The internet is a great resource for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Submission Grappling in general. It connects players who are practicing and rolling from Denmark to Japan, from Rio to right here in Manhattan. There are absolutely loads of quality instructionals, blogs and news sites approaching these sports from a wide variety of angles. From youtube to r/bjj, from the Underground to even Sherdog, the internet has really helped BJJ flourish internationally, even though it is relatively new outside of Brazil. You can take ideas from all over the world and try it at your local MMA gym in NYC. But not all the resources available are of the same quality, and it’s very easy to get lost and become overloaded with information.

At Ronin Athletics, we encourage you to use the web and all the resources it provides to get better and to raise the level of your game and of your teammates. But we want to remind you of a few things:

1) Fundamentals First!

I know it’s tempting to find instructionals on the latest ‘hot’ move and try them out. Berimbolos, flying armbars, fifty / fifty guard, tornado guard; the sheer amount of material available is enormous. But all these more advanced techniques are predicated on a firm grasp of the basics. If you don’t have a really solid grasp of how to move, when to move and what your body can take, trying what you see might slow down your learning. More importantly, it could mean that you or one of your partners gets hurt by accident. Just because a Black Belt can pull something off at Mundials does not mean that someone just starting out at a BJJ gym in NYC can or should try it. Practicing shrimping, bridging, your basic sweeps and passes might not be as cool looking as one of the more flashy, more advanced techniques, but will ultimately do much more to make you a better player. BJJ in NYC – time spent here, on the mats, is how you get better.

2) Concepts, Not Moves

As our Head Instructor Christian always says, it’s about the concepts and not the moves. If you understand how to move, how the different structures, frames and pressures work together, it will be much easier for you to roll, to execute your techniques and to improve. Look for the ideas behind the movements, the philosophy and the physics behind the positions. These will help to build your understanding of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and will help you improve your game. Specific techniques are nice, don’t get me wrong. But understanding how and why an armbar works helps you get better at arm attacks more quickly than if you just try to imitate an armbar Rhonda Rousey showed in a video you watched once.

3) Think!

Remember that not every post on bjj is going to know what they’re talking about. Not every instructional on youtube is quality. Knowing this, when you watch or read something on the internet, take it with a grain of salt before bringing it into the gym and trying it out. Compare it to what you’ve read from sources you know are credible and what you’ve learned both from your own experience and from your instructors.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the mats.

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