Masterclass 1

 

Hi Guys, good evening and welcome to my first live broadcast of “Life off Jiu Jitsu” about gym management for Jiu Jitsu. I’m really happy to see you all here, thank-you all for coming.

I wanted to start this class off with a pertinent question: How should we treat our student?

Disciple or Client 

Should we treat our student like a disciple or like a client? If we look at the 1990’s when the majority of teachers were active, they were brought up in a really competitive environment where competition mattered, and where being a follower of your master mattered. Obviously, if you had this experience as a student, it’s natural to replicate this pattern as a teacher, so what happens in most academies? We see the second option — the student is a disciple. If the student doesn’t do what the teacher would like, or if he leaves to try and find a better service, he’ll be called a “traitor,” and this is part of what Jiu Jitsu still sees today. Nowadays, maybe the most serious thing a Jiu Jitsu teacher can do is try and control their students without giving good service. If we have a slightly different vision and treat our student like a client, how does this work in practice? I have to give a better service and if I don’t, my student will simply look for a different gym next to me, and he has every right to do this.

If I treat my student like a disciple, I have to think of him like my possession — that he’ll do everything I say. This attitude really came about from the era of competition in the 1990s and it was when the academies started to shrink. It was actually a really difficult time for Jiu Jitsu despite its growth. Let’s look at what happened in the decade of the 90s? There was Vale Tudo in 1991 – Jiu Jitsu against Luta Livre which was the beginning of the explosion of Jiu Jitsu in Brazil. It was televised on the Brazilian TV channel Globo, and the academies in Rio de Janeiro started to fill up (Rio back then was still the epicentre of Jiu Jitsu). After 1993, there was the launch of UFC and after that everyone wanted to do Jiu Jitsu and this fever spread throughout the world. The Brazilian Federation (CBJJ) was also founded in the 90s, and soon after that, the International Federation (IBJJF). In 1996, the first World Championship competitions happened. Everything that we’re talking about here are the main competitive events. Jiu Jitsu returned completely to this focus of competition. The evolution of the competitive side of the sport was obviously very nice, it was something evident and beneficial but up to a certain point.

During this time, the other side of Jiu Jitsu had been forgotten. Just to give you a statistic so you can think about this — the first Gracie academy in the 1950s belonging to Master Carlos and Helio Gracie had 600 private students. Why? Because the culture then wasn’t about competition, the culture was about dispersing a service to the community for people who wanted to learn self-defence, feel safer or to be in a healthy environment — they would go to the Gracie academy and learn a self-defence program. We’ll talk about this a little more when we talk about the importance of the methodology, but what do you think happened? With time, these private students that trained within a private class program started to get better and better which forced the teachers to train better and more effectively with them. Imagine if you had 600 students, five tatami areas and the whole Gracie family working there giving classes. A teacher back then could easily give 8-10 classes a day, classes that lasted 30 minutes at that time. Imagine a teacher giving 10 daily classes, he would have been exhausted training 10 students in the same day. To relieve the burden on the teachers, the family started to invite these students to do the evening training which was just the family training. The family gave private classes and trained together in the evening for their own personal and technical evolution.

The first group classes

The tougher students joined that group and from there came the first collective group training within Jiu Jitsu, only there wasn’t any methodology; it was just people coming together to train almost like an “open mat.” The format was basically: a warm-up, someone would show maybe 2 techniques, they would roll and that was the training. Is this familiar to what you’re used to? The warm-up, 2 techniques, rolling — that was the structure of group training when Jiu Jitsu started to spread. The guy who learned in that way was the person who gives classes now; he was the student that was talented, but also wanted to teach, so he left the academy to give classes in another academy taking with him that model of teaching.

When various people started doing this, it created a competitive environment meaning that all the academies started focusing on competition and it happened more and more until it peaked in the decade of the 90s. The reason why it’s necessary to have this conversation is so you can understand where the problem came from and why we need to correct it.

What happened in the 90s, meant Jiu Jitsu could only be delivered to a really small quantity of people which was who? The athletes.

