I really enjoy grappling. While I don’t consider myself even to be an advanced student of grappling, I really enjoy the training and conditioning it provides. And, without a doubt good grappling skills are essential to being a well-rounded martial artist.
While good local grappling instruction has become easier to find over the last five or ten years, some of you may not live close to a good grappling school.
And even if you do, I can tell you from experience that without understanding the principles and strategies that underlie good grappling technique, you can flounder for years at the same skill level… even when under the supervision of a knowledgeable instructor.
More Opportunities Than Ever To Get Top-Notch Grappling Instruction
The great thing is that there are some really phenomenal grappling instructors right here in the U.S. that have chosen to share their hard-earned knowledge with the public via DVDs, online content, books, and seminars.
In no particular order, here’s a short-list of four American grappling coaches that offer really top-quality grappling resources and information for instructors and school owners:
I happened across an ad for Stephan’s DVDs a while back, ordered one, and was highly impressed with both the quality and the content of the material. More recently, I subscribed to receive his Roadmap for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program, which I believe is the best free jiu-jitsu program for beginners I’ve ever seen.
In fact, his free books and DVDs are better than some of the grappling resources I’ve paid for in the past…
Stephan has a way of breaking down the basic concepts in a way that makes it easy to see the entire game of grappling, and how different pieces fit together. Stephan is also giving away a free grappling DVD right now, in order to promote his new online grappling concepts course (I don’t think he’s going to be offering it for much longer, so if you want the free DVD go get it now.)
David Meyer and his Aussie business partner John Will created one of the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu curricula designed to help martial arts instructors learn and teach BJJ. Although the course has been around for quite some time, the material is still relevant as a valuable resource for any school owner who would like to teach jiu-jitsu in their schools.
More an informal association than a draconian organization, their BJJ America affiliate program offers support and guidance for instructors who are sincerely interested in offering a legitimate grappling program in their schools. And although the DVDs and manuals aren’t cheap, their association fees are very reasonable (almost non-existent, in my opinion) and they are very easy to work with.
It is my personal opinion that Roy Harris is the best-kept secret among American jiu-jitsu coaches and technicians. I have yet to meet anyone who combines the same degree of technical skill and overall intellectual depth as Mr. Harris. He turns out some of the most highly technical and physically precise jiu jitsu practitioners that I’ve had the privilege to witness.
You can find out more about Mr. Harris at his website, http://www.royharris.com/.
Erik is the guy MMA pros turn to when they need to know how to grapple for the cage and ring. One of the most highly respected grappling coaches in the United States, his knowledge of the grappling game and MMA makes him a highly sought after coach and trainer for both pro and up and coming amateur fighters.
You can find out more about Erik Paulson (and check out photos and videos of his new training center) at http://erikpaulson.com/.
I know there are many, many more great grappling coaches here in the U.S., but please note that I chose to list the instructors above based on my own personal positive experiences with their DVDs and instruction.
At any rate, I hope that the above list may serve as a good starting point for those of you who may be just starting to add grappling to your repertoire, and also for those of you who are more experienced but are looking for new learning experiences.
Until next time,
Michael D. Massie
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