Guest post by Uros Culic from Serbia, a BJJ black belt under Ricardo Vieira and FILA Grappling World Champion who has been training, teaching and competing for the last 10 years. Uros is one of the best fighters out of Serbia who is known for his smashing, but technical style.
It’s very important to know who your BJJ instructor is. To determine if he’s the one that he’s embodying to be and if he has all the qualities to be a true representative of the sport.
In BJJ world, there are many different levels of success among practitioners of the art. Even between two same belts can be a huge difference in quality. There are some instructors that have got their black belts after 15 years of training 3 times per week and there are black belt world champions that have trained only 5 years. So what is “legit” BJJ instructor?
If your black belt instructor has been awarded his belt by a second degree BB and there is some evidence of that (photograph from his awarding ceremony, instructor that awarded him can confirm that, your instructor is teaching out of widely recognised academy or he’s registered at IBJJF as a BB) than by rules adopted by the BJJ community, he’s a legit black belt. Also, if he’s a lower belt you can apply the same guidelines to check him out, except he could be awarded by any valid black belt (he doesn’t have to be second degree BB).
If you are sure that your instructor is a legit BJJ belt by the book then you should check out if he’s a “legit” BJJ belt by other standards. Can he provide you with what you need? There are instructors that have never competed but they understand BJJ so well that they are able to teach it greatly. There are world champions who are lousy instructors because they are only interested in their own growth or the money. As we said earlier, there are various BJJ instructors and standards for their legitimacy shouldn’t be only their confirmation by IBJJF. They should be true representatives of the sport and it’s values. To be truly legit BJJ belt your instructor should also fulfil the following:
-To be interested in your progress
-To be able to explain techniques that he’s teaching as detailed as possible
-To be able to keep discipline on his classes
-To cherish sport values in the academy
-That he’s not putting down anyone
If your instructor beats everybody in training or wins all the competitions, it’s a great thing but it should not be the most important criteria. Your instructor primary function is to guide YOU and make YOU better in Jiu-Jitsu. Everything else is extra.
These five statements are just roughly explained characteristics of good instructor but your main guideline to determine if he is a “legit” one is to grasp if your instructor is beneficial for your growth as a fighter and overall human being. Only if you determine that he is, you should consider him “legit” for you, and that is one and only characteristic worth reviewing when the basic requirements are fulfilled.