What did I get out of that video - First, this is the first time I've heard how "R's" are pronounced in Brazilian names. I'm still not educated enough to know if this is only in the Pronoun's or if it is in any Portugese word. Or is it a purely Brazilian pronounciation of a Portugese "r".
When I heard "Hener" say "Hyron" when addressing Ryron and "Hyron" say "Hener" when speaking about Rener. I was confused. Then I remebered about "Hoyce" who is Royce in the first UFC's and I ... never mind, but that was something new for me.
O.K. the GU site has online forums, detailed video instruction, written instruction points, and drills for building technique reflexes and fight simulations to practice progression of techniques. The GU site provided a way to get in touch with a Gracie Academy school or other students looking to do the GU curiculum and needing a partner. There was also the Gracie Garage concept, while not a unique thing (guys getting together to roll), the execution of a method of authorizing and organizing garages was unique. Providing videos of the folks that run a garage, seeing the garage site and equipment and mat space - who else has done that?
And finally, for me was the opportunity to test for Belts and Stripes. C'mon - testing online, via video?
So let me give you my thoughts, point by point of the GU product.
Online forums - for me, very useful and interesting. The questions from different students would be answered by Rener, Ryron or other Gracie Academy folks. And 99% of the time, someone would eventually ask the same questions that ran through my mind.
Detailed video instruction - I liked that the videos would indicate when a particular technique should be used. The key details of executing the technique would be pointed out as well as the common mistakes that are seen. Inevitably, Rener or Ryron would cover a point and answer a question that was brewing in me as they instructed.
Written Instruction Points - I have used these for helping me think through the technique. The written instruction points help me with visulization of a new technique. I write notes on how the techniques transition from one to the next.
Reflex Development and Fight Simulations - Such a useful way to get reps in of a new technique and then practicing transitions and progression of position in different situations. These drills and simulations become progressively more involved, but it is such an excellent mental and physical test that develops muscle memory. These don't feel like drills that have you rep a technique over and over. It tests both partners - the "bad guy" and the driller and enables you to get reps of several techniques.
Student Search - was I excited. I could find a live grappling partner. Sorry Tapey. Hopefully our schedules workout. Within 20 miles of my location there are close to 200 students. Unfortunately not all of the students wished to be contacted or wanted to be a training partner. I wonder how these folks progress in their lessons...
Gracie Garage - A location, hopefuly in the area, where you can train for free with other guys learning the GU curiculum. I found two Garages in the Appleton area. 2! In NE Wisconsin - Get OUT!
Testing on-line - Believe me, I'm the first to be skeptical. I believe that live partners with full resistance is the best way to train. But I really was amazed at the videos that need to be submitted, the amount of detail that is expected and the consistent method of evaluation. A very useful part of the site was that demo videos and actual video testing submissions are posted on-line to be viewed. Not only are there videos of folks that passed, but videos of folks that did not pass. I've enclosed the link. To see the videos, you may have to register, but registration is free.
So after more than a year I was training again!