Saturday, October 16, 2010

Only BJJ from Now On

I seem to be marginally involved in teaching bjj nowadays. Haven't rolled in, like, a year, and I am very rusty and stupid. I refuse to fake it though, so I may be teaching my one occasional student the same thing over and over and over, until I remember something else competently. But it's got me thinking again about teaching, how to teach.

First, be prepared -- not just generally, knowing the material. Specifically. Plan the lesson ahead of time, not on the spot. Otherwise there may very well be details neglected, and I'd have to play catch up. Hate it when that happens. Unprofessional. Like Obama. Talking until he thinks of something to say. Know what you're going to say.

So, work it out by the numbers. Identify the clear steps, find a verbal formula to express it, show it one step at a time. Incrementally. Break it into discrete parts. Demonstrate the steps alone and then serially. Yeah, like math. I remember. Don't suppose that beginners are capable of assimilating more than one thing at a time. Them have them do each individual movement, then the parts integrated. Say, show, do.

Write it down, not just as notes, but for show. Show them writing. I'm a visual and kinetic learner. I need verbal formulas because they help me see and do. Put the steps on the board. Fine details, maybe. Gross movements definitely.

And review. What bjj guys do is drill something and then move on. No. Be organized. It's not a mental thing, cognitive. It's doing doing doing. Different part of the brain, that doesn't speak a human language, and can't form a thought at all. How do you train a dog? Show it a thing and then move on? Good dog. Perfect dog. Genius dog. No. Day after day, repetition and consistency.

And have the boys keep notes. Show them an effective method, and take three minutes for writing time. Have them reproduce the movement using only their notes. Clarify errors and obscurities. Have them teach me.

And ritual. I'm just a little unimportant purple belt, rusty and ungifted. Very smart, brilliant in fact, don't get me wrong. I'm amazing. But not actually gifted at bjj. Good, because I have spent a lot of time on the mat. But most anyone else in my body with my training time would be better. (But I'm amazing.) I'd feel like a fraud, doing a formal closing of a class. But the line up and handshaking at the end of a class is important. I'm not inclined to that sort of thing, personally. It's just important, psychologically. I won't go into the reasons. When I've done it, where we line up by belt, and the instructor shakes hands right down the line, each guy taking his place behind the last, so everyone goes through everyone -- well, it's meaningful in a way that I'm not inclined to verbalize.

When I had kids as students, I knew this. There are procedures, that give order, which is necessary for optimal learning. Like adult authority with kids. Kids need the structure. It's a kind of safety. Everyone who knows anything knows this. It's not something that can be shirked. If nothing else, it's a respect thing.

But it's hard, being organized. It's a hassle, preparing notes, or keeping them. I don't want to do it, really I don't. So, maybe I won't. No one would know. I can fake it, and deal with the guilt, and sear my conscience or just ignore it. That is after all how I make my living. I steal purses from old ladies. It's really easy, but sometimes the screaming and begging bothers me a little. But I just ignore it.

No one has died yet, in my extended family. No other news I care to share. Elections coming up. The incredibly stupid American population may correct the horrific aberration from common sense it indulged in two years ago. Correct it a little, like learning how to walk after cutting of a leg. It's a kind of walking. Some of the idiots have seen through the particular mountebank that Obobo is, but we are not lacking in wizards and witches to lead us.

Here in Cali the Dhems have thrust Jerry Brown forward again, who as gov in the 70s empowered the public unions, that have ruined us with their tax funded pensions. He should be elected, even though someone in his office called Whitman, his Rep gov opponent, a whore. Because Whitman fired her illegal alien housekeeper of nine years, who got hired with forged papers. See? -- you can't fire illegals. That's evil, like capitalism is, and so Meg can't be governor. The whore. And "Whitman" sounds like whiteman, so that's even worse. "Brown" sounds, somehow, good and honest and noble. Yeah.

But I'm regressing to an older version of me. I'm sorry. Only BJJ from now on.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the synopsis on teaching.

Well said.

Jack H said...

Thank you kindly.