Perhaps the most important thing in BJJ for you, as a Jiujiteiro, is to have fun! To enjoy the time you spend on the mats, to revel in the learning and trying of new techniques, and to have plenty of great moments with your training partners and friends. In short – it is to breathe Jiu Jitsu with full lungs and with the widest smile on your face at the same time!
As you’re having fun, however, it’s equally as important to respect your instructor and teammates… And are you respectful? Or are you a bad student?
DO YOU INJURE YOUR TRAINING PARTNERS?
The absolute worst type of a BJJ student is someone who injures his training partners all the time; both his peers in rank and the lower belts alike. This student doesn’t possess much control over his actions and he tends to crank submissions; to hold on to them even after the training partner taps, and to use way too much of his strength.
He doesn’t look out after others and he is concerned exclusively with „good“ (or bad) he is.
If you are even thinking whether this is you, then listen up! There’s absolutely no excuse to act like this. You’re not proving anything to anyone, except from the fact that you’re a jerk. You have to bring it down a notch. Going 100% all the time and without any „filter“ will make others hate you – and your instructor is quite probably going to remove you from the academy.
ARE YOU BAD AT LISTENING?
Your instructor devotes quite a bit of his time to you, his student. And it’s not just about the time on the mats; it’s about the time he has to invest off the mats to figure out how to best teach the techniques and setups, so that you can learn as much and as effectively as possible. Keep that in mind the next time he demonstrates a move or two. A lot of effort goes into it.
With that in mind, ask yourself the following: are you bad at listening? That is, does your focus tend to drift off when the instructor demonstrates something? Do you just observe that which he’s explaining, without putting too much thought into it?
If so, then you need to clean up your act. You’re not only doing a disservice to your skills – as you aren’t learning nearly as much you could – but you’re also disrespecting your instructor’s work. Don’t just observe, but watch and listen intently.
DO YOU PAY ON TIME?
Now, this isn’t tied only to whether or not you’re paying your monthly fee for training on a regular basis. Sure, you need to pay what you’re supposed to pay – if you don’t do this on purpose, then you’re much more than a jerk. Of course, anyone can have monetary issues from time to time and that’s completely fine. But what’s not fine is not communicating with your instructor and withholding your payments on purpose; even though you’re able to pay.
The more important point here, however, is that you need to pay your dues to the academy in general. This means that you’re going to help out with cleaning the mats after practice voluntarily, not just when the instructor asks you to. It means that you will help out less experienced and lower-ranked students with techniques and advice when they need it. That you will try out and give your best to learn the techniques which your instructor has been showing in class.
It means being grateful for being a part of the academy, and showing that.