No so much an Old Munk guest post but a joint review we did a while ago of the Jui-Jitsu Brotherhood Digital Grappling tool.
When I first heard about the Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood Digital Grappling I was slightly concerned. Obviously being the project of Roger Gracie blackbelt Nicolas Gregoriades it did have good backing. But at present there a whole of host of online tools and resources. Most of them follow a similar model of providing a range of interconnected technical videos of techniques, which you can delve in and out of. Marcelo Garcia’s MG in Action is the one that I have had the most experience with. I have also seen Gracie University and how that works. The question that obviously springs to mind is what is going to make the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood Digital Grappling different from the others? When I accessed digital grappling I was actually surprised as they have managed to come up with a fresh concept for online instructions.
Digital grappling is an interactive resource, which as far as I am aware sets it apart from the others out there. In fact, I think it would be better to describe it as BJJ interactive learning and gaming. There are two aspects to the resource. Practise and competition mode. Both work on the same basis, in that you are given a selection of options with the next move or the outcome dependant on your selected actions. If you are an Old Munki like me you may have played “choose your own adventures” when you were a child. This works on kind of the same principle. Yes, I may be showing my age there, but it is a good example.
Practise mode is just like training at the gym. You can choose what position you want to start in and you take it from there. You don’t score points but you do reset if you get the tap. Competition mode is as you would expect, always starts from standing and you score points as per IBJJF rules, but you don’t win till you secure the tap. It’s through competition mode you progress through the level earning stripes and ultimately your new belt.
What Digital Grappling isn’t is an instructional video. It doesn’t show you how to perform a technique, but what it does do really well, is show you how to chain what you have learnt together and ultimately improve the flow of your game. For every move, you have 3-4 options with an accompanying picture. The pictures are definitely needed, as whilst most options are self-explanatory sometimes they may not be quite how you refer to a technique in your academy. There were a few times when I had to actually think and work out what they meant. Initially, the game is a little repetitive making it quite easy to work out a winning result. This gives you the opportunity to get used to how the site works. However, as you progress the game does become more realistic with the same pattern of movement having different results and challenges which in turn earns you a promotion. This way of testing yourself does have the result of make it more than a little addictive.
Mrs Munki has recently had a jiu jitsu double whammy a cold followed by an injury, both of which has resulted in a lot of time off the mat and as we all do, she really hated not being able to train. I gave her access to the site to help her cope with the time off. It turned out that this is where the site can really come into its own. Making her feel like she was still learning and improving, whilst physically not able to. The ability to get a speedy response to your actions and decision making really worked well. She really enjoyed using it a lot. For me, I liked the fact that it was so intuitive to use help on the nights I couldn’t get to class because of work. As a blue and a pretty experienced white belt, we both found it really useful for game planning and development. I think it’s these aspects that really differentiates the site from the others out there and in fact, for me makes it quite unique. It focuses not on showing you techniques but actually makes you think about your game and its flow. Almost making you understand the way techniques work together and encourages you to think about how you would roll. Effectively it is virtual grappling.
The site is optimised to work on both laptops and tablets, as we used both to access it. Overall the site is an innovative addition to what is becoming a crowded online market place. Its a site I will definitely use again and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone to check out, you can find it here. Especially if you are looking for something to actively support your game. Plus something that is a little more than an instructional.