Van Arsdale / Jackson Videos

Anyone seen these? How are they? I don't have a wrestling background (well I did a 3 week unit on it in junior high=). Any reviews would be helpfull, skill level, techniques, etc...


I think WMA puts out great products but this series I didn't like as much. I think for price other resources on wrestling might be a better deal.

I've got em. I'll post you a detailed review when I get a chance later on today.

P.S. The Daryl Gholar DVD is an awesome choice as well.

I don't think that a lot of the material is as well organised as it could be especially for novice wrestlers.

It is of course always beneficial observing top class wrestlers in action and for those with some experience there will be some moves worth picking up.

It possibly suffered by attempting to attract the mma market but not being clear at who it was being aimed.
Overall- some worthwhile stuff but could have been a lot better.

I am sorry to say that unlike most people here I do not like Gholar's freestyle technique and while he may be ok for mma I would not recommend his work as a model for freestyle wrestling.


could you elaborate more on as to what your criticism of Gholar's freestyle technique is?

What tapes or tape set(s) would you recommend for newbies who are looking for wrestling instruction for wrestling/submission grappling (not MMA)?

Hey Grundy!

Here's my reveiw on the Ultimate Wrestling series by Mike Vanarsdale and Kevin Jackson. First off before I start I will give you some background on my training. I have been training submission for almost six years with everyone from John Alessio and Denis Kang to Marcus Soares and Frank Shamrock. I have competed in several sub fighting tournies, bjj tournies as well as fought in NHB. I have never received any formal wrestling training other than what I have picked up from friends and the odd training partner. So for me the Ultimate series looked like the right training tool. Ok so on to the tapes: Tape one; Takedown Fundamentals. This tape basically covers stances, movement, body position, both offensive and defensive and preparing the body position for the takedown. A lot of stress is placed on the back step, this being an independent movement before the level change and in my opinion if not performed in conjunction with footwork it could be seen as telegraphing. Overall this tape covers what it's designed to do, prepare your position for the takedown. One of the major downfalls of the tape however is it seems as if Mike tries to cater to the mma fighter as well as the wrestler. These, as you know are two entirely different animals, so many conflicts in the body position result from this. One example being the strong side forward in the stance. I think they should have addressed bridging the gap in the stance first to obtain the strong side forward before you engage in the wrestling techniques. Tape 2 Takedowns Part 1: the biggest problem with this tape is the total lack of detail in what I feel is one of the most important takedowns in mma the double leg. There is only a brief description down by Kevin without a knee drop and as far as I'm concerned I think both types of double leg should have been covered. Other takedowns such as the heel pick and single leg are adequate and I found them informative. Tape 3 Takedowns Part 2: Similar to the previous tape with arm drag variations, high crotch to double leg and set ups for each. Tape 4 Throws and Foot Sweeps; I found this tape to be the most informative of the bunch. It covers more upper body takedowns and foot positions. I found this was the area I knew least about and I am still trying to incorporate some of these movements in my sparring. Tape 5 and 6 are Takedown defenses; these two tapes are also very informative especially for the novice grappler. These tapes cover the sprawl, defending the single leg, double leg, defense when someone takes your back and key hints and points to remember when defending the takedown. Ok so my overall impression of the tape series. Aside from the regular overlap and filler that all tape series include, I think this series is a must for a novice wrestler training in mma. Please keep in mind I said mma training. I think there are probably better tapes out there for someone looking for strictly wrestling techniques. But an mma guy doesn't need a lot of technical fancy takedowns. He just needs the fundamentals, which is what these tapes will give you. So in summary: Pro's; good clear explanation, thourough coverage of basic wrestling techniques geared towards mma. Cons; a weak emphasis on the double leg, and a poor transition in the stances pertaining to mma. I hope this basic review helps you, if you have any specific questions, let me know.

Holy shit sorry about the lack of paragraphs. That's hard to read!!

Gholar is basically a Greco wrestler. A fine one at that but I don't think that his freestyle technique is
at the same level which is very noticeable if you watch his tapes. On the other hand he doesn't pretend to be teaching pure freesyle so perhaps to that extent
he shouldn't be criticised.

As specific examples he has his front hand over back in the high single which is much easier to break than the other way and if you do it that way at least you need to stress the potential drawbacks. He also shows the high crotch as an outside step-similar to a duck under- which can be ok but really I think it should be shown with an inside step as the mainstream technique.

Theer is no single resource which shows everything.You can use something like the Wrestling syllabus or even Zeke Jones' series to get an overview and then move onto the more specialist tapes of specific moves in accordance with your needs.

As a beginner I think that you need some technical understanding of:
1. Double leg
2. High single
3. Sweep single
4. Low or John Smith single
5. High crotch
6. Firemans carry

You need to have some idea about how to apply them from
an open position and a tie and how to set up each technique. You also need to be able to defend against each attack.

For the sweep single,for example,the Wrestling syllabus is inadequate and you will need to refer to say the Granby tape or the one by Tom Brands which covers a lot of the same ground.

The wrestling syllabus is also weak on defence and accordingly you will need say John Smith, Greg Strobel or even the Van Arsdale/Jackson tapes to fill in the gaps.

Sorry I cannot help with the sub grapppling.

Cool review, revboy!

Cool thanks for the info guys, I am not really looking to add it for MMA, just for my BJJ. What do you guys think, the Syllabus? I have someone to practice with and correct me that has been to the Olympic trials three times so he is a pretty good wrestler, but he doesn't have a lot of time to just teach me from square one. I am kind of looking for something that will go from say day one wrestling to some more advanced stuff. Drills, skills etc...

Hey Grund, In all honesty, If you are looking for something to improve your standup Bjj gi training, I really think your best bet is some Judo training. I train with a Judo black belt whom I outweigh by 50lbs. I can outwrestle him fairly well. Put a Gi on him and he literally wipes the mat with me. No exaggeration. He competed in a Bjj tourney for the first time about 3 months ago. He absolutely owned his division. If your looking for no-gi training, I do think you will gain some good basics and even a few tricks with the Van Arsdale videos