Company: Panther Productionss
Name: Gracie Brazilian JiuJitsu - Blue Belt Techniques
Length of Tape/Time: 44 minutes
Return Policy: for damages and defects
in dealing with this company: Fair
Instructor: Carlson Gracie Jr
Company's Address: 1000 Century Blvd, Midwest, OK, 73110
Company's Phone Number: 1-800-626-2787
Web Page: http://www.centurymartialarts.com/accessories/media
Primary Grading Criteria:
Production/Tape Quality: 9
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
Score/Immediate Understanding: 8
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better
Martial Artist: 8
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 8
6. Degree to which we would
recommend this product: 8
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number, the less "
fluff" /repetition ): 10
8. Playback Score/Watching if over-and-over again:
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 9
10. Overall grade
based on cost vs. value: 9
Grand Total: 87 % (Fair = 1.75 Stars )
Secondary Grading Criteria:
Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Fair
3. Advanced benefit:
4. Time to benefit: Most material is of immediate benefit.
5. The need
to buy additional tapes to understand this one: Probably
first review in nearly 3.5 yrs, I wanted to start off big, so I decided to check
out one of the Gracie's, and do so with the biggest tape company Century/Panther.
First, I'd like to thank Century/Panther for providing us this entire series.
are going to review the first tape in this eight tape series. Why did I pick this
series? For years I've known about this series, wondered about it, and had many questions.
What questions specifically did I have? Well first, one has to look at the series
itself, and contemplate it's intent/purpose? The series is based on eight tapes,
two tapes per rank/belt (blue, purple, brown, black). The main word in the series
is titled "techniques". This would lead one to believe that these are either
all the techniques, or at a minimum the main techniques, for each rank/belt. Based
on that, one can't help but wonder/conclude "If I buy this series, maybe I'll
know all the techniques, or at least the main ones, to be the equivalent of a Gracie
There are several perspectives from which to grade a series
such as this, and one can't help but think about that, while watching and grading.
What are those perspectives? Thoughts running through me head were: "Is this
everything required per belt, or just some of it, and how would a person really know?"
Seems to me the only way a person would know, is if they were either a Carlson Gracie
Blue Belt, or Carlson Gracie Black Belt. Myself not being either, yet having exposure
to other Gracie tapes, and other Jujitsu tapes, along with one-on-one Jujitsu training,
I'm going to step out on a limb and say that based on this first tape, I suspect
it won't cover everything, and probably just the high points. So let's go through
the first tape.
The first instructional scene on the tape starts out with
Carlson on his back, with another black belt sitting on his stomach. This scene is
meant to discuss the Guard position. How a person gets to the Guard, meaning the
takedown, was a big question mark in my mind, especially if I pretend I'm watching
this scene with no prior knowledge. I must say that bugged me a bit. Why was that
such a big deal to me? Allow me to digress for a minute. Let's say I'm a beginner,
with no prior knowledge of jujitsu, I heard of the Gracie's, and this is the first
set of jujitsu tapes I ever purchased. I think that is a believable scenario. Why
believable? Well let's say I'm a huge Panther/Century fan, I've heard of the Gracie's,
and I want to start out my jujitsu knowledge/collection with the best (Gracie's),
thinking this might teach me all the Gracie Jujitsu belt requirements/techniques.
Again pretending to have no knowledge, yet having some, I suspect that all Gracie
techniques can't be taught in 8 tapes. Some Panther "belt requirement"
series are as large as 40 tapes! I saw on this first tape about 11 techniques, and
this is the first blue belt tape, for a total of 2 blue belt tapes. If the numbers
hold true on the next tape, is it fair to assume it might only take a total of 22
techniques, to earn a Gracie blue belt? I suspect not. There are probably 1000's
of techniques/sub-techniques one must learn to become a Gracie black belt, and at
least a hundred per belt, especially if there are 4 colors to black! Having said
all that, let's get back to reviewing the tape.
This tape takes the viewer
through: the guard, side control, mount, mount transitioning to a sitting back position,
mount transitioning to about 3 cross choke variations, a couple of arm bar variations
from the mount, choke from the back position, and passing the guard. I counted about
11 techniques. My opinion, a little weak on the number of techniques covered in 44
Let's quickly go through some things that bothered me about this
tape, in addition to what's been already mentioned: Why isn't Carlson ("Junior")
teaching/talking? Is it due to an inability to speak the English language, or a slight
lack thereof? Ideally, I'd rather be hearing things from-the-horses-mouth (the man),
versus one of his students. Even though "the man" is there, I can't help
but wonder if I'm getting a watered-down-version of things.
with some things that bothered me, next, let's delve into what I'll call the "missing
gaps" in this tape. Of the 11 techniques, all were explained fairly well. There
were some minor detailed explanations missing here-and-there. All-in-all the tape
left me feeling I was missing something, it's hard to pinpoint what exactly, but
I just felt like it was haphazardly thrown together. Best way for me to describe
it, I just felt like at times the tape lacked a proper flow. I didn't particularly
care for the way the tape began and ended, regarding opening comments or closing
comments, which were IMHO non-existent. And at times, there wasn't sufficient explanation
given, regarding transitioning from one technique to the next.
I ideally would have like to seen, or been told, so I wasn't left wondering so many
things, and having tons of questions: Is the number of techniques shown in this series
exactly what it takes (technique wise) to get a Gracie blue belt. If the first scene
on the tape (the mount), is this the very first thing a student is taught, or are
there other things taught prior to this. And, what is the estimated time a person
should spend on each technique shown, before moving on to the next technique.
of the things I did like: Unlike some jujitsu tapes I've seen, it didn't seem like
a lot of time was wasted with too much repetition of the same technique. The tape
was roughly 44 minutes long, 11 techniques, so on the average about 4 minutes per
technique. During each technique, time was spent covering detailed explanation of
each move. There were (IMHO) some details left out, but for the most part, a pretty
thorough job of explaining things was done. I've seen tapes do a better job, and
I've seen tapes do worse.
I had a big question I kept asking myself after
watching this tape. "How many times would I watch this tape, before I either
felt I knew the techniques, or was bored with it?" I couldn't picture myself
watching more than a half dozen times. There are literally some jujitsu tapes I own
that I could watch every day, till the end of time, and never get tired of. This
wasn't one of them.
I'm initially inclined to judge this tape a little on
the harsh side, because after watching it, I had more questions than answers. Some
jujitsu tapes I own answer all questions I have. However, I'm going to reserve judgement
until I've watched the other tapes in this series. Maybe some of my questions will
be answered on tape 2, maybe not. I won't know until I watch it. Based on what I
saw, I'll say this, I'll be watching it with a little more pessimism than I did this
one, expecting answers to questions from tape 1. And maybe the answers aren't on
tape 2, maybe they are further down the line, on one of the other tapes in this series.
I'll try to keep this in mind. So what are your thoughts? Should a tape stand on
it's own, and answer all questions, or make you want to see the answers on one of
the additional tapes in the series.
I will say this, Carlson Jr. had another
series, called "Self Defense", which Century/Panther says is no longer
available. Could answers to questions I have be on that series? And if they are,
and this series is the only one a person can currently get from Century/Panther,
how much value is there in only buying this series, if it leaves tons of questions
Stay tuned, I'll let you know what I find out, which I suspect
won't be fully uncovered until I get to tape 8.
Click here to go to reviews 401-500
1997-2016 Martial Arts Video Reviews. All Rights Reserved.