5So, this is a website for Ninjas? Ha! No – http://brandonmc.ninja is nothing to do with Ninjas. It’s the Jiujitsu membership website of Brandon “BMac” Mccaghren, a 10th Planet Black belt instructor. It costs a mere $5 a month to join, and it’s going to teach you the 10th Planet version of no gi Jiujitsu.
$5? That’s less than two cups of coffee a month! Indeed. Brandon just wants to spread the 10th Planet love and he’s happy to keep the price low to raise the membership numbers. Membership also gives you access to an exclusive Facebook group where you can interact with other members and ask questions. Brandon seems pretty active on it, too.
10th Planet? Isn’t that the Eddie Bravo stuff? Yes, that’s right. 10th Planet Jiujitsu is basically Eddie Bravo‘s personal take on Jiujitsu, which has grown into a distinctive style of No Gi jiujitsu that’s widely practiced in the US, and has made inroads into the UK and a few other places. It’s a very submission-oriented style and the EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational) competition rule set is being adopted by lots of submission-only events all over the globe, so it’s growing. The actual Eddie Bravo Invitational event itself happens regularly, and is a pay-to-view event on UFC Fightpass, helping to promote BJJ and make household names (by Jiujitsu standards, at least) of its champions, like Gordon Ryan, Eddie Cummings and Garry Tonon.
What exactly is 10th Planet Jiujitsu then? 10th Planet (10p) features naming conventions and positions that are different to ‘regular’ BJJ – specifically, Spider Web, The Truck, Rubber Guard, Lock Down, The Twister and the Fried Banana.
The Fried Banana? Ok, I made that one up, but I’d say that the majority of it is just regular No Gi Jiujitsu, with a few rubbery additions. As somebody who is outside the 10th Planet system myself, everything on the site looks like regular No Gi jiujitsu, except when the rubber guard gets involved, at which point the complexity level starts to go through the roof and I begin to feel lost. But the rubber guard is not what this website is all about though – the website is full of ‘regular’ BJJ that a white belt or blue belt would be able to take advantage of. It’s full of positions and techniques you will recognise, like Butterfly Guard, X Guard, leg locks, armbars, omoplatas and triangles.
So I don’t need ridiculous flexibility? Nope – Brandon just looks like a regular guy, and you’ll have no problem following his instructions.
What’s he like as a teacher? Brandon’s got a deeeeep Southern accent, which adds a certain homegrown charm. His instruction is clear throughout – he’s never in a hurry and knows exactly what he’s trying to teach in each situation. He also puts in lots of details on the little things you need to do to make positions work.
How different is No Gi to Gi-based Jiujitsu? Well, it’s basically the same beast as Gi-based jiujitsu, but there are so many little tricks that you need to learn when doing No Gi, like how to control somebody without Gi grips (using 2-on-1s, underhooks and collar ties instead) and how to use your arms to create chokes – lots of arm triangles and punch chokes from mount – that it’s worthy of study as an area in itself, especially if you’re going into a No Gi competition.
So, is the website worth it? Ah, the million dollar question. Although in this case it’s literally the $5 question. BrandonMC.ninja is clearly great value. There’s a lot of material there already (see the full list at the bottom of this review), and new stuff is being added all the time. The interface is a bit basic (there’s no search facility, and you can’t favourite videos, for example), and most of the material is shot in class, so it’s a bit rough and ready, but there are plenty of fine details being revealed, and on a technical level everything works as advertised. I never had a problem logging in or playing a video.
There’s no doubt that the bigger subscription websites like Keenan Online, Mendes Brothers, BJJ Library, Braulio Estima in Action and Marcelo Garcia in Action offer a much more polished front end, more content and more famous practitioners teaching you techniques, but they all cost in the region of $25 a month.
If you’re practicing on your own in a garage with some mats and a few friends (i.e. without a teacher) , or you’re a traditional BJJ student who has learned in the Gi and you’re looking for some insights for strategy or techniques that work specifically for No Gi then you’ll find this website is a great resource, that won’t break your bank balance.
Can I get a sample of the sort of content? Sure:
TLDNR Verdict: “Only $5 a month for an all-you-can-eat-buffet of 10th Planet JiuJitsu is RIDICULOUSLY GOOD VALUE. A must for all 10P aficionados, but also useful for anybody wanting to add some solid no-gi basics to their BJJ game, or get a handle on the rubber guard.”
Full category breakdown: (number of videos as of March 6th 2017 shown for each category, so you get an idea of where the emphasis is):
Self Defense (7)
1 Minute Jiu Jitsu Hacks (27)
The Truck (2)
Leg Locks (7)
Guard Passing (7)
The Back (2)
The Rubber Guard (15)
The Mount (21)
The Closed Guard (1)
Twister side control (3)
The Guard (3)
The Lock Down (4)
Half Guard (1)
Deep Half (2)
Side Control (2)
HQ Warm ups (8)
Live QnA (4)
Mindset (w/Lonnie Jones) (1)
Thoughts and philosophies (11)
Competition footage (7)
Live training (4)