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The Instructors Tool Box

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Becoming an instructor as part of your Jiu-Jitsu journey can be an exciting and challenging role. This is especially true in the beginning stages of the process when you don’t yet understand the details behind what it means to be a successful instructor. You may have had Professors or coaches that have inspired you to take on the role of teacher for other students but can’t quite put your finger on how they do what they do so well.

So much of being an inspiring and successful instructor is in your personality and passion for the job. However, the most charismatic person can flop and not do well in the role of a teacher if the correct tools are not used. At Gracie Barra, our instructors are the messenger between legacy and possibility. Put another way, they are the bridge between the history of GB and the future of GB.

At Gracie Barra, we understand that people need tools, and we provide anyone wanting to embark on the journey with a toolbox of instructionals. The instructionals help a person understand how others started and became amazing instructors. We know that teaching is an art form, and we want to give the tools required to create art in line with the GB method.

So let’s dive a little deeper into what we provide for our instructors. Overall, our goal with the toolbox is to empower the instructor with knowledge and confidence to allow their unique self to show up and shine for their students. What better way to do that than to allow anyone that wants to learn directly from Master Carlos Gracie Jr. One of the greatest gifts we can offer is lessons directly from the source. Learning how to teach the fundamentals effectively gives you the knowledge and empowers you to empower your students. And isn’t that ultimately what any instructor wants?

In addition to fundamentals (GB1), we provide instructional videos on teaching the GB2 curriculum in the gi and no-gi. These curriculum sets are taught by Professors Victor Estima and Professor Roberto “Tussa” Alencar. Together with the GB1 curriculum, this becomes a powerful tool and resource for lesson planning for your class.

It helps you break down the techniques into bite-size steps to teach, which is a trademark of how we learn at Gracie Barra. The curriculum videos will build your confidence and widen the breadth of knowledge beyond what you were taught or what your favorites are. When you are well prepared, you can bring more of yourself into the class, and your students will benefit from it.

Now that we have covered the “what” will be taught, we need to focus on the “who” and “how.” The first concern should always be the safety of students based on age and rank. Gracie Barra has very clear policies as to what can and should be taught at different levels, and we want instructors to understand better the reasons for leveling students. Part of our toolbox Gracie Barra provides to instructors is the layout and timing of all aspects of every level of class, starting with GBK.

To have a successful Jiu-Jitsu class that provides the best possible experience for the students is one that is predictable and follows a pattern and cadences the students are accustomed to. This is all tied to the level of the students. Although there are many similarities between all levels of classes, there are minor differences you may be missing that are discussed and explained.

The bottom line as to why Gracie Barra provides these tools is tied very closely to the principles of Jiu-Jitsu. It is about being the most efficient with the least amount of energy.

The tools that have been developed are focused on allowing instructors to optimize their energy use so that they may be the most effective at their craft of teaching.

In addition, running a class using the tools provided allows your lessons to be relatable to all other classes students are taking. This is true from within your school or if the student travels to other schools. The relatable aspects of each class, combined with the charisma and personality of each instructor, are what make Gracie Barra's classes special. And it is probably a reason why some decide to embark on the journey of becoming an instructor.

If you have been thinking about becoming an instructor and stepping into a closer relationship with Gracie Barra, please know that we have your back. If you are a school owner and want to take your school to the next level, the tools are here for you. All you have to do is ask.

To learn more about the Gracie Barra Method, go here to see Master Carlos Gracie Jr. discuss how Gracie Barra is aligned with the roots of what was taught by his father, Carlos Gracie Sr., and his uncle Hélio Gracie. Blog Written by Dawn Korsen GB Brown Belt


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