Instructional videos are a popular way for people to supplement and enhance their martial arts training, whatever their discipline(s) of choice. Famous names like the Gracie family, Bas Rutten, Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva have all produced their own lines.

You also get lesser-known names making instructionals. Some of these are fantastic – such as the Train Fight Win series – and some are… not so fantastic. YouTube is, it seems, brimming with nonsense and there isn’t enough space on our website to show you every single dodgy video out there. But here’s a selection of the worst:

1. The King of Crap Instructionals

Its hard to know where to start with this one. Break Media did us a favour by making a highlight reel of the whole tape, focusing on the extra-cruddy bits. BJJ practitioners will love the knee-ride escape while MMA fans will learn something about takedown defence. This is mind-blowing from start to finish.

2. Fighting against a grappler

This is an extract from a series showing how to defend against grapplers. This particular segment shows what you can expect a grappler’s attack to look like. Make sure you watch carefully and learn how to look out for the various takedowns and backtakes that the grappler might use against you in the street or a “silly ring fight”.

3. Weird Solo Video

This appears to be some sort of forms/kata demonstration. I have no idea what on earth this is supposed to relate to, fight-wise, or what about it actually constitutes ‘martial arts’. This looks like a Trent Reznor music video, or someone with an interpretive dance background who has taken lots of acid on a Saturday night home alone. This guy is a strange, strange cat.

4. Compilation of Fail

This isn’t an instructional but rather a highlight reel of martial arts fail, showing exactly why MMA was needed as an evolution to show up the various fraudulent schools and systems that abounded. And yet, people still train at these sort of places – why?

5. Spiritual Warrior Medicine

Montague again. This time he has flipped the script and is showing us how to heal with our martial arts powers. This starts with ‘channelling the ground’s energy’ – which as far as I can tell consists of standing on it with both feet – followed by some dodgy rubbing and touching.

Does it work? You bet it does. Check out the testimonial at the end from the demonstration partner. If you are constipated, maybe this technique can help you too.

Honorable mention: Wing Chun 

Wing Chun people drive me crazy. Always banging on about scientific principles with their weird knock-need stance and their zealous disregard for empirical evidence. Ask them why there’s no evidence of Wing Chun being a useful martial art – eg in MMA competition – and they will tell you that its “too dangerous” to be used in the ring or that rules (even Vale Tudo apparently) are too restrictive.

When you see Wing Chun losing, there will inevitably be 1,000 comments on the video saying “this is not the real Wing Chun!”  (Where is the real Wing Chun? Judging by the prevalence of this comment over the years, it must be the most elusive thing on the planet. Apparently nobody who loses has ‘the real wing chun’)

But then on the rare occasions when a video emerges of Wing Chun actually appearing to win – eg when a Wing Chun school dresses one of its own students as ‘a kickboxer’ and has a senior student kick his ass on tape – then they practically froth at the mouth in their eagerness to share the success and outline all the ‘scientific principles’ that make it such a great style.

Here’s a question though – why is it when Ip Man, who is one of the major names of Wing Chun, actually organised a competitive tournament for Wing Chun people, all the fights didn’t look like Wing Chun does in forms and practice. Instead they quickly descend into flailing, bad kicks and poor takedown efforts. This appears to be ‘the real Wing Chun’ – and it looks like bad kickboxing.


You do get schools teaching ‘modern’ or ‘modified’ Wing Chun and their guys can sometimes grapple and kickbox to a decent standard. The reason is that the ‘modifications’ are jiu jitsu and Muay Thai techniques, and so its not really Wing Chun at all. Actually pure, unmodified Wing Chun has to the best of my knowledge never won in any multi-discipline full-contact tournament and never will, because its concepts are ridiculous and impractical.