Describing What You Do: BJJ / Grappling Commitments

If you are employed in a job you may have a job description (JD) explaining what you have to do. It may or may not be very precise and detailed. An example is if you are a recptionist your JD could be:

It is essentially a practical method to communicate a shared understanding between you and your boss about:

  • what your job is
  • what you're expected to achieve
  • where/how it relates to other jobs
  • the character traits and skill sets you are expected to foster and develop though your job.

How does this then relate to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling?

Well think about your training. Think about the amount of time, energy and money you invest in your sessions both on and off the mat.

What if I suggested that a similar summary can be drafted between you and your coach / instructor / gym owner? How would you approach that?

Are you in an honest relationship? Are you expecting things that your BJJ / Grappliong academy has no intention of delivering? Are they forthcoming about that or are they pretending to be all-things-to-all-people? Maybe you aspire to be a fearsome competitor but your academy focuses on Self-Defence. Maybe you want to learn how use BJJ in amateur, pro-am or even Pro-MMA. Does your academy have the right classes for you?

Here is a quick example based on how I feel as a BJJ player / Grappler at the LABS - FIGHTING FIT MANCHESTER:

Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities
  • for every class I attend, show up early enough to be changed and ready on the mat exactly at start of the session
  • always adhere to general rules of conduct and exhibit exemplary hygiene (person, personal equipment and any equipment I use)
  • listen/watch/feel/train intently and with my best focus
  • assist others to do the same (minimise distractions and wise-ass jokes!)
  • direct any administrative queries to the gym owners (prices, gi purchase...etc.)
  • pay my fees in a timely fashion

Education and Experience
  • declare any conditions I may carry with me to the instructor (e.g. dodgy heart, blood pressure issues, skin infections...etc.)
  • suitable skills for the class attended (don't attend an advanced class on your 4th visit and complain the pace was too fast!)

Key Competencies

  • work on BJJ / Grappling related attributes (e.g. balance, weight management, flexability...etc.) in my own time
  • gain a basic understanding of both exercise nutrition and recovery 

In short, I don't expect to work at weight management or flexibility at the BJJ / Grappling sessions. Neither do I expect the classes to be tailored around me and my needs. More importantly, I know my own needs and wants and suffer from no illusions between the two nor around them being my coaches' responsibility vs my own.

How do you view your relation with your academy and coaches? Also, how do you think they view you and their responsibilities towards you? Do the two match?


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