This review is unsolicited, and I have no affiliation with anyone in the instructional business.Michael Jen's Ultimate Guard Passing 1 DVD series gets my coveted 5 fingers rating. This is a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 fingers for the absolute best essential videos, and 1 finger for Junsado Ground Combat , which I actually bought years ago but threw away in revulsion. UGP1 comes on 2 DVDs. DVD 1 has a running length of approximately 90 minutes and covers posture, breaking open the guard from the knees, the chest hug pass, and the leg on shoulder pass. DVD 2 has a running length of approximately 45 minutes and covers breaking open the guard from standing, leg on shoulder pass for open guard, passing from standing and grabbing the legs(bullfighting type passes), and has a few clips of guard passing in live sparring with Joe Moreira. Pretty much all of DVD 1 is applicable to gi or no-gi, while pretty much all of DVD 2 is suitable for gi only.UGP1 is exactly what an instructional should be, with an ideal format and pace. There aren't that many moves, but all the major basics are covered. The average move gets 5-10 minutes of explanation with no time wasted on anything repetitive. How is this possible? For just about every single move, Jen explains:Principles: he doesn't just show specific techniques, but also explains common principles that can be applied to many techniques. He also explains and demonstrates WHY these principles hold true. He never makes any assertion like "lean this way" or "put your hand here" without demonstrating why. This is very important. Many instructors will tell you "always do this" or "never do that", but they don't explain why. It is crucial for your understanding of jiu-jitsu to know WHY you do things. He also explains WHEN each pass is appropriate.
Detail: There are tons of little details. Even if you know all the moves, guaranteed there are some details that he shows that you don't know. Some highlights include the discussion of posture in the first DVD and the use of the leg on shoulder pass to defend the triangle and the armbar from the triangle position. Follow-ups to common resistance: He demonstrates how to counter all of the most common defenses to the passes, and importantly, he explains WHEN each counter is appropriate.Common beginner mistakes: This is important if you're learning the move from the video. The most common problem with learning a move from video is that you don't know if you're doing it wrong. Conclusion: The UGP1 series is a must have for anyone, gi or no-gi, beginner to advanced. Even though DVD 2 is mostly applicable to gi only, in my opinion it's worth it for a no-gi person to buy the series just for DVD 1. Five fingers. http://www.jenbjj.com/Merchandise/- Andrew Yao
Excellent review! I especially like the fact that you
emphasized how Jen highlights the common mistakes that
beginners make. This is something that a lot of instructors
don't do in their instructional videos. However, when
included, the common beginner mistakes are what
distinguish the really great beginning level instructionals
(Jen, Cesar Gracie) from the rest since they really help you
learn the science that goes into making a move work.
thats my christmas present!!
TTT! Best single instructional ever!
The best videos on the subject of guard passing out there!
I own it and love it as well.