Gracie Barra has updated their Fundamentals Curriculum to the new version 2.0. This 16 week program was designed by GB black belts, Ricardo Almeida and Marcio Feitosa and the philosophy of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. The lessons are broken down into 16 weeks of training that is repeated through out the year. The techniques are a combination of self defense, sport jiu-jitsu and MMA. This program is intended to provide a solid foundation for the beginner as he moves towards obtaining his blue belt. Their release video can be found here for those interested.
In this series of articles we’ll be breaking down the full curriculum of Gracie Barra Fundamentals 2.0. The content is available from iTunes and on-demand for all mobile devices, tablets and PCs. The Fundamentals set consists of 4 apps, each covering 4 weeks of their fundamentals curriculum for a total of 16 weeks of lessons. The apps range in price from $9.99 to $14.99. If you’re using the on-demand feature the instruction is broken down by the week and is available for $2.99 each with unlimited viewing for the year. Don’t forget to download the maps in PDFs for reference, link is at the bottom of the review.
The production quality of GB Fundamentals 2.0 is on par with Caio Terra’s excellent Modern Jiu Jitsu set which is also produced by Mobile Black Belt LLC. The instruction is produced in a professional studio that eliminates all visual distractions and naturally draws your attention to Marcio and his partner. The video is clearly shot in HD (which looks great on Apple’s Retina display). The video effectively zooms, pans, rotates, and uses slow motion to demonstrate intricacies of techniques. The use external microphones provide a level of realism missing from most other jiu-jitsu instructionals. You’re able to hear everything from the friction of the two gis rubbing against one another to the tap at the successful completion of a technique.
In the initial 4 weeks of instruction include 25 different chapters. In these chapters Marcio demonstrates basic standing and self-defense techniques and also begins the students introduction to ground fighting. The ground techniques are focused on the Guard, Side Mount, Turtle and Mount. Techniques are demonstrated from both the top and bottom and include submissions, escapes, posture and sweeps. The techniques build very well off of one another and it is apparent that Ricardo and Marcio put a lot of thought into the sequence of instruction. This app is a little over 50 minutes in length. Part of me would like to have the techniques gone over in more detail. That being said the multiple angles and slow-motion demonstrations make up for this slight short-coming.
GB Fundamentals 2.0 is an excellent instructional for someone starting out in BJJ, and especially so if you’re a student of Gracie Barra. The first app in the series covers weeks 1 thru 4 of GB curriculum is just under an hour long and costs $14.99 for the app or $2.99 per curriculum week on-demand for a year of viewing. The production value is second to none and is representative of the new standard in quality that Caio Terra’s Modern Jiu Jitsu DVDs introduced us to last year. For a behind the scenes look at the production of the videos check out this video.
If you’re a white belt looking for a clearly defined curriculum to help you learn the techniques necessary to continue your growth in BJJ then this is a great place to start. For students of Gracie Barra these apps represent a syllabus and video text book of what you need to learn and understand from their Fundamentals program.