7 qualities every great Jiu-Jitsu teacher needs to have

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Roger Gracie seminar at Gracie Barra Fullerton

With Jiu-Jitsu gaining popularity by the day, the number of Jiu-Jitsu Professors also grows by the day. How can you know which ones are for real and which ones will hurt you more than help you? On GRACIEMAG #179, the cover story addressed the 10 fundamental qualities a great Jiu-Jitsu Professor needs to have. Here are 7 of them. Here we go.

1. Motivate the student: Carlos Gracie Jr. says that the teacher’s mission is to develop the ability to motivate students to fulfill their dreams. Rickson Gracie says that the first thing he does when a new student comes in is to find out what are their interests and goals. If you know it, you’ll be able to help them more efficiently.

2. Motivate yourself: Teaching the techniques is not the hard part. The really difficult part is to figure out if teaching Jiu-Jitsu is really your life’s mission. Carlos Gracie Jr. says that the question you need to answer is: “Is Jiu-Jitsu what I want to do for a living?” If the answer is yes, the hurdles in the way will be much easier to jump over.

3. Develop an effective method: It may take a while, but once you find an effective method to teach, things will get easier. Carlos Gracie Jr. says that what he does is to at first stimulate students to repeat movements until it’s become muscle memory, then he aims to make students get creative and try to find solutions for problems using what they know.

Fabio Gurgel

4. Cherish the essence of the art: You cannot inspire others if you don’t believe in the essence of what Jiu-Jitsu is, and that means self-defense. Master Jose Henrique Leão Teixeira says: “Every teacher needs to know self-defense. It helps to teach new students with no previous martial arts experience.”

5. Team work, tight-knit group: Carlos and Helio Gracie had one of the most well-ran Jiu-Jitsu academies in history. They would attend to every detail of the operation and would know every student personally. Discipline and method were the back bones of their success.

6. Serve as an example: Just like any other teacher, the Jiu-Jitsu professor is an educator. That means people will look up to you for guidance and you know actions mean a lot more than words. A clean gi, a fit figure, good maners, humbleness, so and so are all qualities a great Professor needs to possess.

7. Convey knowledge in a concise manner: There are great champions who just don’t know how to teach. Passing the knowledge is an art, just like Jiu-Jitsu itself. Develop an effective way to teach others what you know and also pass on the importance of Jiu-Jitsu in people’s lives.


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