Jiu Jitsu was all about high-performance at that time, the only thing that mattered for academies was whether someone was a competitor or not. Everyone trained in the same environment, together. Today I’m a little more conscious of this and I talk about it easily because I lived through that same era, everybody’s academy was like this, mine included — there weren’t any exceptions. I doubt even that if Master Helio Gracie could incarnate again in this lifetime he would be able give a good class for someone with the objective of competition; a purple belt and a complete beginner in the same class — it’s virtually impossible because they have completely different objectives. So, the question is: How do we start delivering Jiu Jitsu for each profile of person? and it’s this that will make your academy successful. I simply can’t put everyone together. I can’t give the same class for everyone. My student needs to have a class specific to him, so with this understanding our student needs to be a client.

When did this become really obvious? As I said before, in the decade of the 90s. Jiu Jitsu was popularised by UFC — it spread around the world. People wanted to know about the sport. People started to contract people from Brazil to give seminars. Seminars were a way for Jiu Jitsu to develop for countries outside of Brazil and I was really happy to be considered a “highlight” in that moment. I was often invited abroad, and I went not only giving seminars but thinking about how I could build a network of academies, and how I could be invited again. Instead of doing a 2-hour seminar, I offered to stay for a week and explain how my academy works. I really just replicated what I did in Brazil and what was that? A training that was tough, because that is what I was used to; competition was the focus then and that is what I showed and sold to people outside of Brazil. Until one day, during a seminar in Germany I met a Wing Chun teacher.

Methodology is born

I didn’t know what Wing Chun was. This teacher was a guy around 50-years-old, still a white belt in Jiu Jitsu but totally besotted by Jiu Jitsu, he loved it. However, he thought the training was too tough, he couldn’t do it. Defending its difficulty, I said, ” Jiu Jitsu is for everyone.” He said, “are you crazy, there’s no way it’s for everyone — it’s for top athletes, I’m just here suffering because I really like it.”

He asked me how Alliance worked, and he asked me a question: Do you know how many Wing Chun students my master has in Germany? I didn’t have an idea. I said, “1000.” He told me, 50,000 students — 50,000 Wing Chun students!

I thought to myself, I should have chosen Wing Chun instead of Jiu Jitsu, I chose wrong!

Anyway, out of curiosity I went to watch a Wing Chun class. I needed to see what it was all about. But actually, I didn’t really see much regarding the efficacy compared to Jiu Jitsu, or even the physical part which didn’t seem like the best way to keep in shape, but what it did have was a system —  a system which showed the student exactly where he was inside the process. He knew how many classes he had to do to take a graduation exam etc, he knew about his process of evolution, something that Jiu Jitsu was so far away from. How did we graduate our students in Jiu Jitsu? There was the end of year graduation, or it was based on performance in competition. In our academy, graduations were based much more on performance than on the graduation at the end of the year, we almost never did end of year graduations. You had to have a really good performance, beating everyone in your category. If not, you wouldn’t get the following belt. But what was the message we were passing on? That you had to be the absolute best in your academy in order to get the next belt. Now imagine a normal student who has a different area of work and trains just as a hobby, how can you measure him against a professional? But this is what we based our graduations on — it was insanity. You never knew when you would get the next belt. When you eventually did, it was a real achievement, you conquered something really difficult. But how many people managed that? only a very few, so Jiu Jitsu shrunk and shrunk. This is what happened to Jiu Jitsu in the decade of the 90s.

I came back from that trip to Europe thinking that we were doing it all wrong. It wasn’t possible that Wing Chun could have 50,000 students and the whole of Alliance had maybe 1500 students back then. It didn’t make sense, so we had to be making a mistake in something, and it was a bad mistake. I knew what it was: we didn’t have any methodology. When I started learning Jiu Jitsu, I learned the Gracie Academy program. My academy was a small academy in a room with maybe 6 students, with the teacher showing us all the details one by one. It really enchanted me, so I stayed there. I continued the process and I fell in love with the sport, but it was that which got my attention. I said to myself, we need to start to write a method thinking about a group rather than just thinking about private classes, because there was already a program for individual classes. Individual classes don’t work for collective classes…

to be continued.

