJJ Fanatics and Gold BJJ Online.

What is the best way to study BJJ online?

While there may be some negatives to learning by video, don’t feel discouraged. It is possible to learn a martial art at home. However, you have to approach learning BJJ by yourself the right way.

Here are a few tips for getting the most of an online course.

  • Have a training buddy
  • Use an online course as a supplement to reinforce your training. Your real world instructor should be your primary teacher. 
  • Spend 15 minutes after your real life class focusing on the things your learned online

Of course, if you don’t have a gym with an instructor, those last two points can be difficult. Stephan Kesting has a great video on this subject on what to do when you do not have a gym nearby. 

Learning online: Beginners vs Advanced Belts

Beginners and advanced belts are going to approach an instructional a little bit differently. If you are just starting out, stick to a course that is designed to teach fundamentals. You will extract way more value out of such an approach as opposed to buying the latest and greatest advanced guard course. 

Likewise, blue belts and up should seek out a course that will help them improve their game. Of course, it never hurts to review fundamentals as well. 

Advantages to online BJJ courses

Video is an effective means of learning, and jiu jitsu is no exception. There are several advantages to learning BJJ online.

First, you are typically getting access to high quality content from a very qualified instructor who knows what they are talking about. Of course, being a successful competitor does not make you a great teacher, but often the programming is designed to facilitate your learning.

Second, you can rewind and repeat videos to focus on every aspect of a technique or principal. This allows you to nail down what is important. Try doing that during a live class! 

Third, online courses allow you to explore new techniques that your real life instructor may not be competent in. If you only have access to a self-defense focused jiu jitsu gym in your local area, you can expand your knowledge in the comfort of your own home.

Disadvantages to online BJJ courses

Learning by video is not a substitute for learning in real life. Real, live training will always be the way to learn.You will not get better at jiu jitsu simply by watching jiu jitsu.  

Learning is often a two way interaction between student and teacher. However, in the online context, the learning is simply one dimensional. There is no live feedback from the instructor. 

What has your experience been learning BJJ by video?

Let us know in the comments!


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