roy harris' bjj201

there is talk about this on roy's forum of course, but i don't see any threads here. i can say that this is without a doubt the best instructional by far that i have ever seen. it's totally different from all other instructionals. i believe there is a detailed review on roy's forum. i highly recommend this purchase.

More details please? :)

First off, I train under a Roy Harris affiliate, so I'm not entirely neutral on this DVD. With that being said, let's move on the review.
The DVD has very high production quality with clear audio and video, multiple camera angles, scrolling text, highlights of important points, and logical progression. It runs about 90 minutes in length. There are 12 links off of the main page. Ten of these are meat and potatoes instruction, one is an overview, and one is a link to the web resource. I'll touch briefly on the introduction and web resource before moving on to the main parts of the instructional.

The introduction is exactly what you would expect, Roy gives you an overview of what to expect, a link to the web resource, and credits to those who made the DVD possible. The web resource is referenced several times throughout the CD, and the web resource chapter of the DVD shows you the actual link to visit the web page. Sadly, the web page is down due to the hackers who attacked Roy's website.

The 10 Main Chapters:

1. Review Your Basics - This section is devoted to 21 basic techniques that lay foundations for movement later in jiu-jitsu. Roy provides a surprising amount of detail to these moves in a very short amount of time. He does this through the use of (1) very clear video, (2) detailed auditory instruction, (3) supplemental text instruction scrolling across the bottom of the screen during this section. If you're not familiar with these moves, you need to train more before moving on to other portions of the DVD. You are simply not ready to apply intermediate concepts until you can apply basic ones.

2. Tighten and Refine - In this chapter Roy asks you to examine how well you really know the techniques you think that you know. This section is not about teaching you new techniques to apply, it is about teaching you how to apply the techniques that you already know efficiently. Roy focus on those things that are common to all techniques, from posture, to hip movement, to shoulder movement. He then asks you to evaluate the way you think about jiu-jitsu. How many techniques do you? How well to you know them? Can you apply them? Can you flow in to these techniques, and then move on to another technique? I found this chapter to be very helpful. Reflecting upon how well I understand some things made me realize that I had only a surface level of understanding of some things, or that I did things only because that's the way others do them. Evaluating in this way can help you choose where to focus your training.
3. Common Mistakes - This section is exactly what the name implies - common mistakes. Roy deals with inefficient training methods and dangerous training methods, There was more than once where I found myself grinning sheepishly and saying "yeah, I don that sometimes, and I need to work on not doing it again." I think everyone will have that experience at least once during this chapter. Roy shows how quality time on the mat is every bit as important as quantity of time on the mat. Jiu-jitsu practitioners need to be active learners. Roy stresses that paying attention to detail will help people avoid common mistakes, and improve their overall game.

4. Theory - Here Roy shows the difference in thinking between beginner and intermediate students. Intermediate students focus on training methods, not techniques. Roy explains the rationale for this, the different training methods intermediate students use, and how the "rules of the game" change for intermediate students. I thought this was a great chapter, but it also showed me how far I have to go in my BJJ progress. My though process is definitely in more of a beginner phase, but this section game me a goal to work towards in how I process information.

5. Counters - This is an AWESOME section. Here Roy shows roughly 30 counters, and combination counters to common techniques. Roy counters all of the basic techniques in the first chapter and then some. His ability to chain counters is like that of a chess player. He blocks one technique, knowing that will expose another, because the knows that he can counter the follow up technique in such a fashion as to improve his position from the original position in which they started. It's amazing for me to see someone who responds to a collar choke by thinking "that's ok, I'll side mount him in 3 moves"!!!
6. Combinations - Anyone who has practiced BJJ for any length of time has come to realize that a single technique rarely if ever gets the job done. Roy explains the importance of combinations, four methods of training combinations, and several examples of combinations. Roy then gives a list of 100 combinations. Yes, one-hundred combinations!!!!! Practicing one combination per week, this section alone is enough to keep a person busy for two years. If I can get my training partners to do it, I think the two year challenge might not be a bad idea. (Hint, hint, TT!! :-P)

7. Timing - Everyone knows that good timing is important, yet no one ever explains how to train it other than to practice a lot. Roy begins by explaining that one needs to have developed both solid mechanics and awareness before they practice their timing. This makes a lot of sense. If you can't perform a technique correctly, does it matter if you seize the right moment to do the wrong thing? Roy provides several examples of good timing and bad timing, and how to train in order to develop your sense of timing. Roy then switches his focus to awareness. He asks a series of questions by which you can gauge you own level of awareness. He then suggests strategies for improving your awareness in the future. The concepts of this chapter will take lots of work to develop in to tangible skills, but I believe that they are also what separates the average BJJ guys from the great ones.