 

 

 

Are we ready for equality in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Today I’d like to discuss a topic with you that is a little controversial. Actually, it was going to be a discussion about women’s prize money in Jiu Jitsu competitions and the issue of inequality. I was researching this topic in other sports as well, but today we were surprised by a verbal attack on our dear affiliate, Mario Reis. It was actually one of his students who instigated this discussion which came about through another student who was not allowed to train in Mario’s competition class.

I wanted to point out a few things. Firstly, Alliance is a Female 10x world champion team giving total support to women in competition; we have big champions like Gabi Garcia, Andressa Correa, Monique Elias and many other champions that fly our flag and represent our team. They have always been treated with the utmost respect and also treated as equals.

It’s important we understand that Alliance’s teaching methodology which has been behind the construction of our schools and has attributed to our success, is based on the division of levels because this allows every student to find a place. For example, the student that doesn’t have the ability to be a competitor, still has a class where he can train and where he can develop. I think the biggest criticism is for the academies that do the opposite, which doesn’t preserve and take care of the students. Those academies that put all the students together in the same class pose risk to their students — not just physically, but in terms of that student’s experience and learning.

When we talk about the competition groups, they must always be separate, because the level of competition today is extremely high and the training so intense. In my academy, the competition class is at 10am. In this training, regardless of being a man or a woman, if a student is not fit for that level of training they are not allowed to do it. But that is a requirement regardless of gender. When it’s a women, we can easily fall into that trap of victimisation – it’s not because she’s a woman, it’s simply because she’s not fit to do that particular class. The division of levels is such an important prerequisite for taking care of our students. Like I said, not just physically, but for what Jiu Jitsu can bring to that student.

There doesn’t exist in Mario Reis (someone I know really well) any kind of sexist stance. There exists a teacher who is careful and doesn’t mix one thing with another. When we speak about prejudice, how would we talk about an academy just for women? or a women-only class? is this prejudice as well? No — it’s an option, just one more product; a place where women feel more comfortable to train is great, it’s more people training Jiu Jitsu.

So, this post is to support Mario and the decision he made and to criticize the student who instead of resolving the issue directly with him, spread this on the internet in a malicious way. When you’re a client, if you’re not satisfied with the service in your academy you have every right to find another; there’s no need to publicly denigrate the image of someone who does so much for our sport.

This then leads me onto my next topic which I originally wanted to talk about: equality (or lack of) between women and men in sport. There’s been great evolution in women’s Jiu Jitsu and they’ve been fighting for that continuously for many years, putting on better and better performances. Personally, I’m a huge fan of women’s fights. I’ve seen lots of them, and if I had to choose some of the best world champion fights, I would definitely put Michelle Nicolini, Tammi Musumeci and various others amongst them. I saw Bia Mesquita fight, I saw Tammi, Bia Basilio, Gabi, Andressa, Nathiely etc. so many stars in our sport who are dominating their space in the sport little by little.

I think, yes — the federation could alternate the finals between women and men. I think this would help women’s Jiu Jitsu and it would help people to stay watching because sometimes people leave when the women’s fight starts and they don’t watch, perhaps not knowing the technical level that women have today. When you intercalate the fights, you have more opportunity to showcase what women can do. I think this is a measure the federation could do very easily.

But when we talk about prize money, I have slightly different thinking. I don’t think it should be equal. I don’t think it should be equal for the following: women don’t generate the same money. You can measure money in different ways. There is the audience, but this can be hard to measure especially because the prize money doesn’t come from the audience. The only income the federation has is from registrations, so I think it should be proportional to the registrations. An example: if you have 1000 male registrations and 500 female registrations, the female reward needs to be proportionate — half of the prize money. I think this way is fair and women will continue to evolve and grow. For example, I was researching Basketball, money-wise the difference is 250x more for men in the USA. The women have a league right? The WNBA is a really strong league but the politics are simply different for the prize money because there are different audiences, different money and different sponsors, and I think this has to be understood. In the same way as when we go to the other side and look at the world of fashion. Female models earn more than men, why? what kind of prejudice is that? simply because they sell more and attract more people. Brands invest much more in women’s fashion and the world is like this.

