Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Interview with Jojo and Rob G. PT II – Teaching Philosophies

After JoJo and Rob G. brought me up to speed about their history together, they wanted to spend some time talking about their teaching philosophies. Of course, I had to listen.

As one would expect, JoJo and Rob G. overlap on two of the most important traits a teacher can have:

  • Attention to detail; and
  • A willingness to adjust the instruction to each individual class.

JoJo and Rob G. make sure they have carefully and studied each technique they teach before they present it to a class. I’ve often watched JoJo rehearse a technique with his planned “Uki” before he presents it to the class. I’ve also witnessed classes where JoJo would, “shift-gears” in situations where classes were either more or less experienced than he had anticipated. Rob G. considers this one of the hallmarks of good instruction.

Finally, I’m going to Bullet-Point JoJo and Rob G’s principles of teaching, and end with a great quote from Rob G.

JoJo Guarin

  • Put every position under a magnifying glass;
  • Dedicate one month to every position;
  • Study other player’s techniques; and
  • Find the best way to teach every class.

Robert Gutierrez

  • Fitness! (I left this bold on purpose.)
  • Drills and Cardio related to the techniques he’s teaching;
  • Creating a path of techniques;
  • Feeling out the class before I teach; and
  • Never having a set format. Deciding the format based on attendance.

And now, as promised, the single best quote about successfully teaching BJJ. After the interview, Rob G. had one more thing he wanted to add:

“I feel that the reason I’m successful in teaching Jiu-Jitsu is that I believe 100% in what I teach. I believe 100% in the techniques I teach. I believe 100% in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I believe 100% that what I teach is effective. And I believe 100% that what I do helps my students.”

I still have plenty of excellent material from the interview that I hope to share with you soon – including the principles of ECU itself.

Thanks again for reading the ECU BJJ and MMA Blog. As always, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting: structuring each month around a particular position is cool, although I'd be less keen on the fitness emphasis, depending on what form that takes. Partly that's because I'm lazy, but also because I find that spending a lot of time on cardio can take away from the reason I'm in class, which is to learn BJJ.

    On the other hand, cardio related directly to BJJ - e.g., practicing cross chokes in lieu of sit-ups, drilling the toreador pass in sets of ten, cycling through escapes/sweeps where you don't have to stop and switch (like escape from side control to your knees, single leg from there driving into side control, then they escape and repeat) - is something I enjoy.

    Although obviously I'm just some random blue who has never taught a class, so I'm purely talking out of my own preference for what kind of classes I like to attend.