BJJ Poll: Should BJJ Students Be Able to Videotape Their Instructors’ Class Whenever They Want?


This week’s poll question comes to us from a member of the Mighty 600,000 who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor. One of his students is very insistent on video taping the class to help him learn the new BJJ that is shown.

What do you think? Is this alright?

13 Replies to “BJJ Poll: Should BJJ Students Be Able to Videotape Their Instructors’ Class Whenever They Want?”

  1. I would love to be able to video every class, so I voted yes, although I would expect people to ask permission first. If I ever ran a class, then ideally I would want to follow Cane Prevost’s example, taping each one and putting the clips up online.

  2. I would think it would be OK and voted yes. The thing that my Professor would object to and I think rightfully so is whether or how it got shared. If it was all for me just to review at home I would think he would even encourage it, just not have every lesson posted on YouTube.

  3. I voted no. My instructor’s primary source of income is his BJJ instruction and his lessons are the product he is selling. I would have to get permission before taping him and not post full lessons online.

  4. I voted no as well. Tom has it spot on. This may be the instructors livelyhood, and a product that he sells. It would not be fair to him to give away what he is selling to others for free. It would be akin to pirating. Clips here and there I can see being ok to promote, but not entire classes whenever the student wants.

  5. I voted no because I think this should always be the teachers decision, not “whenever the student wants.” Regardless of the reason, whether it’s financial concerns, stage fright (uncomfortable teaching on camera), or just because they don’t feel like it.

    The instructor should feel comfortable with their decision either way and the student should be free to choose their instructor. Video of the lesson and of yourself in class are useful tools, but not more valuable than good live instruction… so, if filming disrupts the class in ANY way, it should be sacrificed.

  6. I have taped some seminars for my site. It isnt ever the whole seminar but some are fine with it, others arent. I voted no but I could see a seminar setting being fine, day to day lessons could be difficult, if you are attending then you should learn it anyway, one off techniques that you may learn in a seminar would be more suitable for taping for further review.

  7. My vote is absolutly not.. only the academy has the right to do so. Some schools now offer virtual bjj instruction.. ex: JJ Machado, Draculino, mGinaction..

    These are techniques taught and filmed under the academies flag.. I think it’s ok to take notes.. but no cameras of any kind should be allowed while a class or a seminar is in progress unless with the acdemies’ consent.

  8. Since the question specifies “when they want”, I voted “no”. It is up to the school and instructor whether one is allowed to videotape the class and a student should ask permission before doing so.

    I do think videotaping your sparring session is a great learning tool, so one can see their mistakes. But if everyone does it, then it can distract the instructor and the class.

    I also think students should videotape with self-improvement/education in mind; rather than seeking attention and posting it on youtube/facebook. In other words, just keep it to yourself and learn from it.

  9. I think it’s interesting that everyone equates “filming” class with “posting the video online for others.”

    I understand and respect concerns which apply to the latter. However, I think my ability to digest and apply the lessons of the day would be enhanced if I could review the lesson afterwards. I think that if filming could be done subtly, without intruding on the flow of the class or impairing one’s own or another student’s attention to the lesson, it would be a more effective and efficient means of taking notes (which I don’t think anyone objects to.)

    And I think it would be appropriate to have a forewarned penalty for violating the instructor’s preference about posting it online… perhaps banning from the academy wouldn’t be too severe?

    I don’t like the locus of the decision to be solely in the student’s hands. I sympathize with an instructor who might have stage fright badly enough just from speaking in public. On the other hand, I know that seeing one’s presentation on tape can help you identify areas of improvement too… so me personally, I’d love the opportunity to refine my presentation 🙂

    Interesting question. I agree with Slidey– more people should do as Cane does.

  10. Almost anything you can learn from your local school you can find online for free. so for that reason i would say its fine. I think the only reason to say no is If he is letting his friends use the video to train then the school is losing money

  11. As a professor (college) I would disagree with a student trying to film my classes and posting it online. I would lean the same way with BJJ instructors.

    I have filmed my rolling sessions at the end of classes plenty of times but I always asked my instructors and rolling partners if it was okay.

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