Ryan Hall DVD Review

Ryan Hall, the BJJ magician who is the culprit behind the most complete collection of BJJ courses ever published. Ryan Hall is one of the most successful grapplers in the game. He is also a mechanical engineer and a highly intelligent person. He was the Danaher before John Danaher, but not in the field of leg locks (not by much though). There are a lot of Ryan Hall instructional DVDs available, all of which cover a different aspect of the BJJ in depth. Here’s how a Ryan Hall DVD can teach you how to become a more accomplished grappler.

Ryan Hall DVD Instructional Reviews

Defensive Guard

If anyone knows anything about Ryan Hall, it’s his guard game. After all, he is a tall, skinny guy with extreme flexibility. His guard game is the source of nightmares for both grappling and MMA opponents. That said, he has an amazing DVD on how you should make sure that no one can pass your guard. It’s a very technical and conceptual approach to the game of Jiu-Jitsu that is suitable for everyone, from beginners to black belts.

Like many other titles, Ryan’s Defensive Guard was released in three volumes. The first volume is devoted to the basic building blocks of your guard. The concept of the defence is very specific to Ryan and he spares no detail when it comes to explaining it. Beginners and advanced, be sure to review the basic principles of the first volume. Pay particular attention to the basic movement patterns for retention of the guard. Learn them and you can play the guard of your choice.

The strategy follows the fundamental principles before Ryan moves on to the good stuff – building the defensive wall. As with all Ryan Hall DVDs, there is one main course of action and one backup. Until the very end, Ryan reviews everything from grip placement to balancing principles.

Inverted Guard

This is the first Ryan Hall DVD I bought and misunderstood. Later, when I revisited it, it became one of the most valuable resources in my DVD collection. Inverted Guard is not an easy style to learn when learning Jiu-jitsu. Unless you learn from Ryan Hall, of course.

As in any DVD version by Ryan Hall, it’s all about theory in the first volume. What you will not get in the first DVD of this set is any kind of inversion. And it’s the best way to learn. Ryan explains all the attachment and control points you need in order to even think about inverting your guard.

As the Instructional progresses, Hall focuses more on the technical aspects of the inverted guard. However, before inverting, you must learn to tilt. Hall explains it perfectly, with a whole range of sweeps and a few submissions thrown in for good measure.

The final volume is all about the fight against an inverted position. Everything from how to attack, how to defend and transitions are in this volume. There is a good portion of the disc devoted to the structure of the grips and the orientation of the posture. Pay special attention and you will be impassable. Now combine all your new knowledge with the Ryan Hall DVD Defensive Guard and you will become undefeatable from the bottom.

Deep Half Guard

The final of the Ryan Hall DVD bottom game instructional series is dedicated to the half guard position. In fact, it is probably the first instructional on the subject that really explains the position. Ryan’s knowledge of deep half guard is at an insane level. The best thing about it is that he finds a way to dissect it into tiny pieces.

Normally, it is all a matter of concepts and theory at the beginning. What stands out in the first DVD are the entries into the position. Even more specific, the movement styles that put you in the right position to seek the deep half guard. These are the real cornerstones of any type of half guard game, so it is essential to master them.

The second part of the DVD is devoted to the attacks from the deep half. The most basic attacks are here, with all the details you will need. Even complete beginners can quickly adopt the techniques presented in this volume. Of course, the obligatory waiter sweep is the main goal, with many variants to choose from.

To top it all off, there are advanced deep half guard attacks. In other words, it is the DVD of “Jedi mind tricks”, the one that will make you a wizard of this position. A few good passing tips complete this essential DVD set from Ryan Hall.

Passing The Guard

This set completely changes the focus of the instructional material. From the bottom position to the top, Ryan goes to the top to dissect passing the guard. Once again, expect a highly structured and technical DVD based on straightforward and powerful concepts.

The ever-present theory of guard passing is typically at the very beginning. From there, it’s all about how to make yourself as stable as possible before you even try to break the guard. After the long and detailed presentation of the theory, Ryan moves on to the positions themselves. He has an excellent way to systemize the most common position you could find yourself in as you pass. This is an essential part of the instructional process that you must fully master!

The second and third volumes go deeply into very specific passing positions. Ryan clarifies the standing and kneeling guard passing systems. In addition, it goes deep into the leg drag, double-under pass and over-under guard.

Arm Triangles

It was the Ryan Hall DVD that brought me back to Hall. It was this release that opened my eyes to the quality of Ryan Hall’s instructional material. It is simply a submission instructional. However, this is a submission instructional, unlike most others. While other versions focus on single-submission attacks, this one deals with a whole series of attacks.