If we want to take women’s Jiu Jitsu to the same level as men’s, there is still time – it’s a long path to go down but I think that’s what should be done. There’s no judgement that men are better than women, it’s simply that there are more men practicing, more men competing and simply more money involved in men’s Jiu Jitsu — consequently the prize money can’t be equal.

One more time, I want to say I’m a huge supporter of women’s Jiu Jitsu. I have great students and athletes in my academy at all class levels, from competition level to beginner level —all women are extremely welcome. Jiu Jitsu is a great tool for women and I’m really happy that it’s growing all the time.

I think in the end, this discussion is beneficial for everyone. I think everyone should have the opportunity to give their point of view, I just wanted to make this post because of what happened with Mario which was an act of cowardice. I think using private audios for other people to hear isn’t right and it causes unnecessary confusion. I think we need to have constant discussion so we can have a sport that includes people better, regardless of gender, social class,  colour of skin.

I think Jiu Jitsu is here to break down all these kinds of prejudice. That’s the position I take.

I hope you liked the discussion and please comment below!

Oss

My 30 years as a Black Belt

Today is a special day — 30 years ago on the 23rdOctober 1989 when I was 19-years-old, I received my black belt from Master Jacaré’s hands. It was my dream. When I say “dream” this was because it was the main objective in my life at that time. Ever since I started my journey in Jiu Jitsu between the age of 13 and 14, that dream of becoming a black belt was really strong and vivid. I could always see it in my reach, and it was always my objective.

I also imagine it’s the objective of many of you who haven’t yet reached that point. You may have the idea of receiving your black belt as the greatest objective, like something that ends your Jiu Jitsu path. This sentiment is really natural, because of course you don’t know what it’s like there. I like to think of it like a mountain which you’re climbing, and becoming a black belt is the pinnacle, but you don’t know what’s on the other side. When you get to the other side, you’ll see that the journey is really just starting. It’s the same in Jiu Jitsu: when you actually get your black belt, your journey is really just beginning.

This is exactly what happened with me. I received my black belt really young, as a 19-year-old boy which is today the minimum age the International Federation will approve a black belt graduation, so I was right at the beginning of that journey. I started to compete and as a black belt that was the highest level that existed to compete and now 30 years has already gone by. It took me 5 years to get my black belt and I’ve now been with that belt for three decades, which obviously made me understand that I learned a lot more within the black belt than before it. The path of being a black belt is much longer, daily life is much more enjoyable because I think it’s where you learn so much. I make sure I learn as much as I can every day and it’s not just the technical part you need to develop as a black belt, it’s actually a daily fight to evolve in all areas, in everything you do; your commitment to things — I think this is what it is to be black belt. You gain the sufficient discipline to move forward regardless of the obstacles that arise in your path. I have a routine now in my life, so for example early in the morning I do my physical training and I also like to do an hour of reading before I leave the house. Today, I was re-reading a book called “The Obstacle is the Way” which talks about exactly this; that we can use the obstacles that arise in our life to help us improve. I think Jiu Jitsu teaches us this a lot and as a black belt you can master this, finding a solution for every problem leaving that situation better and stronger: more confident, more resilient, more grateful.

All these events that happen during your journey as a black belt, will help you become a better person. They help you become more balanced. I think it’s this that has happened in my life now. I like to celebrate all my “black belt” birthdays, maybe even more than my actual birthdays! When you simply just get older, it’s not that much fun! But being a black belt makes you more experienced, you gain more wisdom. And this is really what I look for in my life now. I try and ask myself how I can improve every day. I think “every day” has to be ours. People who live and train Jiu Jitsu understand that we need to be better every day and they can make that analogy easily.

I think we have to bring this to our life and always ask, how can we be better every day? Today is a really happy day, because I’m completing my last year as a black belt. I’m sure you already know the rule that once you’ve been a black belt for 31 years you can graduate to a coral belt. I imagine this will happen to me because of my career and my daily contribution to Jiu Jitsu, teaching classes, training and evolving; I think the coral belt will happen for me next year. But I really want to tell you that my journey as a black belt is incredible and has been incredible — as a competitor, as a teacher, but mainly, as an apprentice. It’s amazing to think how I could learn so many things inside this 30 years of being a black belt, with all of you, within the whole community of Jiu Jitsu, with all my students, my teachers, my master Jacaré, the whole of Alliance and all of our affiliates.

