Mendes Bros Online Training Review
I signed myself up the Mendes Bros online training site last month in a bid to further delve into the moves we cover in class and as a way of coming up with material to drill during day time sessions. Having tried one or two other online training programs, I wasn't overly confident that this one would prove to be what I was looking for. Would it be well laid out? Would the techniques offer logical and well thought out transitions and ways of linking the moves together? What would the quality be like? These are all pretty common things to encounter dealing with online training, so here is what I found.
The reason I mention this point first is because for me this is a standout feature. The quality is excellent. Video resolution is really good and the training areas is well lit, clean and pleasing on the eye. A lot of BJJ recordings I have seen have either been crappy quality, or have had the usual faux pas like microphone's on their gi so you get that annoying muffled sound when the other dude leans on them, or whatever slightly amateurish errors it might be. None of that here. Whoever put it together for them, clearly knows what they were doing.
The main login area
Once you get yourself signed up and logged in, this is the screen you encounter. The recent moves are laid out on the left, the particularly interesting one's are of the guys rolling with whichever famous BJJ player that has popped in that day. On the right are the techniques, all filtered by position and very easy to navigate through. For those who have used MG in action, I thought this was the main factor that made Mendes site better. I found MG had too much information, there was so much of it that navigation was difficult, there didn't seem to be logical and clear ways of getting from one place to another, there was a bit of a learning curve. With the Mendes site, it's all very straight forward. Of course what MG offers is excellent, but for me the drawback was information overload, with the Mendes site, while I didn't 'get' everything they said (down to me being crap at learning new stuff) I certainly found it easy to find my way around.
So this is the techniques filter, the navigation system they have employed to easily get to where you want to go. Filtering moves and positions from top/bottom, offence/defence etc is all super easy and very intuitive. I was up and getting stuck into it in a matter of minutes, so if I can figure it out ........
The Video Screen
Once you have selected the clip you want to study, you are taken to the video in question. Here the guys breakdown the moves in intricate detail. Their knowledge is pretty astounding, not just in terms of carrying out the moves, but also things like positioning, weight, pressure and all of the other little 'invisible jiu jitsu' that makes these guys sooooooo good at what they do.
In terms of drawbacks, these are few and far between. A lot of online training sites leave a lot to be desired and to be honest, this is the best one I have encountered. In terms of pricing, this seems pretty standard, my subscription was around $25 per month, with discounts offered when signing up for longer periods. I know some of you will think '$25 is a lot', but let's put this in context. You are getting 1 months worth of detailed instruction, on a range of topics on the sport you love, from some of the best guys on the planet for only $25 !!!!! Have a think about how much a coffee costs in your local cafe, how many do you drink a week ? If you study the information available on the Mendes Bros site, apply it to your game and use it to reenforce what you are already learning in class, this price is a bargain.
My only complaint, and this is just me, is that sometimes they go on a little. Explanations can be a bit rambling and last a few minutes. In the scheme of things it's not a bad complaint. So if you have a few $$$ and are looking to backup your training, you could do a lot worse then checking out the Art of Jiu Jitsu.
A word of warning, make sure you don't replace your regular class with lots of online training. You still need the details your coach will present in class, coupled with the various different problems training partners of differing shapes and sizes will present to you and the application of the moves. A read up on real coaches V's online training can be found here.
By Aengus Ryan (Patches O'Toole)