What makes a great instructor?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by lanp3960, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. lanp3960

    lanp3960 White Belt

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    I've been thinking a lot about this lately, what makes for a really great BJJ instructor? What key traits set guys like Jacare, Keith Owen, Pedro Sauer, etc. apart from your "average" instructor? And please don't say it's being a badass BJJ player, because I'm sure we've all met someone who is amazing but can't teach to save their life.

    We're all part of a sport (don't bash me for saying sport, most of us are competitors) where we can train with the very best basically for the cost of the class or a private lesson/seminar. That's rare in most sports. There's no way I could get hitting tips from Jeter or a throwing clinic from Farve, but I could go roll with Jacare and Cobrihna for the price of a plane ticket to ATL and a drop in fee.

    So what is it that really sets the top-notch instructors from the average instructors. And as a side note, I have a Master's in education and am a teacher by trade, so I know a ton of pedagogical theory, but want to see how it applies to BJJ in other people's opinions.
     
  2. kramer733

    kramer733 Blue Belt

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    Somebody who can really motivate you in the sport or even more generally, in life. Also somebody who can vividly explain the techniques. I guess that's what makes a great instructor in my opinion.
     
  3. Gregolian

    Gregolian .45 ACP Platinum Member

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    It kinda depends on the person learning doesn't it?

    Like for me it's this:
    -Someone that doesn't baby me but at the same time isn't a total asshole to me and is willing to show me, IF I ASK, what I am doing wrong.

    -They know how to motivate someone.

    -They understand that not everyone can do something a specific way (currently I am overweight and have trouble shrimping my hips around to do an armbar while someone is in my guard) and will show you something that may make it easier for you.
     
  4. Sloth

    Sloth Brown Belt

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    I think it's a person who has such a profound understanding of a certain skillset that they know how to really get through to a wife variety of people. They can not only explain the concepts, techniques, whatever in an effective way but they can teach the students how to really absorb the information for themselves and eventually teach themselves.
     
  5. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    The instructor that offers you a fulltime job when you tell him that you have your job and no longer can afford to pay for BJJ classes.
     
  6. blfdgrappler

    blfdgrappler Orange Belt

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    I think a great instructor, first and foremost, has to be a master of his subject matter. To convey it well, you have to know it through and through. It helps when your instructor is bright and can easily relate the information -- more so if they can come up with good analogies, demonstrations, memory aids, and other creative teaching points that help make the knowledge stick. When one can dissect a technique and explain it in a variety of ways, I am always more apt to retain it. Great instructors are passionate about their students learning, which is infectious and motivates students to learn. It helps if they are generally kind and helpful (with an even temperament), which makes them approachable when one is stuck. A good sense of humor is a bonus, but a truly great instructor also has to set high expectations for his students and be just a little bit demanding. I also tend to respect an instructor who sets a good example for his students and has a well-honed set of ethics. Finally, they have to be fair and impartial.
     
  7. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green White Belt

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    Adaptability, creativity, patience and the ability to explain and correct technical issues.

    Training other people is different from training yourself. If your a heavyweight and a competitor or just in it for your personal advancement you need to understand how to move and fight as a heavyweight. A good coach has to be able to coach people of all body types, levels of athleticism and even physical limitations, minor or major.

    A good coach also needs to be able to create drills and exercises that address specific issues

    A good coach has to be able to motivate his / her athletes. This can be done in many ways, but it needs to get done.

    A good coach has to have a general knowledge of strength & conditioning, not just the technical issues of the sport.

    A good coach has to be able to not just explain techniques, but core concepts of the sport. He has to be able to help people put together a technique set and game plan that will work for them, and their body type.
     

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