The arm triangle choke is a very effective stranglehold that you can pull on all sizes and levels of opponents. It is a highly technical move, but simple enough to understand quickly. What most people forget is that many other strangulations in BJJ are also based on the same principle. The suffocation of D’arce, the Anaconda, the Guillotine, the Ezekiel and many others work according to the same principles. Hall reviews all the internal mechanisms of choking in an arm triangle.

After reviewing all possible choke variations, Hall began to explain the basic concepts of position control. Only then does it start with entries and then it links everything to systems. It offers resources in the arm triangle submission from the top and bottom position. More importantly, it covers the most common problems in the troubleshooting segment of the instructional. Pay attention to the exercises it shows at the very end incorporate them into your training and you are going to become a submission machine in return.

The Triangle

The triangle choke is Ryan Hall’s signature. He has pretty much triangled all the people in his division at one time or another. Even today, after so many years of not really going for triangles, he is nicknamed the triangle guy. There’s a good reason for that: he knows everything about strangling from that position.

This set will work for everyone, but for people built like Hall, this DVD will make all the difference. For people of all sizes, this DVD will make all the difference. No triangle choke elements will be a mystery after the completion of this instructional. Even after the first volume, you will understand the mechanics of the triangle’s choking abilities. In addition, you will start to see the triangle as a position and not as a submission. This is a game-changing concept!

As he expands his knowledge of the subject, Hall begins to explain the angles of attack and entrances. There are closed guard configurations of starting triangles that you have probably never considered as a possibility. In addition, there are evil half guard setups and very good drills to make sure you have a good command of the system. That’s not all. There are also advanced attacks, such as inverted guard and seated guard triangles. There is also an excellent system of attacks with triangles located in the highest positions, such as mount and the back.

Back Attacks

There is a reason why most high-level grapplers have an instruction DVD on the rear mount position. It is the ultimate attack position that offers the most reliability in BJJ. Ryan Hall is no stranger to this position, as well as to all the attacks you can carry out from there.

This DVD of Ryan Hall starts slowly and methodically, with some great concepts on the position of the back. It is about controlling an opponent as well as possible without giving up anything. The first volume explains how to position your torso and limbs in such a way as to make any opponent powerless.

Once you are able to keep and control the rear, it is time to move on to the finish line. The second volume is the submission volume. It all starts with the strangulation at the back, including the Gi and No-Gi variations. Arm locking attacks are based off failed suffocation attacks, offering fantastic opportunities. Of course, there are also the mandatory attacks in Ryan Hall’s triangle.

For the more advanced, or guys into the fun moves, the final volume is all about rolling attacks. Attacks from the turtle’s position, from side-control and everywhere are described in detail. This movement is actually not difficult at all and Ryan is the man who will make all able to do it.

Open Elbow

This is a very interesting DVD instructional video, to say the least. There are not many purely conceptual DVDs, apart from Kit Dale. Don’t get me wrong, however, there are a lot of ideas in this Ryan Hall DVD. However, the overall approach is very different, as its name suggests. Similar to the release of the arm triangle, the focus of the game is on a family of attacks based on the same concept – an open elbow.

The idea behind the open elbow is to know how to control a person by breaking the structure of their arm so that it becomes a lever that you can manipulate. All concepts that refer to the open elbow are treated in detail. The first volume contains both theoretical and fundamental strategies for control and open elbow tactics.

The second and third volumes deal with the application of the open elbow principle with two very common arms attacks. The Kimura and the Omoplata, respectively, are the main themes here. In both cases, the approach is very different from the traditional approach. Once again, Hall is the clock as much as the positions instead of just positions. Even better, it continues to rely on the open elbow concept to build logical systems in all directions.

Fifty/50 Guard

Why is this DVD of Ryan Hall at the very end instead of being up there with the other guard instructionals? First of all, it’s a No-Gi DVD, while all the other versions are in the Gi. In addition, it is the DVD that describes Ryan’s other signature movement, with the exception of the triangle: the hook for the inner heel. This is the only source on the Fifty/50 guard that every grappling enthusiast must have. It’s as simple as that.

Ryan named the first volume Fifty/50 illuminated. That’s exactly what’s happening on this release. Ryan points out everything about the Fifty/50 guard position. Limb positioning, grip fighting and heel-digging are some of the main topics in the first volume.

The real magic happens in the second disc. Ryan is famous for his Imanari roll with a Fifty/50 heel hook in grappling and MMA. He has even done it several times in the octagon, during his stint in the Ultimate Fighter. It breaks down every entry you can imagine, as well as its iconic Imanari roll.

Naturally, the gold is the last volume. This is the advanced section, full of detailed entries and incredible finishing details. It also contains crucial information on the treatment of Fifty/50 guard from a passing point of view. This is the ultimate complete Fifty/50 guard training, especially for all heel hook lovers.

About the author

Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!

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