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The Pros and Cons of Learning Jiu-Jitsu from the Internet

The Internet is an endless sea of information. From blogs to YouTube videos, there is a lifetime worth of content on the Internet. As far as jiu-jitsu practitioners are concerned, there is more content online everyday.

When more traditional martial arts were popularized in the 70’s-90’s the Internet simply wasn’t what it is today. Martial arts videos were distributed through VHS tapes (or betamax) from practitioner to practitioner. Content was spread more through word-of-mouth through a smaller martial arts community.

Pros and Cons of Learning Jiu-Jitsu Online Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Scottsdale AZToday, content is spread at a click of a button. Within seconds, anyone with access to the web can view whatever content someone wants to share, helping grow jiu-jitsu in popularity and develop as a martial art. Practitioners go as far as to provide full class instruction online. This, however, has caused some controversy within the jiu-jitsu community.

To students, the plethora of content is a double-edged sword. Here are the pros and cons of learning jiu-jitsu online.

Pros of Learning Jiu-Jitsu from the Internet

It helps spread great jiu-jitsu content. 

Since practitioners can share techniques and matches so easily, there’s more content today than ever. This means that new techniques can be spread quickly. In addition to the Internet, technology such as smart phones allow people to be able to record and share content without the use of video cameras. Reviewing your own matches and techniques is easier than ever.

It tests validity of jiu-jitsu techniques.

The ability to provide feedback via comments is powerful. It’s harder for ineffective techniques to pass as valid self defense techniques, now. Through the Internet, Internet trolls were born. Though these individuals can be annoying, there are still people providing legitimate critique that can be very helpful.

It helps people learn about jiu-jitsu.

Jiu-jitsu’s growth in popularity can be attributed to many factors. One of which is the ability to spread content online, exposing the art to people who never experienced jiu-jitsu otherwise. For example, take a look at Clark Gracie’s famous omoplata picture that went viral on many media sites. Though not exactly what people had in mind when it comes to spreading the name of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it happened, nevertheless.

Cons of Learning Jiu-Jitsu from the Internet

Students can forget the basics. 

With so much content, students (new ones specifically) can become overburdened by new techniques. They tend to attempt to “run before they walk,” so to speak. The basic techniques of jiu-jitsu are critical to any students jiu-jitsu. If you don’t learn the fundamentals, no amount of fancy techniques picked up online will help your jiu-jitsu game.

Pros and Cons of Learning Jiu-Jitsu Online Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Scottsdale AZOnline instruction isn’t the same.

Imagine learning how to drive a car from a YouTube video. Sure, you’ll learn the basic concepts, but it will never compare to the actual experience of driving a car. Jiu-jitsu is a lot like that…only the car is is a manual transmission, has 4 foot pedals, and someone is trying to choke you while you try to drive.

I completely understand the argument for providing online instruction and I agree with its benefits, especially to those who can’t get to a jiu-jitsu academy. However, there just isn’t any amount of video that will compare to the real thing.

The Internet is one of the greatest inventions in human history. It has changed the way people communicate and evolved our society in ways many people don’t even realize. It has impacted the jiu-jitsu and martial arts community in an incredible way. How you decide to use the content provided is up to you!

Learn About Gracie Barra Scottsdale

Gracie Barra is opening a new school in Scottsdale, AZ — one of many schools coming to Arizona, and the second in the state of Arizona. If you are interested in trying Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Gracie Barra Scottsdale, check out our Pre-Registration Special for a $100 coupon off your uniform & first month of classes, available only for the first 50 people who sign up! Learn more here.

~ Patrick J. Flores

writer patrick flores gracie barra brazilian jiu jitsu scottsdale azAbout the Author: Patrick’s love for martial arts began early on in life. He was greatly influenced by pop culture and the desire to mimic figures he saw on TV. This sparked his love affair with combat sports and the culture behind it. He obtained a BA in History from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and wrote his senior thesis on the development of Martial Arts within the United States. During this time, he practiced Karate, eventually receiving his black belt under Sensei Ray and Shawna Ginocchio in 2011. Soon after achieving his black belt in Karate, he began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Patrick is currently holding a purple belt under Professor Rafael Olivera and trains out of Gracie Barra Chino. In addition to training in jiu-jitsu, Patrick attends California State University Fullerton for his MBA. He hopes to one day use his experience, education, and passion for martial arts to develop a rewarding career.

Twitter: @patjflores
Instagram: @patjflores @bjjfotos

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