The Grapplers Guide Review 2020

Everything you need to know about this popular training library, from content to cost

Grapplers Guide is one of the oldest BJJ training libraries around, having been live since 2007. It’s unique in the online BJJ training space because it’s one of the few libraries that offers a reasonable lifetime membership. I personally paid under $100 USD for my lifetime membership to Grapplers Guide as part of a recent promotion. 

So is it worth your time and money? Read on for our full review of this library including what’s in the library, video quality, pricing and more.

The Grapplers Guide Quick Review

Summary: A large training library with good value lifetime membership options

What I liked:

  • A large and diverse library
  • High-quality outside expert videos from Lachlan Giles and many others
  • Lifetime membership can present good value
  • Customisable flowcharts

What could be improved:

  • The library can be overwhelming/confusing at first
  • Some videos could benefit from being reshot in a higher resolution 

Table of contents

First impressions of The Grapplers Guide

When first logging into The Grapplers Guide you’ll notice founder Jason Scully has put together a “start here” guide for each level of experience. This is useful to help you orientate yourself because the library is large and can be overwhelming at first. It’s helpful to see where you should focus your time first. 

There were also exclusive discounts offered for various brands including Fuji Sports, Braus and Hyperfly.

Who created The Grapplers Guide?

The Grapplers Guide was created by Jason Scully, a 2nd degree black belt with over 20 years of grappling experience. Jason received his black belt from Jared Weiner, and also has some competition experience, placing in various world-class competitions at black and brown belt level. You can find out more about him, his lineage and the story behind The Grapplers Guide in this YouTube video and this Reddit Ask Me Anything thread

What videos and topics does The Grapplers Guide cover?

The Grapplers Guide has a large variety of videos on different topics. This includes not only a large number of technique videos but also drills, concepts, mindset topics and more. The library is large and split into the following categories:

  • Drilling. This covers both solo and partner drills and even drills with a grappling dummy. There are also reference videos like “24 gi chokes in 5 minutes”.
  • Basics, concepts and combos. This is a big module with programs covering fundamentals, invisible grappling concepts and core curriculums.
  • Escapes. This covers both position and submission escapes.
  • Positions. The library has a large number of videos for different positions like closed guard, takedowns and turtle.
  • Submissions. There’s a large number of submission videos with many covering the triangle, armlock and armbar, kimuras, omoplatas, and specific no-gi chokes. 
  • Outside experts. These are videos hosted by elite BJJ athletes and teachers like Lachlan Giles, Craig Jones, Josh Hinger and Mikey Musumeci and usually cover their specialties.
  • Tips and resources. The tips are almost like mini-essays by Jason about various aspects of BJJ games such as visualisation. The resources are wide-ranging and include grappling analysis worksheets and more tips on different BJJ concepts like leverage.
  • Analysis and assignments. This includes assignments Jason has created for students, plus his analysis of competition matches.
  • Exercises. This section includes videos on specific exercises and workouts to put the exercises together.

You can see the full library in the video below:

Which outside experts have videos on The Grapplers Guide?

There’s an impressive list of elite BJJ, judo and wrestling athletes and instructors who have contributed to The Grapplers Guide library. At the time of writing there were videos from:

  • 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. Zach Maslany and JM Holland teach rubber guard, the lock down, the truck, the spider web, leg locks and more.
  • Andris Brunovskis. Lapel guards including worm guard and the “superplata” system.
  • Craig Jones. Leg locks, floating z-guard leg locks, z-guard and leg lock defence.
  • Emily Kwok. Lapel single leg x guard.
  • Jared Weiner. Takedowns, pressure passing, knee on belly, 2- on-1 open guard, no gi turtle and more.
  • John Marsh. Double leg takedowns.
  • Josh Hinger. The hingertine, monoplata and gogoplata.
  • JT Torres. De La Riva X in gi, and back takes.
  • Lachlan Giles. No gi open guard and sweep prevention.
  • Michelle Nicolini. Shin-to-shin spider and sit-up shin to shin.
  • Nick Salles & Daniel Maira. Crab ride.
  • Shintaro Higashi. Judo grips and favourite throws.
  • Vlad Koulikov. Takedowns.

