The Mendes Brothers have for over a year been running a successful BJJ school: The Art Of Jiu-Jitsu Academy. In this interview with Pantarei.fr, they shared their approach to teaching and their key concepts:
“PR : How do you plan the classes you teach, do you keep a general, yearly plan with a program for each day?
We have curriculums that we created using our Jiu Jitsu knowledge. We have beginners class, fundamentals class, advanced class and competition class. Each class has a different curriculum and the students never feel out of place because the classes are made for their belt level.
PR : The Mendes name is widely related to the Atos modern jiu-jitsu. Do you fell the modern jiu-jitsu can be taught to begginers right of the bat?
For sure, the sport is evolving and even the basic techniques start getting more detailed. We teach a lot of basic techniques and concepts as you guys can see on our website, but our details is what makes the technique complex and smart. We do not like to teach the students just how to do it. We always explain why you are doing it, so they understand the technique, otherwise they will be just copping it.
PR : One thing that is really great with your teaching (and what we see with your online site) is the importance of gripping and breaking grips. You seem a bit paranoid about grips and it’s something that’s really interesting for a student, the details you give about grips (with the hands but also with your feets such as the monkey foot grip or details about hooking the legs) are something that set up your teaching appart. Do you think you teaching style is related to the fact you have been lightweights training with bigger guys for most of your career?
I think the fact of being lightweights training with big and top level guys made us very technical. When you train with top level guys pure strength doesn’t work, for sure you need to be in a good shape to train Jiu jitsu in the competition level but the technique is the most important. Our Jiu Jitsu concepts are our precious.”