I just got a copy of the Blue Belt Requirements iPhone App from Roy Dean at no cost with the aim of reviewing it and hopefully some others out there on the market. I am reviewing on an iPhone 4 running IOS 4.1 (8B117).
This is a fledgling market and really only the Machado Brothers, Stephen Kesting, Darculino and Roy Dean have embraced it fully, with only Roy and Draculino going for a full course offering.
As with all new apps and technologies there are bound to be teething problems and issues so I have taken this into account in this review. It is not the same as reviewing DVD’s, Gi’s or belts as these are all established and should be at that point of perfection, or at least nearing it.
There is no disclaimer at the start of the app, about the risk of the sport and the fact that you take this on yourself and should always be aware but this seems to be something which varies across apps.
The menu system is functional offering:
->Us Open 2001
->Year One Trailer
There is no branding on this screen just a sparse menu but this is something which could easily be added as the app is updated.
The same can also be said for the sub menus and the way the videos are split up, I would personally like to see a bit more granularity. For example when you click on chokes you are presented with a nearly nineteen minute video which displays a whole range of chokes all of which are titled nicely for each choke but you cannot skip to them easily.
It would be nice to be able to either watch this video or jump straight to a specific choke in the video from a sub menu for example.
–>–>Palm Up Palm Up Collar Choke
–>–>Paul Up Palm Down Collar Choke
This could be done for each section and would make the navigation easier and quicker, you could just move to something you wanted to check on before a class for example.
The videos themselves however are superb, and offer a lot to a student up to blue belt. The sound as with any BJJ video, DVD or App I have seen is a bit hollow but that comes from filming in a large matted room.
Each technique is shown, explained, shown again, then issues and adjustments are looked into before finally showing the technique from both sides and head on. Each section is as good as you would get from a DVD with the added portability that this format offers you. Couple this with excellent scaling to the screen of an iPhone make it an extremely valuable tool for a BJJ practitioner.
So what do you get:
Videos 152 minutes and 9 seconds (2 hours 32 mins 9 seconds)
Roy Dean written biog
I would say that all in all this is an App well worth it’s money, it is taken from the DVD of the same name (retail $44.95 plus $4.95 p&p uk prices correct at time of writing £27.73 plus £3.05) and much of the video footage and content looks to be the same from what I can tell so you do really get value from this app. Roy Dean is an excellent teacher and these videos really get across the techniques he is showing in an easy to understand manner and hopefully easy to copy.
The overall feel and look could be improved with a few minor updates but as you pay for content with something like that you cannot complain with what you are given. Finally the massive advantage is that you can carry all this knowledge in your pocket which you cannot do with a DVD. I took it to the gym last night and when struggling with a choke, quickly had a look and we moved on, this is a plus you cannot underestimate.
All updates to this will be free ongoing I have had this confirmed.
The No Gi and Purple Belt versions will be reviewed soon as well, I will of course be enlisting some help for the purple belt review 🙂
I write this blog for my personal enjoyment. From time to time I may give my opinion on a product or service. It is just my opinion and other people’s opinions may differ.
As a BJJ practitioner and Master of BMJ (Big Man Jitsu) I, like Yoda, am sustained by the living force!
As such I have no sponsors to please or benefactors before whom I must Kow-tow.
I say it as I see it.
When it comes to reviews I speak without fear or favour.