Cause its back on the net!
Due to this topic raising its ugly head again on social media. I decided to re-read all the articles published about the Gracie University online. Including the one’s about the students that received their blue belt via the online system.
The main reason I thought it might be appropriate to put my thoughts out there is that I am about to launch an online instructor portal for my own BJJ franchise, although mine is aimed at existing instructors it shares similarities with the Gracie model.
My first instinct after re-reading the material was probably very similar to most BJJ instructors, how could this happen? Do these people not realize that they are missing out on one of the most important parts of the journey? Etc. Etc.
I then noticed that they say nothing about whether students spar or not (only that it is not required by the syllabus) then I got to thinking should it really matter whether people do or don’t? Most people would say yes it does matter because we don’t want BJJ to go down the same terrible route that a lot of traditional martial arts have gone, where some students and teachers use fear and superstition to mask reality.
This is when it hit me the main difference between BJJ and the more main stream martial arts is simply the fact that we are not main stream and in general we do not have enough people practicing our martial art/sport so we are not exposed to the needs of different types of students as often as we should be.
I was a student of the powerhouse Gracie Barra team of the late 90’s early 00’s during which time the training was very one dimensional for one type of person with one goal to win medals and they did over and over again. At face value the Cicero Costha school is good modern example of this hence their competition success at the moment.
These days Barra still win medals but they also do something else they provide a service and an option for people with different needs and wants (Jiu-Jitsu for everyone) are they better or are they worse for this? No they are just different, Gracie academy are just another extension of this maybe a step further but still pursuing the same goal Jiu-JItsu for everyone.
So should we be dictating to our students how and what to learn or should we be putting all the information out there in different formats for different people with different needs, allowing them the freedom to decide what type of student they want to be.
I like this last option because I spend a lot of time teaching kids and what I find is kids learn better when they are comfortable and they are happy and they develop at different speeds some start out slow and come home fast with the right encouragement that is, are adults really that different.
Live Learn Evolve.