There are also videos from Reilly Bodycomb, Trenton Cooke, Michael Perez, Dan Covel, Aaron Milam, Travis Stevens and others.

I watched the Lachlan Giles No-Gi Open Guard System and found the videos to be high quality, well structured and simple to follow. Rather than long videos covering multiple topics, these  videos were short and covered only one or two concepts or techniques. This made them easier to digest and remember. 

Video quality

Because the platform has been live since 2007, video quality across the library tends to vary depending on the age of the video. Some of the older videos could possibly benefit from re-recording with higher resolution cameras, although the content within these videos can still be understood.

A comparison of the quality of more recent videos (top) vs older videos in the library (bottom).

Jason’s more recent videos are well shot and feature clear audio and video, although some technique videos would benefit from closeups.

Library structure and organisation

The Grapplers Guide is well structured and videos are clearly labelled and organised into sections. It’s one of the better organised training libraries in the market, especially compared to other programs where techniques are roughly categorised based on the position, or presented according to release date. 

The library can sometimes be overwhelming, especially given the large number of videos and sections within it.

Jason’s teaching style

The majority of the videos are taught by Jason himself, and his instruction is clear and rapid with minimal padding. He generally illustrates key points using a partner, and I found his concepts and techniques easy to follow and understand. 

GrappleFlow Charts

One of The Grapplers Guide’s main innovations is the flow chart system called GrappleFlow. These are basically flowcharts from specific positions or submissions that link techniques depending on different variables such as position, gi or no gi and more. You’re able to create your own GrappleFlows and also use GrappleFlows created by Jason. 

Below is an example of using one of Jason’s GrappleFlows, in this example single leg x-guard:

Making your own GrappleFlow chart is also easy to do. First you need to make a chart and name it, and then you can add videos to it as you come across them in the library.

Technical specifications and app

You access The Grapplers Guide through your internet browser on your computer or phone. One benefit of The Grapplers Guide compared to other programs is the ability to download videos and view them offline. This is useful for those who don’t have access to a lot of data or who are travelling.

There’s currently no app for The Grapplers Guide, although the website mentions an app for iOS and Android devices is coming soon.

Price

One of the benefits of The Grapplers Guide is that lifetime membership is standard. This is unique compared to the majority of other online BJJ training libraries that charge monthly or annual subscription fees. 

I bought my Grapplers Guide membership during a sale for $87 USD, and at the time of writing it could be bought for $97 USD, or two monthly installments of $55 USD. In mid-2019 when we wrote our full guide to BJJ training platforms, lifetime membership was $297 USD.

You can see how much other programs cost in our guide, but to give you an example, Marcelo Garcia’s MG In Action costs $25 USD per month or $250 USD per year, and BJJ Library costs approximately the same. 

At the time of writing, The Grapplers Guide is one of the few libraries offering lifetime membership in addition to Nicolas Gregoriades’ Master Academy, which offers lifetime membership for $198 USD.

Verdict

The Grapplers Guide is a good value training library, and for some will be worth the price alone for the various outside experts featured. 

The library is large, and while it can be a little confusing to navigate at times, it is one of the better organised libraries compared to other online BJJ training platforms.

Most of the videos are high quality, although as mentioned some of the videos are older and are not as high resolution as the more recently shot videos featured in the library. 

The videos themselves are well structured and easy to understand, and the topics Jason has chosen to feature in the library cover not only techniques but also a large amount of mindset, drilling, analysis, exercises and more.

Rating: 4/5 stars

*This review is not endorsed by The Grapplers Guide. The reviewer paid for The Grapplers Guide out of his own pocket.

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