For me, you are all a constant source of learning. I would like to thank-you for being with me on this journey for so long. When I talk about Jacaré that’s obvious, but with Alexandre (Gigi) he’s also been with me on this path since the beginning, ever since we started so long ago. It’s incredible to think I could have learnt so much with you and how you’ve given the support when I needed it most during the difficult moments, and how you helped me through those obstacles. So, a huge thank-you for everybody, and actually to the whole Jiu Jitsu community. I have great friends in other teams, people I admire a lot, people who have taught me a lot independently of the team they represent.

I really understand Jiu Jitsu like a big family; I think the community needs to be helped and to help each other, and this is my life purpose. As you all know I’m not at the forefront of my academy anymore — I passed this over to Michael Langhi and he’s doing an incredible job there. Now I’m not a competitor anymore and although I still have that role as a teacher, I’ve drastically reduced my teaching hours so I can really dedicate myself to sharing my experiences with people, the things I’ve learnt over all these years: as a competitor, as a manager and as a true black belt.

So, thank-you to everyone and your feedback which is always made with care and respect. It motivates me a lot to continue sharing things with you, things that I experience today and that I’ve experienced in the past within Jiu Jitsu. So, for my black belt birthday, I want to tell you that I’m really happy that I followed this path in Jiu Jitsu, that I believed in it right from the beginning ever since I was 15-years-old when I decided that I wanted to follow this life path.

It has been an incredible journey and I hope it will continue for many more years together with you.

Thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

 

OSS.

 

Master Class 1 – assista aqui

Em uma série de 3 aulas AO VIVO faremos uma análise do mercado do Jiu Jitsu no Brasil e como as academias podem melhorar seu atendimento assim como sua operação se tornando muito mais lucrativa e com mais alunos.

A primeira aula aconteceu dia 21 e as demais nos dias 23 e 25 de Outubro direto do escritório central da Alliance

Se você ainda não se cadastrou para assistir as aulas clique aqui 

Abaixo a primeira aula disponível até Sexta Feira.

https://videos.netshow.me/v/vtwVIy0q-Kg

How far should hierarchy go on the mat?

We live in a time where we’re searching for equality in our society with debates spreading to various spheres — we have discussions about racism, feminism, LGBT issues etc. These discussions are focused essentially around “being the same.”

Everyone has a way of seeing and understanding the world. But one thing is undeniable: hierarchy has been present in the world long before we were here. From the first inhabitants millions of years ago to today, it’s an extremely natural thing which makes us equal, but also not.

In the animal world for example, the strongest, fastest, or smartest tends to command others in the group. If we think of the lion, the strongest commands the pack defending its territory and the females until the day it gets old and another lion defies it and takes its place. According to Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist and bestselling author of “12 rules for life” even lobsters function within a hierarchy.

This is everywhere. If we think about the business world we have a fairly clear hierarchy—the president of the company, his board of directors, the management positions and so on until we reach the factory floor. In Jiu Jitsu this is evident due to the colored belts which show exactly where the student is within the learning process. The black belt is the top of the pyramid and should lead and show the way to others and should of course lead by example and take responsibility for their actions.

The question is: are our black belts able to exercise this leadership correctly, efficiently and respectfully? I think we can learn a lot from business leaders that once held a controlling and punitive hierarchy and then evolved into a much more collaborative leadership. When we look at the most modern offices in the world (Google is perhaps the most emblematic example) we can see a clear evolution, in the sense that everyone looks the same. They treat each other with the same respect, they share the same space without having to question authority and hierarchy. Order and chaos need to go together to keep evolving—rigidity has no more space in our time, but to deny hierarchy seems rather naive and unproductive. We need one foot in the door for order and another in the door for uncertainty in order to evolve.

