This is a review of http://www.bjjcollective.com. I was contacted by Stephen Kim of the website in the comments section awhile back. I’m not a member so this is just a quick overview of what you can expect to find and my opinion of the site. It is also just that – my opinion. YMMV.
Layout and Navigation
The site uses a drop-down menu to present you with options to filter videos in case you’re trying to find something specific. For example, you could pick “Sambo” from the stand-up section (and then “Sambo”, and then “Throws”) to see a set of throws from Sambists like Reilly Bodycomb.
There is a search feature. For fun I compared it to YouTube by searching for “Koepfer”. Rolled-Up Episode 35 pops up which is awesome, but I was hoping to see some of the other videos by SamboSteve. To be fair, there’s not a lot on YouTube for that search term either. You have to know what you’re looking for on YouTube, and the big advantage of BJJ Collective is the ability to look without knowing the term you’re looking for.
The categories and sub-categories (though not sub-sub-categories) have nice pictures, which are great because there’s so much variation in terminology. For example, there’s the picture for “scarf hold” and another for “side forward”, but I would call it “kuzure kesa gatame” and would expect the techniques to be under “scarf hold”. The pictures definitely help you understand what’s going to be in each category.
There’s not actually a lot to say on this. The videos are all from YouTube so there doesn’t seem to be any original content. As noted, the real benefit is the fact that someone else has gone through the work of finding all of the videos for you.
There is the ability to rate and add a breakdown of the video, but no ratings or break downs existed for the videos I psuedo-randomly sampled.
I like that someone went through the work of finding all of the videos. Normally you’d have to hope that someone shared the video on LockFlow that you could find it in the technique library or know what to search for on YouTube or LapelChoke, but BJJ Collective presents an interface where I can just look in categories to get to what I want without even having to know the terms. The guy held me like that picture, it was this variation, and I want an escape. Now I have four. Awesome. It’s definitely a format I’d recommend for beginners looking to find techniques.
The one big knock I will make is that the UI could use some work. The fact that a drop-down is used, but is not closed when you make a final selection, that I have to click “Wrestling” as a sub-category of “Wrestling”, that there are three different versions of navigation on the page, and the “(Go Back)” link to the right of the category title all feel a bit weird. The page is not responsive so you don’t get an experience optimized for mobile. That’s all very picky though. LockFlow isn’t any better on the responsive web department, and comparing to LapelChoke should probably be cheating since Jesse is, well, Jesse and we would all be disappointed if M3MMA didn’t put out a responsive site.