Ronaldo Aoqui, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt who teaches at Gracie Humaitá academy in the Northeastern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, wrote in to GRACIEMAG.com to share the news from his neck of the woods.
Good news, at that. Now, one of the most respected schools in the state capital, Natal, is offering Jiu-Jitsu class to its students. To start there will be two groups, one for the youngest students and another for the elder kids. According to the teacher, it’s a milestone for Jiu-Jitsu in the state and a “hurdle leapt” for the sport in the rest of the country.
Aoqui explains in the following GRACIEMAG.com interview:
GRACIEMAG.com: What will Jiu-Jitsu class be like at Facex, the school with which you have joined forces?
RONALDO AOQUI: Class will be held on the Facex-RN facilities. It won’t be taught off in the corner of some classroom (laughs). It will be a part of regular school activities, integrated into the rest of the curriculum. It will be overseen exclusively by Gracie Humaitá RN and will focus on our “Antibullying” program. In class we’ll be dealing with bullying specifically.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of teaching to youths studying at the same school, with similar backgrounds?
By teaching to students from the same school we get to be around and close to everyone involved. Our aim is to make it so the program becomes a real solution to bullying situations. Imagine if we get to see the verbally or physically bullied kid and the aggressor training together in the same group—it would be fantastic. Through our program, with specific training for each situation, they will become friends. This type of approach may only be possible within a school.
What were the talks with the school board like?
They went great. Attending the meetings, besides the school board, there were pedagogical coordinators, sports coordinators and psychologists. All of them were impressed by Jiu-Jitsu, by the quality of our program and how it can handle several of the situations they’re constantly dealing with. We weren’t met with any negativity whatsoever. They even said they’d received other proposals to install Jiu-Jitsu classes there, but none with the approach to teaching that we have. Other schools are interested in implementing the class too. That makes us really happy, since we managed to leap a major hurdle. I’ll take this opportunity to thank the Facex-RN school board for their sensational support and compliment them on the commitment and affection they have shown for their students.
What do you recommend for Jiu-Jitsu professors who would like to strike up a partnership with a school?
First off they have to put together an effective class program. Then they’ll need to implement the program in their own academy to make sure it works. Once they’ve come up with results then they can present them to the school. They’ll need to have arguments for everything, since they’re proposing to teach children, and their parents will want to know the who, why and how of what’s to be done. Take good care of the kids and treat them as if they were your own; after all, they’re our most precious asset. That’s the gist of what I recommend.