11 Things Your BJJ Instructor Won’t Tell You

Your BJJ instructor wears a black belt around his waist for a reason. It’s a product of hard work, determination and a whole lot of warrior spirit that has helped him get to where he is today. As a black belt, he has had a wealth of experience both in the classroom and in competition. So when he says he knows what he’s talking about – you better believe it and show him some respect.

As much as an instructor loves his job, there are certainly some things that frustrate him, especially when it comes to their students. As they certainly would love all their students to become future world champions, there are some things that they do that stand in the way of improvement.

Evolve Daily asked some of the BJJ World Champion instructors of Evolve MMA their pet peeves as teachers. Perhaps, we, as students, could overcome these bad habits in our quest to becoming the best BJJ practitioners we could be.

Here are the 11 Things Your BJJ Instructor Won’t Tell You:

It takes an average of 10 years to receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It takes an average of 10 years to receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

1) We don’t like it when you talk when we’re explaining a technique.

When we’re explaining a technique, please pay attention. It’s not for our benefit; we want you to learn from us. There’s no way you can focus if you decide to turn training time into socializing time. You can socialize with your teammates after class.

2) We don’t like it when you walk on and off the mats without asking permission.

When you walk on and off the mats without asking permission, you show us that you don’t care about the lesson or even the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you have no respect for your instructor or BJJ, then you don’t have any business being on the mats and training.

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The friendships that are forged through martial arts certainly last a lifetime.

3) We know when you aren’t paying attention to the lesson.

Even when you think we aren’t watching because we’re busy explaining a technique, we know when you aren’t listening to us. We know when you’re looking outside the windows or talking to your teammates. Please save it for after class or have the courtesy to wait until we’re done explaining the technique.

4) When we tell you to line up, you should probably line up.

Lining up before and after class is one of the greatest traditions in BJJ. You line up according to belt rank and pay respect to your instructor. At the end of the class, you get back in this same line and bow out to your instructor and fellow teammates. By doing this, you not only respect for your instructor but BJJ as a whole.

BJJ is a martial art deeply rooted in tradition.

BJJ is a martial art deeply rooted in tradition.

5) We know when you aren’t doing the warm-up properly.

Nothing bothers us more than when we see students who refuse to warm-up properly. If you are injured, please tell us beforehand so we can accommodate you. Otherwise, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to warm-up properly, just like the rest of the students.

6) Please help the new students.

If you’re a higher belt, please make an effort to help the newer students. As much as we’d like to help all the students, sometimes, it can get difficult to give special attention. We don’t expect you to teach the new students, but we would appreciate it if you could answer their questions or help them correct their technique if they ask.

The objective of your BJJ training should be to obtain complete mastery of ground control and submissions.

The objective of your BJJ training should be to obtain complete mastery of ground control and submissions.

7) Make an effort to come to class on time.

Just like we’ve made an effort to come to class on time to teach you, we’d like you to do the same for us. It shows us that you appreciate our time and hard work. It also shows us how serious you are about getting better at BJJ because you’re determined to make the most out of every class. If you show up late for a good reason, stay on the side of the mat and ask for our permission before you step on the mats and join the class.

8) Please come to class with a clean gi.

We shouldn’t have to say this, but good hygiene is definitely appreciated (especially by your training partners). If you’ve trained Muay Thai or attended a strength and conditioning class beforehand, try to take a quick shower before your BJJ class. And if you can, keep your nails short. Nobody likes to be scratched!

9) Respect us!

We’ve paid our dues with the thousands of hours we spent on the mats. We’ve joined tournaments, rolled with many different training partners and practiced techniques over and over again, thousands and thousands of times. We’ve been injured; we’ve been submitted by lower belts – we’ve done it all. Please respect our journey and acknowledge all the blood, sweat and tears we’ve poured into this martial art. Someday, you’ll know what it’s like to be in our shoes too.

Whether it’s fixing techniques you already know or revising the techniques you’ve just learned in class, drilling before and after class could make a huge difference in your game.

Whether it’s fixing techniques you already know or revising the techniques you’ve just learned in class, drilling before and after class could make a huge difference in your game.

10) We know when you’re feeling lazy.

Yes, we know you don’t like doing the same techniques over and over again, but it’s necessary if you want to be good at BJJ. Repetition and drilling will make the techniques reflex each time you roll, so it’s definitely worth the effort. When we tell you to do a technique 10 times, please actually try to do the technique 10 times. We know it’s repetitive and boring, but remember – practice makes perfect!

11) We love questions!

Please don’t ever feel afraid to approach us after class or in between techniques to ask questions. We love being asked questions because we know that you’re actually paying attention in class. When you ask us questions, it shows us that you are making an effort to become better at BJJ. Don’t be shy, we are always there to help you!

 

Remember, your instructor is only human. It’s natural for anyone to feel frustrated, especially if he or she is trying to teach something that they’ve practiced most of his or her life. Let’s show some respect for our instructors and continue working on becoming the best BJJ students we could be. OSS!

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