8. Positioning - Thing of this sections as 'posture with an edge.' Most people think of posture as being the base position in one of the major positions (guard, half guard, mount, side control, etc.) This section is more concerned about the in between situations that occur while positions are being exchanged or submissions are being attempted. Roy shows a series of simple methods to shut down common attacks by your opponent by the use of proper positioning. He also shows how good positioning can make the opponent feel uncomfortable enough to have to change position. This ability to make an opponent move where you want him to will eventually develop in to the ability to lead an opponent. I would have loved to have seen more detail on this subject, but that will have to wait until another DVD comes out. (BJJ 202? BJJ 301?)
9. Grappling Matches - Roy grapples with two of his students, one at a time, for several minutes. He lets is students in to his game, and applies the techniques and concepts that he has discussed throughout the DVD. He also says that several more matches, complete with voice-overs, are available on the web resource. As noted above, the web resource isn't functioning at the moment, but it has piqued my interest to see what it is like when Roy's website goes back up.

10. The Extras - This section has some outtakes from the shooting of the DVD. However, the true gem is Roy's discussion of limb entanglement, principles of limb entanglement, and how to train limb entanglement. Higher belts always seem to be able to wrap people up in in unusual ways from any position. Roy gives you a glimpse of how they do it here. Also included is a group of bonus pearls of wisdom about jiu-jitsu. Roy also shows the difference between cooperative and combative training, and how to use each. He briefly discusses the concept of vulnerabilities, preventing, and taking advantage of them.

BJJ 201 seems to more of a syllabus than an outright instructional. Each chapter builds progressively on the previous chapter, thus giving students something to build from and work towards at each step of the way. It's a product that you will go back to over and over again to work on the next chapter in your development. Roy's theories of progression, training, and teaching methods can help people grow in a way that a collection of techniques simply cannot. I would recommended this DVD to anyone who wishes to both improve their skills, and enhance their ability to become proficient in BJJ. - Croft >^..^< Mew!! ~(nn)

Excellent review, Croft.

wazzap Adam? You back to the frigid east coast yet, or are you still soakin' up the San Diego sun? :-)


Hey, TT!!

No, I got back to Brrmont last night. DID NOT WANT TO COME HOME!!

Jan fell in love with the climate, and Roy has predicted that we will be living there by September. I personally hope it is well before that!! ;)

How are things with you? Drop me an email.


Thanks for the detailed review! :)

Is this Gi or No-Gi? It sounds like it is a Gi tape?

it doesn't matter, the techniques are shown with the gi, but the tape focuses on training methodology and progression. it is the best tape i have ever seen by a long long long shot.

that sounds amazing...I would prefer that over submission moves etc.

I will be getting that one.

Equally applicable to gi as well as no-gi.

Best video in my entire library!!


....I just watched it (showed up this morning). I am still in shock. I'm going to have to watch it MANY more times, and then start to put the training he explains into action!

:whew: my brain hurts just thinking about it!


the dvd is however not as good as this:

But it DOES rival this:

(Sung by Bas himself, of course) HYS-terical :-)


Looks like this is one DVD NOT to miss. So many instructionals out there, its great when you get a good review even if it comes from someone NOT neutral like Croft.Ha! But after reading his long post I went directly to Roy's site. GOTTA GET IT !!

Next thing I GOTTA do is show up at the tuesday workouts with Chris and MSD.

Yo Chris: Things continue to be rough at work with LOTS of hours but Ive GOTTA get in there. February is the month to return say hi to the MSD boys 4 me.

All the best!

train safe, but TRAIN!!!!