help need advice

Hello guys,

first off, I really admire Mr Harris as an intructor so more power and health to you sir.

Anyway here's my dilema: I'm a black belt in a modified form of aikido, but i did have training in judo before (not extensive) and have some considerable experience in submission grappling(the no ranking system just roll and learn as much as u can type. Now in the aikido gym where i train in I was tasked to teach the ground techniques since the students there would like to be familiar with the ground game aside from the stand up jiu-jitsu kind. Initially i declined and said Im not a blackbelt in bjj or judo but apparently hiring a real black belt in bjj would be expensive in our area and same goes for judo coaches, needless to say I have no choice, so i agreed, tho Im open and honest with the students that im no bjj balck belt I do my best to teach them as best as i can, but i couldnt help but feel unworthy to be the "grappling instructor" so i just tell my students that we're the same "learning" im just there to share.Of course I've condired learning and accredited myslf in bjj but between teaching there and my 9 to 5 job just so hard...Any advice on how i can go about this teaching thing? I have been teaching for 3months now. Tho honest bout my credentials as ground grappler. my student still come back to learn, I always asumed it maybe a budget problem on their part being bjj can be expensive.

I am basically in the same position but for alot longer. As long as you are upfront about your ranking it shouldnt really be an issue. From time to time we have guys come in to town with ranking and I let them teach if they are so inclined. I try to go to seminars to better myself.

One thing is I never claim to teach BJJ and we dont wear Gi's.

thank you for the advice Cuzz63 helps a lot and for the record I improved a lot more thru teaching coz it helped me evaulate the techniques i share, thank u again

In those situations you apply the mentor/coach model rather than the instructor model. You are all in it together and together you explore the possibilities. In that model you are responsible only for creating a learning environment where everyone can explore and learn from each other. You become guide rather than holder of all the knowledge. It's way different than the traditional martial arts model. It can work very well though. We have several BJJ gyms in our organization that came up that way. No instructor, just a training group working some common goals. I find that the students from those groups are stellar. They are very active learners compared to traditional schools.


In your situation, I would consider learning as much as I could about "teaching" and "the learning process" from as many books, DVDs, online and university courses as you can find.

There are a lot of martial arts instructors who KNOW a lot of technical information (about their chosen style), but their ability to convey / adapt / personalize it to the vast array of personalities, attitudes, physical abilities and learning styles in a classroom setting lacks. So, I highly recommend that you get out there and experience as much as you can about the learning / teaching / facilitating / coaching process!

Roy Harris

P.S. My inspiration for teaching has always been Mr. Bill Cosby!