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October 27, 2012

Shop Talk: Oneonta Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


What is the hardest thing you have to do?

One of the things that I have seen many schools struggle with is dealing with the many levels of skill and experience that can be present in a class at the same time. If an instructor focuses on beginning techniques, advanced students do not progress; if they focus on more advanced techniques, beginners get lost.

We didn’t want that to be a problem at our school; we wanted beginners without any experience to feel comfortable in every class and we also wanted to teach advanced techniques. Our solution, which has worked out very well for us, is to divide our classes into groups and teach both basic and advanced techniques each class. This lets every student, regardless of their experience level, learn the techniques that are best suited for them.

Of course, since we make it a point to check and correct each student’s technique individually, this can require us to work harder each class that we teach, but the end results have certainly justified the extra energy that is required on our part.

The most enjoyable?

The most enjoyable part for me is seeing students discover for themselves the real beauty of the art. I have many hobbies, but jujitsu has always been my favorite, and it is gratifying to see it bring others the same enjoyment that it brings me. When I hear students talk about obsessively watching Youtube technique videos at one in the morning, I know they are hooked as well.

How do you define success for your business?

This business came about not as a scheme to make a lot of money, but primarily because we wanted a place to train. Since there was no school in the area, we needed to create one. This is the place where we train and develop our own skills, so we want the place to be as good as it can be. So, to us, success means having a school where we have a core group of dedicated training partners who consistently come in looking to improve. We want to have an environment where people who drag themselves in to train after a long day will be energized by their partners. If we can have that and be able to pay the bills then that will be a huge success.

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