Going back to Jiu Jitsu academies, it is very common for teachers to think that educating their students means humiliating them, either by them doing the famous pushups or exposing their mistakes in front of the whole class. This demonstration of authority is practiced in many Jiu Jitsu academies and seems to me to be really wrong. Once again, the black belt is the holder of knowledge and must pass it on with as much respect as possible to his/her students. Order should not be imposed by fear, but rather by the affection and dedication that each teacher genuinely has for his students.

There are two very emblematic examples on the mat that I would like to reflect on. The first is where the mat is full and several pairs train at the same time. The black belt is training with someone but their training invades the “area” of another less graduated duo. Who should move to the empty space? Should the mere fact of graduation be what determines that answer? Should the black belt be the kindest and most accommodating or should the least graduated move?

I believe that the above situation should be treated equally within the academy by all belts. The first criterion should be that whoever has invaded the area of ​​the other comes back to their own space, however if there is a climate of kindness and camaraderie on the mat it’s natural that if the invaded pair realises this it’s easier for them to change the position they are in—this should be encouraged. What I want to make clear here is that harmony and respect must be the premise for having a pleasant learning environment regardless of the belt.

The second very common example concerns who “calls” who for training— some academies prohibit less graduates from inviting black belts to train, which in my view is a ridiculous rule.  What kind of protection does the belt belt think he is able to gain? I do not believe that this example of choosing whom we train with is good for our development. My suggestion is that this is free, and that people should also have the right to decline the invitation if they are not comfortable and that this should be the reality of everyone regardless of belt.  But in this case, I have an important observation to make. The teacher is the one who pairs up the students with the objective of the student’s evolution and when this is done the student independent of the belt should follow the guidance.

Being a black belt doesn’t make you a better human being than anyone else, so the smartest thing you can do as a black belt is to treat your students equally and with respect, understanding that they are giving you the honor of learning from you—it is your privilege to have them on your mat. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal; you must be the one who protects the environment by making it more and more enjoyable. Always practice kindness and make your student and everyone around you feel at home where they can make mistakes without being criticised, fail without being humiliated and question you without being silenced.

Make your mat a learning environment and a place for developing as a human.

Respect everyone equally.

Be a real black belt.

Hugs,

Fabio Gurgel

Até onde vai a hierarquia no tatame?

Vivemos em uma era de busca por igualdades em nossa sociedade. Os debates se espalham por diversas esferas de nosso convívio social. Discussões sobre racismo, feminismo, causas LGBT etc… geram discursos comumente no sentido de que somos todos iguais.

Não vamos aqui entrar nessa discussão onde cada um tem uma maneira de ver e entender o mundo, porém uma coisa é inegável, a hierarquia está presente no mundo muito antes de estarmos aqui.

Ela é respeitada há milhares de anos, desde os primeiros habitantes, e até hoje é vista como uma coisa extremamente natural, o que nos torna iguais, mas nem tanto.

No mundo animal por exemplo, o mais forte, o mais rápido ou o mais esperto, tende a comandar os outros do grupo. Pense no leão, o mais forte comanda a alcatéia, defende seu território, cobre as fêmeas, até o dia em que fica velho e outro leão mais jovem e mais forte o desafia, tomando o seu lugar. Segundo o psicólogo canadense Jordan Peterson, autor do best seller “12 regras para vida”, até mesmo as lagostas se dividem de forma hierárquica.

Está em todo lugar. Se pensarmos no mundo empresarial, temos uma hierarquia bastante clara. O presidente da empresa, sua diretoria, os cargos de gerência e assim por diante, até chegarmos ao chão da fábrica.

No Jiu-jitsu isso fica evidente devido às faixas coloridas, que mostram exatamente onde o aluno está nesse processo de aprendizado. Nesse caso o faixa preta é o topo da pirâmide, e como em todos os outros exemplos acima, deve liderar e mostrar o caminho para os demais, dar o exemplo e ter a responsabilidade por seus atos.

A questão que se coloca é: nossos faixas pretas sabem exercer essa liderança de forma correta, eficiente e respeitosa?

