The Art of Teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Adults: Balancing Expectations with Delivery Methods and Embracing Risk
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that requires dedication, discipline, and constant learning. As a coach, it's essential to understand how to deliver the right teaching methods depending on the student's skill levels. This article will discuss teaching BJJ to adult students, focusing on the importance of taking risks and embracing an offensive mindset as they progress through the ranks.
Patience with White Belts:
When teaching white belts, being patient and understanding is crucial, as they are often overwhelmed with new information. Recognizing that they may forget techniques or make repeated mistakes is essential. As a coach, you must create a supportive environment where they feel comfortable learning and can absorb information at their own pace.
A Firm Hand for Blue Belts:
As students progress to the blue belt level, they have likely been training for a while and have a solid foundation of knowledge. At this stage, coaches may become more demanding, expecting students to retain and apply the information they've learned. However, it's still important not to be overly critical, as mistakes and struggles are part of the learning process.
High Expectations for Purple Belts and Above:
Purple belts are considered experts in BJJ. Coaches should expect them to be capable of learning and implementing new techniques quickly. While it's acceptable for them to make occasional mistakes, repeated errors may warrant a more direct approach from the coach. At this level, students should be actively seeking improvement and be willing to make changes to their game.
Embracing Risk and Learning from Mistakes:
The mindset of "not getting tapped out" in a match can hinder progress, as it prioritizes defense over offense. Success in BJJ is not measured by your ability to avoid losing but by your ability to attack and submit your opponent. To grow as a practitioner, you must be willing to take risks and engage in offensive techniques.
The Importance of an Offensive Mindset:
During training, constantly attacking and seeking submissions is crucial for improvement. Adopting a defensive mindset is an admission of defeat and can only lead to failure in a no-time-limit match. To turn the tables against an aggressive opponent, you must be willing to take risks and attack back. This willingness to engage in offense is essential for success, even in self-defense situations. Self-defense is not about simply avoiding harm, but actively neutralizing threats by attacking and subduing aggressors.
No Victory Without Attack:
In BJJ, there is no reward without risk. Techniques like passing the guard, baiting submissions, and attempting sweeps require exposing oneself to potential danger. However, these calculated risks are necessary for growth and victory. Adopting an offensive mindset and being willing to take risks will ultimately lead to greater success in your BJJ journey. When it comes to training in the gym or even competition, I would rather lose knowing that I risked it all than achieve victory or stalemate by stalling my opponent.
Teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to adults requires an adaptive approach based on students’ skill levels. Coaches must balance expectations, provide appropriate guidance, and encourage personal responsibility for improvement. Emphasizing the importance of an offensive mindset and the willingness to take risks is essential for students to grow and excel in this highly rewarding martial art.