With today’s modern technology, we basically can get anything we want in the palm of our hand, whether it’s a smartphone, iPad or laptop. Then, with those items in hand, we can find how-to information on almost any topic anyone would ever want to know about—how to tie a bow, how to cook a certain meal, how to juggle—the possibilities are endless (trust me, I looked it up). This can also apply to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community, and YouTube has now become one of the biggest conduits for constant evolution in our sport.

Back in the 1970s and 80s, when YouTube was non-existent, the development of techniques would only go as far as the walls surrounding the mats, unless you traveled often. Without YouTube or any type of social media, it was hard to see what others were doing, and thus it made it hard for some to develop their game to incorporate techniques from those that did not train at the same academy as them. This led to many students of the sport being limited to what they already knew and saw in person. At the same time, the lack of technology made it difficult for people to figure out counters for certain techniques others did, because they couldn’t study it well enough.

Of course, there were plenty of other ways to develop one’s game in those days and the lack of technology wasn’t the only thing holding many back, but it did set a limit on what people could learn compared to how it is today.

In this day and age, it is possible to find almost any technique just by simply typing it into a search on YouTube. There, you will most likely find an instructional video with someone breaking down the technique and explaining the details, which will allow you to practice it on your own without having to see it in person. Also, this makes it much easier to strategize for any tournament and any opponent, as they will probably have plenty of matches on YouTube to study and analyze. With that edge, it is possible to work on counters to what a potential opponent will do, because now the access to their game is readily available online.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be nearly impossible to be a complete master of everything just by looking on the internet, but it certainly can benefit one’s game a lot.

What we also see today is outside breakdowns of some of the best black belts’ styles and strategies. This gives anyone the ability to see, with the accompaniment of great explanation, how these top competitors continue to stay at the top. It is now possible to see what they use to win. Students from any school can further develop their game as they try to add on the new technique. One’s style with the access to the internet could be limitless, thanks to resources like YouTube.

Twenty years back, due to the lack of technology, hardly anyone would have seen Keenan Cornelius’ armbar versus Lucas Leite. Now, thanks to YouTube and thanks to jiu-jitsu athletes who are willing to break down the move, everyone can see it and learn the details of the move. Thanks to YouTube, I see people drilling the technique all the time!

On another note, if it weren’t for YouTube, we could never learn the intricacies of the best black belts in the world. Thankfully, though, modern technology gives that ability to everyone. Leandro “Lo” Nascimento’s style is very popular today due in large part to the BJJ Scout, who has diligently broken down his game in great detail. Now, it’s impossible to miss any details to the two-time World champion’s incredible guard passing style.

How has today’s technology helped your game in jiu-jitsu? What was the biggest thing you’ve picked up by looking over things on YouTube or social media sites? Comment below and let us know. Osss!

Photo: YouTube Logo (YouTube)

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor

Gianni Grippo is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia and trains at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City. Besides being a big fan of the sport, Gianni is also an avid competitor and has ranked among the best in the World from blue to brown belt winning 6 IBJJF World titles and 7 Pan Championships. Still at 21, Gianni looks to continue to compete for many years to come as his main goals are to win the World championships at black belt and win the ADCC title.