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Are you a BJJ Guide?
I recently took a guided backpacking trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was incredibly beautiful, challenging, and provided one hell of a brain break. The scenery was breathtaking. We hiked close to 35 miles in just 3 days. We climbed to the continental divide, swam in mountain lakes, and camped deep in the woods. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity, and a theme came to while spending hours following our amazing guide, Tamara.
Tamara took the lead every day. She cooked meals, showed us how to set up our gear. She made sure we didn’t get eaten by bears and helped us become more comfortable in a new and foreign location. We were fortunate to have her, and in such an unfamiliar place, we trusted her with making our experience a great one.
When we hiked she made sure we stepped in the right places, alerted us to where the dirt was loose, and pointed out potential hazards. She at times insisted we abandon particular locations before hazardous weather moved in. She made sure we saw the most beautiful places, challenged us, and helped us realize we were more capable than we might have thought. She was amazing, and I’d follow her again without question.
Are you a guide in your BJJ academy? Are you someone that others wish to follow? If you’re an upper rank, you should feel a sense of duty to the new students and to your school. Who led you down the path when you began your journey? We can all remember someone special that took an interest in our progress and guided us through the most trying times of our BJJ inexperience.
As higher belts we are charged with guiding the new BJJ recruits. We help them avoid common mistakes, show them the shortcuts we wish we had known, impart that special wisdom and philosophy upon them that carried us through our tough times. We show them the beauty of the art and all its wonder. We communicate to them the common pitfalls and misconceptions of training. We make them feel at home and introduce them to our culture, making sure they understand etiquette, and the expectations of the academy. We inspire them to believe in themselves and help them to realize they are far more capable then they may have believed. Of course, everyone must learn from their mistakes as well. That’s why we’re also there to assist in navigating the stagnation and plateaus that everyone will inevitably face.
Why do we guide? Because someone did it for us. We do this to raise the standard and quality of the academy and its Jiu-Jitsu. Making sure that every crop of new white belts that comes through the door is better than we were at every stage of our BJJ voyage.
I truly wish for my students to be better black belts than me. This will mean that a culture of guidance, kindness, and genuine concern for the advancement of others has been established. And that’s something special to be a part of.
If you're looking for a guide in the area of fundamental jiu jitsu, check out Gregor Gracie's "High Level Fundamentals" available here at BJJ Fanatics!