Do you know why most fighters watch videos before they enter the ring? It’s not just for fun. They may be trying to get a better idea of their opponent or maybe see some moves to add to their fighting style. Many times it’s just to see what they’re up against, significantly earlier in their career, before they know what kind of moves they might become. So why not do the same thing for your combat techniques?
Watching videos of other people’s fights, whether it’s grappling or striking, can give you some pretty important insight into what works and what doesn’t. That’s why it’s important to watch videos of people who are very different from you because their technique might be something that you can learn from. There are so many various sources of videos on fighting that it may be hard to find the ones you want to see, but they are out there if you look.
9 Video Sources on Fighting
There’s a lot of different equipment that you can use to record other people’s fights and your own. The quality of these videos will vary depending on what technology you use and how much money you spend, but a good rule of thumb is to find something that works for you without breaking the bank. Additionally, even if you use old-fashioned equipment like a pen to record your videos, it’s still important to remember that you should study your fight videos from different angles and distances because video editing software has limitations. Here are just a few places to start watching:
1. Online Instruction
Sometimes you might want to buy a video that teaches you new techniques rather than give you the fight to watch. So if you’re looking for instructional BJJ DVDs on fighting, then thousands of websites offer them. You can get instructions on grappling, striking, self-defense, MMA, wrestling, and a wide variety of other martial skills the only problem is finding the right ones. The key here is to look at online reviews or ask your friends for advice before you make a final decision because otherwise, you might end up with a video that’s overpriced or teaches techniques that don’t work in a real fight. To ensure you don’t waste your time, start by looking at the top-rated videos online in whatever category you’re interested in. That way, there’s a good chance that the video will be of good quality.
2. Your Local Gym
Most gyms have sparring nights regularly, and the best way to be there is to show up. Some amateur fighters go solo and videotape their fights to watch them later and critique their performance. It’s not as good as having an audience, but it might be your only choice if you’re far from home or if you don’t yet have a coach or training partner willing to help you out with improving your offense and defense. Just make sure that you’re doing this in a safe area where you won’t injure anyone else, and remember that filming people without asking first is usually frowned upon, even though it could technically be legal under public domain laws.
3. Local/College/Semi-Pro Fights
This is the best source for videos on fighting available to almost anyone. Depending on your local laws and what you’re filming, it’s still possibly illegal. Still, it doesn’t violate public domain laws, and there isn’t a tremendous amount of money involved in this type of video making. Plus, most amateurs don’t mind being taped as long as they get a copy afterward so that they can watch their fight later and improve themselves, and if they’re any good at all, then they probably have coaches who review these tapes with them anyway. Unfortunately, not everyone who does these types of fights will win, but winning or losing shouldn’t stop you from learning something about yourself or your chosen sport.
Although these tend to be a lot more expensive to get into, the payoff can be huge if you win and get a reasonable price for it. Even if you don’t win anything, watching others compete against each other might give you some ideas of how to handle yourself in your next tournament or maybe even during your next fight. Many producers make videos from these events and sell them afterward for between ten and fifty dollars or more. The price depends on what’s included in the video and who’s fighting in it. Just remember that everyone who filmed it will want their cut too, so to keep things simple, buy one from your gym or from whoever runs the tournament after the event is over. Make sure that you get one that has good quality video and sound, or you’ll be disappointed in it.
5. Private Sessions
You can ask around to find out who’s willing to film their fights and then sell the videos after, or you can do what many people do and pay them for a session where they will teach you how to use certain moves while they film your technique (but not the part where you hit each other). For example, if you want to learn some grappling methods, make sure that your opponent isn’t going to try, and double leg tackles you during the sparring match; this isn’t practiced for them. It’s practice for you. That means they need to keep their proper distance between themselves and their opponent, no matter what happens. You can also try taping yourself. It’s not as good as having someone else do it, but it never hurts to have a backup copy just in case the first one gets lost.
6. Commercial Videos
These are usually pretty expensive compared to other options on this list, but they do come pre-edited for you so that all you have to do is pop them into your computer and press play. Just remember that these are made by companies who want to sell you their products, so don’t expect things like “raw footage” or “fights with commentary” because you’ll be disappointed if you think of it that way. Treat them as video versions of magazine ads where the company is trying to convince you to buy their product to make more money. The quality of these videos varies widely, depending on who made them and how much they cost, but sometimes you do get what you pay for.
7. Training Equipment
Hundreds of websites sell training equipment specifically designed to improve your fighting techniques, including padded gloves for boxing, grappling dummies, and even MMA dummy stands that you can mount in your gym for people to practice punching. You can also buy protective gear like groin protectors or helmets so that you don’t have to worry about injuring your sparring partner when you use certain types of techniques. Remember to keep the padding comfortable so that they don’t pop out of place during a fight. There’s nothing worse than having your pad holder/coach adjust your groin protector every few seconds so that you can keep going.
8. The Good Old Pencil and Paper
There’s nothing wrong with just sitting down and describing your fighting situations to someone who you trust and if there isn’t anyone available, write about it yourself. Suppose you’re having trouble writing an accurate description of a technique that happened during one of your fights (for example, was the submission attempt a straight armbar or an armbar from the guard?). In that case, you can always watch a video of it later to give yourself a little refresher course. This is especially true for grappling techniques because they happen so fast that they’re often hard to remember when someone else asks for your description of what happened.
9. Video Editing Programs
This is a cheaper alternative to paying someone to edit the videos for you, but it’s still very time-consuming. If you have any friends who are computer literate in video editing programs, then maybe they’ll be willing to help you out with some techniques that need work, like your wall escapes when your opponents are smothering you with their bodies. You can also use YouTube or other free online services for this type of thing, but don’t expect to do incredibly complicated things like adding your music (or custom sound effects) or having a professional-looking intro sequence. Just be careful that you choose the right angle to film from and that your friend knows how to use all of the features, or you might end up with a poor quality product in the end.
Watching others’ fights can give you valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t work in a fight. The quality of the video will vary depending on what technology you use and how much money you spend, but a good rule of thumb is to find something that’s going to work for you without breaking the bank. Even if you record your fights with old-fashioned equipment like a pen, it’s important to remember that video editing software has its limitations, and you should study your videos from different angles and distances. And remember to always put safety first.