BJJ is supposed to be a fun activity. It’s something that you’re supposed to enjoy, through learning new things from your instructor and through trying them out when you roll. However, how are you going to enjoy Jiu Jitsu if your instructor is kind of an a**hole?
Bottom line is, you’re not going to. He/she will make you wish not to roll ever again, and that’s a big no-no.
So, here are 5 signs that your BJJ instructor is a jerk – the moment you see (any of) them, find a better academy! Or your love for the Arte Suave will perish.
YOUR INSTRUCTOR IS TOO ABUSIVE AND CONDESCENDING
The yelling and cursing is a part of behavior for many coaches, across all different kinds of sports. They’ll swear, be loud, and curse in order to motivate their athletes to perform better, or to change something that they don’t particularly enjoy. And that’s fine!
Of course, some people won’t be alright with this type of „motivation“; they may not like it and may be better motivated through kind encouragement. In this case, it all comes down to the coach’s ability to adapt to every given student, bringing out a maximum out of them.
However, there’s a threshold to this sort of a behavior. If your instructor is too abusive – for example, calling you names that have nothing to do with how well you’re performing on the mat… And if they are condescending – making you feel worth less on purpose, then they are being a jerk.
Beware of these types of instructors. Their ego is tied to them being „above“ their students, not to teaching them properly.
Additionally, this sort of a behavior can translate into an another, more dangerous one.
NO COMPOSURE WHILE ROLLING
Believe it or not, some instructors don’t have any composure while rolling whatsoever. You’ll notice this particular type of a jerk by the way they crank submissions or holds on to them longer than they have to, consistently. By how they want to destroy their students while rolling, not leaving them any place to work with at all.
Your instructor is supposed to be teaching you while rolling. Not to destroy you every time.
If your instructor talks trash about other instructors at your academy, about your fellow teammates… Or even about other academies and their instructors, whether on or off the mats – then you can be pretty confident about the fact that they’re a jerk.
Sure, instructors are people too, and there will be individuals who they won’t like particularly. But talking too much trash (especially about the members of your academy) is often an indicator that you should seek other mats.
CULT OF PERSONALITY PROBLEM
Some instructors may want you to treat them like they’re a royalty or something. That they’re „great“ and „above you“ in more ways than being a BJJ instructor. In other words, they are essentially trying to grow a cult of personality in their academy.
These people have too big of an ego problem. Leave. As soon as possible.
THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR STUDENTS
Your instructor can’t show equal care to every single student, especially not to the newcomers. They will, naturally, care more for those who’ve stuck around for a longer period of time.
But showing some degree of care should be normal. Therefore, if your instructor shows absolutely no interest in what happened to you after that gnarly injury, if they scoff you off when you ask questions about the technique, and if they don’t want to help you improve… Go ahead and spend your money elsewhere.