Belts and Stripes – The Joys Of Teaching

Now if you’re not aware, I’m a Blue Belt, and in B.J.J. you can only teach if you are a Purple Belt with the guidance of your professor. However, in our Kids Class, we have a 14-year-old boy who weighs around 88KG (more than me) and he has some kind of mental problem, I’m not sure if it’s autism, but one of his issues in class is to stay focused and pay attention to the position that is being taught.

Since my professor couldn’t teach the kids and this boy at the same time, he asked me to come and help with him during the kids’ class and then I’d stay for the adult class. Besides being unfocused on the positions, this boy also focuses on other things happening around, either within or without the room, and comments them, interrupting the class and shifting the kids’ attention away. So it’s quite difficult to keep him hooked to the Jiu Jitsu being lectioned.

Despite the odds, I managed to teach something to him, like breaking guard, sweeping from the guard, and rolling when in all fours with your opponent’s arm grabbed, thus earning side control. My patience gets tested every training session with him and I even get frustrated, despite how silly it might seem, but I still do when I can’t successfully teach him a position, for example, setting up the triangle… That was a defeat for me.

But when I see him doing the position without any hint from me… How can I even explain… My chest swells with pride by watching his development. Now, if only he could apply them during the rolls, that would be amazing… I’ve yet to make him accomplish that though.

Now as a Blue Belt, I pulled some training sessions in the kids’ class as well, when my professor couldn’t attend and I loved doing it! I felt really good sharing the little knowledge I have, and even though I was a little harsh in physical conditioning, the kids loved the whole class! There’s this feeling I have that makes me extremely happy while teaching… We’ll see how it goes from here and once I get my Purple Belt in the future, perhaps I can get a class of myself to teach.  Teaching feels very rewarding, be it with kids or adults, as some White Belts asked for some guidance or even when I can add some input into what they can improve, it’s just marvelous to watch them growing up as well.

But until then, there’s a lot of practice and learning to be done. I wish you guys luck in the rolls to come, free from injuries. Oss!

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