Review-Roy Harris' BJJ 101 Vol 1,2

Hey everyone, I am completing some reviews on some of Roy Harris' material. I will be posting more in the coming days. I know there is a discussion as of late about teaching fundamentals, and some questions on the best DVDs out there for beginners. These DVDs are some of the best that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. Many of them were converted from VHS to DVD recently and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the conversions. Without further delay, here are the reviews for BJJ 101, volume 1 and 2.

Review-Roy Harris' 'BJJ 101 Revised', Volumes 1 and 2 DVDs

Opening Comments: BJJ 101, volumes 1 through 3 are consistent in their scope, their philosophy, their quality of production and transfer to DVD, and their target skill level. I have chosen to review volumes 1 and 2 together, as they mirror each other in their application. I will be reviewing volume 3 together with the heel hook seminar, as the heel hook seminar is consistent with volume 3, and can be treated as an extension of volume 3.

For those of you who do not know Roy Harris, he is a phenomenal teacher and grappler. He has extensive experience in many martial arts systems including Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Kali, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Sambo (to name a few). One of the things that I personally like about Roy Harris' BJJ DVDs is that he takes the basics and shows you what it takes to bring the basics to an advanced level.

On a personal note, I am always blown away watching the advanced competitors applying fundamental techniques as smoothly and as precisely as they do. The philosophy of these DVDs is to help you take the fundamentals and make them the foundation of your game. The DVDs address the mechanics, attributes, and strategies that it takes to apply these very basic techniques on an advanced level.

Throughout the DVDs, Roy is sharing principles, guidelines, etc. that make the techniques work. I like the idea that he is always very consistent in what he is teaching, and that he always refers back to 'space and weight' (you'll see why when you see the videos a few times). The bottom line is that beginners and intermediate players frequently ask what the best instructional resources are for the basics. Here they are.

Target Skill Level: Beginner (I feel more comfortable calling it 'fundamental').

Lighting/Sound/Etc: Excellent. There were no issues hearing or seeing what was being taught. Lighting was very good and sound was very clear. A very professional job.

Production Quality: Excellent. Well organized and well delivered.

Organization: Outstanding. The BJJ 101 DVD is the revised edition, with material that was not on the original VHS tape. Roy Harris did the conversion from VHS to DVD, and the DVD was given a standard menu set-up. You can go to the menu and go directly to the chapter you desire. It's a 'scroll and click' type of list. Very helpful compared to the old VHS tape.

I have to give credit to Adam LaClair for the transfer of the material from VHS to DVD on BJJ 101, volume 2. He really did an outstanding job. For BJJ 101 volume 2, the menu is different in that you can open 'scene selection' and you have a menu of boxes, a box for each chapter.

The box shows a partial clip of the beginning of the chapter, which I thought was an excellent idea and provides the viewer with a visual to assist in the navigation of the DVD. On both DVDs, the organization and delivery of the material is excellent, everything is highest quality.

BJJ 101 Volume 1 Revised: Fundamentals, Guard Passing and Escapes

Introduction/Opening Content:

Part A: Theory:

1) 3 Fundamental factors for proficiency

2) Road Map to Success in BJJ

3) Teaching Methods

a. Principles and Guidelines
b. Formulas
c. Techniques
d. Progression

4) Principles

Techniques/Technical Content:

Fundamentals 1: Posture

a. Posture #1 from the guard
b. Posture #2 from the guard
c. Posture #3 from the guard

d. Posture #1 from the mount bottom
e. Posture #2 from the mount bottom
f. Posture #1 from side control bottom
g. Posture #2 from side control bottom

Fundamentals 2: Snake move #1

Fundamentals 3: Snake move #2

Fundamentals 4: Snake move #3

Fundamentals 5: Go to the knees #1

Fundamentals 6: Go to the knees #2

Fundamentals 7: Go to the knees #3

Part B: Mount Escapes:

1) Upa

2) Upa variation

3) Elbow/Knee Escape

4) Foot lift

5) Foot drag

6) Give the arm

7) Foot on the bicep

Part C: Guard Passing:

