Monday, October 20, 2014
LITTLE TANK, DIGITSU DVD REVIEW AND TECHNIQUE MAPPING.
Throughout the year we around a handful of product reviews. For the most part we like doing them, sometimes they wind up disappointing and other times they are incredible products. Today's review comes straight from Matt at MappingMyBJJJourney. For those of you out of the loop, Matt has become rather well known for his mapping of techniques that coincide with books, videos and BJJ curriculum. Recently, he took a long hard look at the Digitsu Tanquinho DVD, and gave it a review accompanied with his usual mapping prowess. So without further ado...
The Digitsu Tanquinho DVD Review:
If you’re not familiar with the name Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes you’ve been living under a BJJ free rock for the last few years. To bring you up to speed here are a few fun facts about Tanquinho. He earned his black belt from GM Francisco Mansur. He has wins over a veritable Who’s Who of BJJ legends, check out some of his wins HERE, and at the 2013 Worlds had what most would consider his finest tournament showing ever. At Worlds he defeated Eduardo Ramos, Cobrinha and finally Rafa Mendes in route to a gold medal. Immediately after winning the world title Tanquinho turn his focus to MMA, where he is currently 2-0 with both wins coming by submission. His girlfriend is pretty good at BJJ too.
If you’re already a customer of Digitsu you have a pretty good idea of what to expect as far as format and video quality. Digitsu’s audio and video are of high quality and do a good job of presenting the material. There are 2 DVDs, with a total running length of roughly 2 hours. Tanquinho’s English is very good and never an issue. He explains each technique well. He and Mackenzie have different color gis on to more easily see the intricacies of the technique. The only gripe I have about the presentation is that Tanquinho is almost always talking to Mackenzie when he’s demonstrating techniques. Don’t get me wrong, everything is clear and I had no problem at all understanding him or following the technique but it would be nice if he looked in the camera a little more often.
In each chapter Tanquinho demonstrates the technique from start to finish twice in full detail. The camera is stationary and if needed he moves to show a different angle. There a few instances where a picture-in-picture pop-up is used to show an additional angle. After the technique is taught it is demonstrated several times from different angles while heavy metal-esque music plays. Normally I fast-forward through this portion of the instructional but Digitsu has added something that I’ve never seen before: subtitles during the replay. These provide additional reinforcement to what is being demonstrated. As someone who takes notes while watching DVD’s I really liked this new feature. If you don’t normally take notes from a DVD reading along typically enhances retention.
The 1st DVD is the longest and has twenty-five chapters that are focused on passing your opponents guard. Multiple variations are demonstrated based on your position and/or how your opponent reacts. A few submissions are also demonstrated off the passes. A few of the techniques that stood out to me on this DVD were: Long Step Pass, Half-Guard pass to far side arm lock, Half-Guard pass kimura counter, X-Guard step over pass, 50/50 to knee slide pass and 50/50 step over pass. In particular the Long Step Pass has worked very well for me and something that I’d never seen before.
Disc 1 Table of Contents
• Posture and Mobility Drills
• Long Step Pass
• Knee Slide To The Opposite Side
• Knee Slide Pass to Rolling Back Take
• Calf Slicer vs. RLDR
• Berimbolo Defense
• Deep Half Guard Pass
• Deep Half Guard Pass 2
• Deep Half Guard Pass to Mounted
• Deep Half Guard Waiter Sweep Pass
• Passing Traditional Half
• Half Guard Pass With Shoulder Pressure
• Half Guard Pass To Far Side Arm Triangle
The 2nd DVD, approximately 45 minutes long, has 18 chapters and is focused on attacking your opponent from a superior position. This DVD has some interesting options for attacking that I haven’t seen before. Namely the mounted collar choke (it’s not what you’re thinking), the mounted arm lock defense counter (effective and very easy to integrate into your game) and the side control collar choke. The collar choke may not be high percentage but will probably get your opponent moving which will open up other options. The arm lock counter is interesting and will be something that I’m looking forward to playing around with. And finally the side control collar choke chains nicely from the kimura, which is a position I’m in a lot. Rounding out the DVD is a nice chain against an opponent that is in the bottom turtle position. These techniques aren’t earth shattering but are ones that logically flow from one to the next and present a couple options to attack a turtled opponent.
Disc 2 Table of Contents
• Tomoe Nage Fake To Ankle Pick
• Flying Tomoe Nage
• Mounted Collar Choke
• Mounted Arm Lock
• Arm Lock Defense Counter
• Arm Lock to Bicep Slicer
• Side Control - Bicep Slicer
• Side Control - Collar Choke
• Side Control – Step Over Collar Choke
• Side Control – North/South Lapel Choke
Wrapping It Up:
The Complete Champion is available HERE for $69.95 and contains 2 hours of instruction spread out over two discs. The table of contents and mind map of disc 1 should give you a good idea of the material so that you’ll know if it’s something that you’d like to own. The audio and video are solid and I really like the additional subtitles during the replays. The techniques are best suited for someone with a firm grasp of the fundamentals because there are times when Tanquinho assumes you know how finish a certain technique. I’ve been training for 4 years regularly and had no problem following along but I don’t think that this would be a good fit for beginning white belts. That said the posture position and techniques from it are very good once you’ve got some of the basics and posture down. I found about a dozen techniques that I’m excited to drill and I’m sure several will make it into my regular game.
To keep up with Digitsu check out their website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You may also want to check out my reviews of their other DVDs: Gianni Grippo DLR, Lucas Lepri NoGi Master Series & Lucas Lepri Championship Guard Passing.