Acho que podemos aprender bastante com as lideranças empresariais, que antigamente exerciam uma hierarquia controladora e punitiva, e evoluíram para uma liderança muito mais colaborativa. Quando olhamos os escritórios mais modernos do mundo, (Google talvez seja o exemplo mais emblemático) podemos perceber uma clara evolução nesse sentido, onde todos parecem iguais, se tratam com o mesmo respeito e dividem o mesmo espaço, sem que para isso, precise se questionar autoridade e hierarquia.

A ordem e o caos precisam caminhar juntos para seguirmos evoluindo. A rigidez não tem mais espaço em nosso tempo, mas renegar a hierarquia me parece bastante ingênuo e pouco produtivo. Precisamos de um pé no barco da ordem e outro no barco da incerteza, é assim que evoluímos.

Voltando para as academias de Jiu-jitsu, é muito comum professores acharem que educar seus alunos significa humilhá-los, seja mandando pagar as famosas flexões de braço, seja expondo seus erros na frente de toda a turma. Essa demonstração de autoridade é praticada em muitas academias de jiu-jitsu e me parece extremamente equivocada.

Mais uma vez o faixa preta e professor é detentor do conhecimento e autoridade no tatame, e deve passá-lo com o maior respeito possível aos seus alunos. A ordem é inversa ao que se pensa, e se impõe não pelo medo, mas sim pelo carinho e dedicação que tem genuinamente por seus alunos.

Nos tatames existem dois exemplos bastante emblemáticos que gostaria de colocar aqui para uma reflexão: o primeiro é aquele caso onde o tatame está cheio, várias duplas treinam ao mesmo tempo, o faixa preta está treinando com alguém e o treino invade a “área” de outra dupla menos graduada. Quem deveria se mudar para o espaço vazio?

O simples fato da graduação deve ser o que determina, ou deveria ser quem tem mais facilidade pela posição que se encontra? O faixa preta deveria ser o mais gentil e mudar, ou o menos graduado deveria fazê-lo em demonstração de respeito?

Acredito que a situação acima deva ser tratada dentro da academia de forma igual por todas as faixas. O primeiro critério deveria ser que, a dupla que invadiu a área do outro, volte para a sua. No entanto, se existe um clima de gentileza e camaradagem entre todos no tatame, é natural que, caso a dupla invadida perceba que é mais fácil para que eles se movam pela posição que se encontram, isso deve ser incentivado. O que quero deixar claro aqui é que o bom convívio deve ser a premissa para termos um ambiente de aprendizado agradável e de respeito, independente da cor da faixa.

O segundo caso também bem comum, diz respeito a quem chama quem para o treino. Algumas academias proíbem que os menos graduados convidem os faixas pretas para treinar, o que a meu ver é uma regra sem nenhum sentido, pois qual é o tipo de proteção que o faixa preta está impondo a si mesmo?

Não acredito que esse exemplo de escolher com quem treinamos seja bom para nosso desenvolvimento. Minha sugestão é para que isso seja livre, e que as pessoas também tenham o direito de declinar ao convite caso não se sintam confortáveis, e isso deve valer para todos independente da graduação.

Porém nesse caso tenho uma observação importante a fazer: o professor cuidadoso é aquele que coloca as duplas de acordo com a necessidade da evolução dos alunos, e quando isso é feito, o aluno deve seguir a orientação independente da sua faixa.

Ser faixa preta não o torna melhor ser humano do que ninguém. Muitas vezes como no caso do leão velho, nem mesmo no jiu-jitsu você será melhor, logo a coisa mais acertada que você pode fazer como faixa preta é tratar seus alunos de forma igual, com respeito, entendendo que eles estão te dando a honra de aprenderem com você, e o privilégio é seu de tê-los em seu tatame.

Não se coloque acima de ninguém, você deve ser o que protege o ambiente, o tornando cada vez mais agradável. Pratique a gentileza sempre, faça seu aluno e todos à sua volta se sentirem em casa, onde eles podem errar sem serem criticados, podem fracassar sem serem humilhados, podem questionar sem serem calados.

Faça de seu tatame um ambiente de aprendizado e desenvolvimento humano.

Respeite a todos sem fazer distinção.

Seja um faixa preta de verdade.

Um abraço

 

Fabio Gurgel