  1. Principles and guidelines: (Space and Weight)

  2. Formula

  3. Breaking the guard/Single Under Guard Pass

  4. Single Under Guard Pass with varying types of resistance

  5. Variations of single under guard pass:

a. Single Under Guard Pass-if he blocks knee passing over his leg, switch to Double Underhook guard pass.

b. Dealing with opponent hooking foot

Part D: Side Control Escapes:

  1. Principles and guidelines
  2. Formulas
  3. Escape #1: Elbow/Knee Escape
  4. Escape #2: Bridge and Roll
  5. Spin underneath
  6. Spin to your knees

Part E: Head and Arm, Cradle and Kesa-Gatame Escapes:

  1. Principles and Guidelines: (Space and Weight)

  2. Formulas:

  3. Hook the leg

  4. Bridge and roll

  5. Escaping Wrestler's Cradle

  6. Kesa-gatame

Part F: Combos and Drills:

  1. Combination Principles and Training

  2. Combo/Drill #1

  3. Combo/Drill #2

  4. Combo/Drill #3

  5. Some simple combinations from the mount

  6. Some simple combinations from side control

  7. Simple combinations from the guard

  8. Drills:

a. Escape from mount
b. Passing the guard
c. Escape side control
d. Escape head and arm

  1. Extra Techniques (Roy shares some extra goodies on passing the guard among other things.

    Pay close attention and you'll know why Roy was a legend on the basketball courts in Minnesota).

  2. Grappling matches and web resources are also included.

BJJ 101 Volume 2: Positional Dominance

Introduction/Opening Content:

Roy introduces himself and discusses his background, and takes the time to introduce his assistants. He then goes on to briefly discuss positional dominance and what he calls 'four rules of engagement'.

Techniques/Technical Content:

  1. The Mounted Position: Roy shows and discusses several methods of holding mount and maintaining the position. He demonstrates flowing from one position to another.

a. Discusses principles, guidelines and formulas (focus on space and weight)

b. Position #1-Top Mount

c. Position #2-Top Mount

d. Position #3-Side Mount (not cross-body!)

e. Position #4-Back Mount

f. Dealing with opponent pushing on stomach or chest

g. Dealing with opponent pushing on legs

h. Proper placement of your feet

  1. The Guard Position: Roy focuses on the open guard and shows methods of keeping opponent's weight off of you, as well as ways to prevent him from passing and keeping him off balance. The whole time he is demonstrating on a student and it's pretty amazing to watch how easily he dominates the student using exactly what he is discussing.

a. Principles and Guidelines (discusses space and weight) and Formula.

b. Pushing

c. Hooking

d. Playing with his balance

e. Playing with his neck and arms

  1. Hold Downs: Across-Side/Kesa Gatame/Knee-on-Stomach.

a. Principles and Guidelines (discusses space and weight) and Formula.

b. Position #1: Across-Side Variation

c. Position #2: Across-Side Variation

d. Position #3: Across-Side Variation

e. Position #4: Across-Side Variation

f. Position #5: Across-Side Variation

g. Position #6: Across-Side Variation

h. Position #7: 'Side-Ride' Variation

i. Position #8: 'Side-Ride' Variation

j. #9: Kesa Gatame: Standard Head-and-Arm

k. #10: Knee-on-Belly

  1. Roy demonstrates these techniques in combination on one of his students.

  2. Live Partner Drill: one partner dominates, one escapes

  3. Live Partner Drill: one partner passes guard, one maintains guard

  4. Live Partner Drill: sensitivity development drill

  5. Closing comments by Roy

  6. Ends with some excerpts from future volumes, as well as a few (3) grappling matches between Roy and opponents in competition. Roy practices what he preaches and kicks ass doing it.

End review here.

Good review. I have both and, will get to watching them. BJJ over 40 had my interest recently.


BOTH of these titles, Roy Harris BJJ 101 Volume 1 Revised, DVD version, and the Roy Harris BJJ 101 Volume 2, DVD version, will be going on sale April 1st.

Good review!

Thanx for the review.


The sale is on!