Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pouco Casa de Dor para Iniciantes.

Maybe the title of this post should be "Newbie's Pouco Casa de Dor". My Portuguese sucks. Mainly because I don't speak it. :) But the sentiment is there: Newbie's Little House of Pain.

So, now that the barn is actually starting to look a little bit like a gym, a few of my youth who have never done jiu-jitsu before want to come learn at my house. These particular kids don't come from well off families and can't afford to go to Fabio's. There are also a few youth who used to go to Summerlin but don't have regular transportation to Fabio's and so have quit bjj since Summerlin closed down. They want to come too.

At first, when Phil, Stephanie and I talked about it, I was concerned because I feel that I am still a beginner and not really fit to be teaching. Phil had more confidence in us and said he thought we would do fine teaching the basics.

I think we could teach basic positions and submissions. But my worry is that, since I still get details wrong on some basic moves, I would be worried that I would either leave out important details or teach bad habits. Also, there are a LOT of things I have never even seen before at this point. I have a feeling my answers to a lot of these kids questions would be, "Uhhh...I'm not sure...maybe try this?"

I went to both Fabio and Ben and asked them about it and to my utter shock they were completely supportive of us teaching these kids. In fact, they said it would be good for us and would sharpen our own grappling skills, because it would force us to learn the details better in order to teach them.

Even typing this makes me nervous. To be honest, I don't want to be responsible for teaching the foundational techniques to these kids yet. I would be much happier if I could convince one of the higher belts at the school to come and teach. They would have to teach for free because of the situation--I would be able to pay them a little bit but the kids wouldn't.

I don't know. It's not like we'll be trying to teach flying armbars or anything. If we do teach, we'll start with just positions and control and a few basic submissions. I just don't want to teach them the wrong things....


Georgette said...

I salute your dedication to the sport. You have the right attitude about it too-- I'd be worried if someone was like "yeah sure I can teach!" But you will always be double checking and humble. And like you said, nothing flying, nothing crazy. Hopefully it instills a total love of grappling and hopefully these kids eventually move on to "professional" instruction-- and for sure it will help you!

A.D. McClish said...

That would be excellent, if they would get hooked and move on to Fabio's. I am still holding out hope that I can get someone else to teach. The thing is, it is a bit of a commitment. For me it's not that bad since it is at my house. But I think most of the higher belts live a good 20-30 minutes away from me. Plus, most of them are really busy. We will see.

Kalle said...

I wouldn't get too hung up. It's not as though anyone absorbs anything perfectly the first time they're taught anyway. Beginners will make mistakes regardless of who is teaching them. As long as you can help them make fewer mistakes, I'd say you're probably set.

Anonymous said...

I believe you have more than enough knowledge to teach new guys and gals. Besides, the benefits surely outweigh the negatives. By teaching them and allowing them a safe place to practice you will be saving them hundreds if not thousands of dollars and doing your part to make BJJ spread.

Most likely, years from now, they will say their best BJJ days were when they trained in a barn (I think that's what you called it.) in Florida.

I wish I could set something like that up in my house but my wife is always shutting me down. :)

Aparna said...

Honestly, you (and really, they) will be fine. Stick to the basics, drill like crazy, and they'll be awesome. Your coaches are definitely right in saying that it'll improve your own jiu jitsu. Even if you couldn't get someone regularly, if you could convince them to come every few weeks and have them rotate, it wouldn't be a huge commitment.

TBH, I'm kind of jealous--I'm only a white belt myself, but I love teaching and can't wait to get better so that maybe one day I actually can.

NinjaEditor said...

Allie, that's awesome! What a great opportunity for these kids. Teaching will definitely solidify your grasp of techniques. You'll do great!

slideyfoot said...

How young are those kids? As the Gracie Bullyproof thing is actually pretty good with games and the like for children about 4-14 or so.

To throw some more links at you, this is what I sent through recently to a guy who was asking about resources for teaching a class:

Das Moose has some great advice here. Some more insightful thoughts on good coaching here, another good thread on teaching here, along with a thread on starting a school here. Finally, here's a cheap way of matting a new gym.

You could also check out Cane Prevost's blog. He's a black belt instructor at SBGi HQ, and that blog basically runs through what and how he teaches.

BJJ Judo said...

I hate to be the only person to mention this, but I would think long and hard before teaching little kids in my garage. If someone gets hurt you could be on the hook for a lot of money. Home Owners might cover the injury, but if they found out the injury happened during a martial arts session held in your garage rather then a normal accident they won't be so quick to write a check. I hate to be the stick in the mud but you could be in for a world of headaches if anything goes wrong. Even a minor injury could cost a lot of money if insurance does not cover it.