Three circles need to intersect for the above to be true:
- The Instructor
- The Material
- The Learner
How many BJJ instructors and coaches out there are qualified to coach, i.e. have had any formal training in how to teach a skill (instruction) or improve performance (coaching)? How many grappling coaches out there can adjust their delivery method to suit a visual learner vs. a tactile learner or (more commonly) a mixed group of learners? Many? A few? Any? Heck, most BJJ instructors outside Brazil have to teach in a language they haven't even mastered yet!
BJJ, or Gracie Jiu Jitsu as some prefer to call it, is a huge art (a full post on that later!) and naturally not everyone will be equally interested in all the parts that encompass the art. Some people want to learn the best self defence system in the world, get fitter and maybe make some new friends, some want to learn a competitive sport and win countless BJJ & grappling (or even MMA) medals and trophies while others (like myself) see all the above as fantastic fringe benefits but really see the arte suave as a wonderful life long vehicle of self discovery. Is the instructor prepared to create BJJ / grappling / MMA programmes and courses that cater to all these needs? Does he or she even want to cater or all these people? If not then they definitely shouldn't be claiming to do so.
Are you patient? Do you know why you would want to devote hours a week to toiling on the mats with strangers (at least to begin with)? Are you honest to your instructor, your co-learners and (most importantly) yourself about your goals, resources and (ever-changing) drive & motivation to gear the latter towards achieving the former?
-"that's amazing", I said. "I wish everybody knew that!"
-"many do", she replied, "but not all are strong enough to go thru the process of change it involves".