Friday, February 23, 2007

JJ Machado Online Training

Most people know who Jean Jacques Machado is. And everyone who knows him knows just what a great Jiu Jitsu practitioner he is. His 'Becoming a Champion' video series was among the first I'd seen. He is also well known as the teacher of such notables as Eddie Bravo, Ricco Rodriguez and many others.

JJ, with the help of students Jay and Mike Zeballos, began his online training site in early 2006 and the program seems to have gone from strength to strength.

The main feature of the site is the very intuitive 'TAP Browser' which keeps all the techniques classified by position, or technique type, gi or no-gi - or just about any other classification you can think of. TAP also recommends video lessons to go with the lesson you've selected. It will recommend escapes from the position, similar techniques, techniques that work in combination, lessons that teach what to do if you balls it up, lessons on details for the technique and drills to help learn it.

The library function is also a great idea. With so many videos to navigate, it's tough to keep track. The library function enables you to "collect" lessons in your library that you want to work on.

There are over 400 lessons from JJ himself on the site at this time (February, 2007). Additionally, JJ has sections for guest instructors. Making an appearance here are people such as Todd Nathanson and Lou Salseda (who some may remember from "Becoming a Champion') and Felicia Oh. Also, the guest instructor section has very helpful segments from wrestling champions who train with JJ and from other guest instructors from time to time. There is also a section on basic and a 'Path to Blue Belt" section that should really help those who are getting started.

The lessons themselves are really that. It's not just a look at a technique. For the most part, JJ shows the whys and wherefores on the principles he's showing. Perhaps the most valuable part of this program is where JJ answers questions on video. Just put the question on the message board and send in a pic or video (if required) and JJ will try to answer the question. I don't know if there's a lot that isn't already covered, though.

Want more features? What if you want to download a technique and take it away on your IPod or PSP? Well, of course, the videos are streamed - but the guys provide an option to purchase IPod and Quicktime videos for this purpose.

Also, the afore-mentioned forum is a great resource. There are other members who are brown and black belts who can answer questions you may have, as well.

After you've been in the program a while, you become eligible for a pack that includes goodies like gi patches.

For those who need to ask the question, there's no point at which you become eligible for a belt. There are no belts to be earned in the online program. Of course, ththere is potential for students to be assessed at JJ's academy.

The program is $24.99 a month and I believe it's worth every penny. A great many people pay more than that in DVDs, especially when they are remote from a school (like me). There is a 72 hour money back guarantee, as well. So you can poke around comfortably for a couple of days.

All up, if you're a remote student, this is a fantastic way of getting quality details on a regular basis. If you do have regular instruction and would just like a great community with a great deal of existing information, this is the place for you, too.

If I gave stars out of five, this resource would get five and a half.

Jean Jacques Machado Website

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