The Importance of Attending Jiu-Jitsu Seminars
The importance of attending Jiu-Jitsu Seminars seems to have gotten lost in recent years. many BJJ practitioners across the country are missing out on great opportunities to learn from a different instructor and team that maybe we have not been exposed to in the past. From World Champions, from some of the best teachers of our art. Futhermore, at times we are granted access to the sons of the creators of our art. There are not many martial arts left that can say that. At the end of the day, we are all students and seminars allow us to widen our knowledge and add new techniques to our toolbox. Some of my favorite moves I use now have come from seminars. I still use an armlock setup I learned at a Rolker Gracie seminar almost 20 years ago.
Change your mindset
Since the growth of the internet, the negative minds out there seems to be the most vocal (and shockingly have the most time…sarcasm). Do not let yourself be pulled into their world. Jiu-Jitsu seminars provide us with unique opportunities to learn from the very best. Think of something else you or your child loves to do. If I presented you with the opportunity to learn football from Peyton Manning, would you take it? Cooking with Gordon Ramsey and Wolfgang Puck? Basketball with Michael Jordan? Business with Warren Buffet? You catch my drift. Getting access those guys is hard. In BJJ, it is not. Get in the mindset of being better than you were yesterday. Another plus is seminars seem to have an extra energy and willing to learn to them. More excitement.
Don’t get spoiled
Back when I started grappling, there weren’t very many people teaching BJJ. Seminars were important. It was our only access to the best teachers unless we traveled to Brazil, which many of us did. Times have changed and there is more access to better teachers in the US now but the lesson doesn’t change. All of us, teachers and students, should always keep the mind of a whitebelt and keep getting better. Too often I see students who are in the early phases of their Jiu-Jitsu skip out on seminars because they are “costly” they think that the seminar will be “over their heads”. Huge mistake. As a result, they miss out on a great opportunity that doesn’t come around again for sometimes a year. Sometimes, something said in a seminar or one small detail that is probably most important to you than anyone else in the room can have a major impact on your next couple of months of training.
Listen to your Professors
Finally, if a legend of the art or a current “big name” comes through your Academy and your instructors are highly encouraging you to go, listen to them. Due to their experience in the art, they are recommending this outside perspective for a reason. Hence, we should trust them.
Tips for getting the most out of seminars
- Bring a book and take notes (more information is being taught than a regular class)
- Have questions ready! Almost all seminars I have ever attended had a Q and A at the end.
- Don’t talk…drill! The more times you drill what is being taught, the easier to remember in the following days.
- Talk your favorite training partner into going with you. You can drill together and have a smooth partner.
- Be open to new ideas, don’t go in with an expectation of what YOU want to learn