Rob Biernacki Online Academy review

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu' started by Tony Dismukes, May 2, 2018.

  1. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,445
    Likes Received:
    3,919
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    I’m a big fan of BJJ instructional videos, but not all instruction is created equal.

    Some videos just show new techniques or variations I’m not familiar with. These are fun, but not always good for much more than a distraction. I already know enough techniques to keep me busy for a lifetime and have probably forgotten just as many.

    Some videos show new techniques, but put them together as part of an organized game and explain the details that make them work. These can be more useful, if the game being covered is one that I can devote serious mat time to. Unfortunately, I only have the time and energy for a limited number of these. I’m an AARP-eligible amateur hobbyist and I only have so many hours I can spend on the mat before my body starts threatening a general strike.

    Some videos show how to refine and improve the fundamental techniques I’ve been using for years. I love these. Nothing makes me happier than discovering a better way to execute a move I’ve been using for 20 years. I really wish more videos and seminars would be devoted to this approach.

    Then you have the truly rare instructional series that teaches concepts in a way which illuminates everything – old and new, advanced and basic, big picture and microscopic detail. This is the case for Rob Biernacki’s online academy at https://www.bjjconcepts.net. ($20/month or $200/year)

    Rob joins an increasingly crowded field of online sites offering video instruction for a monthly fee. Unlike some of the others, he is not a world champion or a world-class competitor and his last name isn’t Gracie. From my perspective, he’s something much better – a world-class teacher. I’ve been subscribed to his site for a month now and have already gotten much more value than I have from some much more expensive videos from much higher ranked practitioners.

    Rob’s lessons are laid out in a series of short easily digestible videos, typically around 3 – 7 minutes long. These are organized into levels and subject groupings. The place to begin is his “Core Concepts” page. The videos on this page lay out the underlying principles that every single technique video in the following sections are built on. I cannot emphasize this enough. Every single subsequent video refers back to these concepts. He shows plenty of precise details, but every time he shows how each detail is just an application of one of those concepts in a particular context. After a while, it starts to change how you understand and analyze new information.

    I’ve actually been working in a similar direction in my own practice and teaching for a while now, but Rob is much further down the path. His organization and articulation of the concepts is better than mine in most cases. He’s also doing a better job of applying the concepts universally. More than once already I’ve come across a detail where I think “huh – I already apply that principle in a bunch of other techniques, why didn’t I think to apply it here?”

    The site is relatively new, so the number of topics covered to date is limited. However there is already plenty of material to keep you busy for a while and they seem to add a fair number of new videos every week. So far, the focus seems to be on sport application. I’m more of a street self-defense application guy, but I don’t mind. The underlying concepts all still apply.

    The topics covered so far are a bit scattered. I think maybe Rob is choosing the lessons to create based on how well they illustrate the physical principles he is trying to instill. As of this date, for example, there is no closed guard material.

    Speaking of sport, my sport game is fairly basic because I don’t have the time to get into the weeds of all the new guards and passing approaches that seem to be invented every month. After just a month of studying Rob’s approach, I feel that I not only have plenty of material for improving my current game, but I have a better understanding of what my more sport-minded peers are doing.

    As for any video instruction, this site is valuable as a supplement to (not a replacement for) regular classes. I wouldn’t recommend it for a brand new student, because he presupposes some base knowledge of vocabulary, positions, and intent. Other than that I’d say anyone with at least a few months of experience could benefit from what is being taught. I’ve been involved with BJJ for about 20 years and I’m getting a lot out of it. I’m also selecting some details and explanations to share with my white belt students.

    The only downside I’ve encountered with the site so far was an issue with videos freezing. That appears to have been a browser-specific problem. I was using Safari on my iPad and when I switched to using Chrome the problem went away.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  2. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    san diego
    Online videos are good for basic review but that's about it. Many details can be left out and the feel of another person when they do this instead of that. It's always best to learn from someone who actually knows and is physically there.
     
  3. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,058
    Likes Received:
    2,093
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Thank you for the sharing this. Like always, a good review without all of the "This guy guy kicks butt and does magical stuff."
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    21,858
    Likes Received:
    6,417
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    For an advanced practitioner (like Tony), they can be used for more than just review. I've learned some new approaches to groundwork from some good BJJ videos in the past, and I'm not nearly as advanced as Tony in groundwork (though I have some background in it), and probably not in MA in general (though I'd count myself as an "advanced practitioner").

    I wouldn't suggest videos for a beginner, but with a base in similar principles, it's possible to learn from videos, at least where (as in the case of BJJ/groundwork, and similar grappling), there's instant feedback when practicing with a partner.
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    21,858
    Likes Received:
    6,417
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Thanks, Tony. I always appreciate review like this. You tell us why you like (or don't like) something, and the reasons are always...reasonable. Reviews like this one make me want to pay $200 I shouldn't for something like this, even when I don't have time to leverage it. If I go broke, it's your fault.
     
  6. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,058
    Likes Received:
    2,093
    Trophy Points:
    263
    The website has a down to earth approach.

    I like this statement a lot. "Discover how a conceptual understanding of BJJ can change your game, both as a student, and a teacher." Mainly because it makes no promises.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,445
    Likes Received:
    3,919
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    For anyone who wants a taste of Rob's conceptual approach without signing up for the online academy, here's his YouTube channel: Island Top Team

    His student Rory, who assists him in most of the instructional videos, also has his own channel: RVV BJJ
     

Share This Page