What does it mean to be a real Jiu Jitsu teacher?

I remember it like it was today, the first time I started training Jiu Jitsu. I was 13 years old and a school friend took me to a small gym in Posto 6 in Copacabana.

The Academy was originally a Judo academy run by Professor Carlos de Tarso, and the Jiu Jitsu was taught by a student of Master Carlson Gracie, Toninho.

The gym was very small, I believe the mat was no more than 50m2.

We were pretty much the first Jiu Jitsu class there and it was less than a year before the gym closed.

One detail that I didn’t know until many years later was that Toninho had also been Jacaré’s first instructor at the Gracie Academy.  In the year that I trained there (I received my yellow and orange belt) I never had to wait for the teacher, I never saw him raising his voice to a student, I never saw him without a clean kimono. I never saw any kind of lack of respect or indifference to students, parents or visitors — it was an extremely pleasant environment to be in.

However, the gym closed and I was forced to relocate. Toninho went on to teach classes far away from my home and a friend who was already a Jiu Jitsu champion at the time suggested I train with Jacaré who had just opened his school in Ipanema. On the way back from the English school where I trained twice a week, I would stop at the gym which was on my way home.  Jacaré also taught in a Judo academy, but unlike Toninho’s, Jacaré’s school prospered allowing him to buy the academy and offer many classes. Jacaré Jiu Jitsu was founded in 1985. By this time, I was already 15 years old, and I had received my blue belt. I started helping Jacaré with classes: beginners, kids, and even advanced classes.

The standard of respect for the student remained the same, and it was the student who was the focus of attention, and that is why the gym worked so well. There were more and more competitions and I was introduced to a different profile of teacher that also got some prominence, although never achieved any real success. He was the “champion” teacher, more concerned with his ego than his service, more concerned with black belt status than the evolution of the students.  Teachers in essence need to work against vanity and the ego trip, they need to be there for others.

Once talking to friends about how young people should choose work, I heard a suggestion that I thought was very wise— people should choose as a line of work something that allows them to be of service to others, doing whatever they like in their leisure time.  It’s true that sometimes this is confused in Jiu Jitsu because people don’t understand that training Jiu Jitsu and teaching Jiu Jitsu are very different things.

The difficulty comes because the champion needs to be a little selfish and to put himself first when he is in search of excellence, the teacher needs to be 100% committed and concerned with the evolution of others, they are totally opposite mindsets. Today I have contact with hundreds of academy teachers and managers through “Live off Jiu Jitsu” and I believe this understanding is still the biggest barrier to their success, preventing them from having the openness to learn new things, and the humility to recognize that they are not superman always trying to show off — no one is.

Making your student the reason your school exists is the surest way to have a successful academy that is a benchmark for where you live — this has the power to transform so many lives for the better. This in my opinion of the true essence of a Jiu Jitsu teacher — doing things for one another.

The result is that your students will not only give back to you in abundance, but also to each other and this creates a chain that explains the wonderful feeling we get with our tatami friends when we are part of a real Jiu Jitsu academy.

Is that you? Do you give classes just for yourself, or for others?

Hugs

Fabio Gurgel

 

 

Como saber quem é um bom profissional de Jiu Jitsu?

Lembro como se fosse hoje o dia que comecei a treinar jiu jitsu, eu tinha 13 anos e fui levado por um amigo de escola a uma pequena academia no Posto 6 em Copacabana.

A Academia era originalmente uma academia de judô do professor Carlos de Tarso e quem dava aulas de Jiu jitsu era um aluno do mestre Carlson Gracie, o Toninho.

A academia era bem pequena acredito que o tatame não tivesse mais do que 50m2.

Éramos praticamente a primeira turma de jiu jitsu ali e durou menos de 1 ano até que academia encerrasse as atividades.

Um detalhe que só fui saber muitos anos depois foi que o meu professor tinha sido também o primeiro professor que o Jacaré teve na academia Gracie, isso mesmo o Toninho havia também iniciado o Jacaré no jiu jitsu.

Nesse quase 1 ano em que treinei lá (recebi faixa amarela e laranja) eu nunca tive que esperar o professor, nunca o vi levantando a voz para um aluno, nunca o vi sem que o kimono estivesse impecavelmente limpo, nunca vi nenhum tipo de falta de respeito ou indiferença para com os alunos, pais ou visitantes, era um ambiente extremamente agradável.

A academia acabou e eu fui forçado a mudar, o Toninho foi dar aulas muito longe da minha casa e um amigo já campeão de jiu jitsu na época me indicou o Jacaré que havia recém inaugurado sua escola em Ipanema.

Na volta do meu curso de inglês 2X por semana eu parava na academia que era no meio do caminho para minha casa.

Era também uma academia de judô onde o Jacaré tinha alguns horários.

Diferente da academia do Toninho a do Jacaré prosperou, ele pode comprar toda a academia e oferecer muito mais horários, estava fundada a Jacaré Jiu Jitsu em 1985.

Nessa época eu já estava com 15 anos e havia recebido minha faixa azul.

Comecei então a auxilia-lo nas aulas, iniciantes, crianças e até mesmo nas de avançado.

O padrão de respeito ao aluno continuava o mesmo, ele era o foco da atenção e era pra ele que a academia funcionava.

As competições começaram a aparecer com mais frequência e fui sendo apresentado a um diferente perfil de professor que de certa forma conseguiu também algum destaque, embora nunca tenha conquistado o real sucesso.

Era o professor “campeão”, mais preocupado com o seu ego do que com o serviço prestado, mais preocupado com o status de faixa preta do que com a evolução do aluno.

Professores em sua essência precisam trabalhar na contra mão da vaidade e da egotrip, precisamos estar ali para os outros.

Uma vez conversando com amigos sobre como o jovem deveria escolher o melhor trabalho ouvi uma sugestão que achei muito sábia, as pessoas deveriam escolher para trabalhar o que elas podem fazer de melhor para o outro, deixar o que você mais gosta de fazer para suas horas de lazer, é verdade que as vezes isso se confunde no jiu jitsu porque as pessoas não entendem que treinar jiu jitsu e ensinar jiu jitsu são coisas muito distintas.

A dificuldade se dá pois o campeão de certo modo precisa de uma dose de egoísmo e de se colocar em primeiro lugar quando esta na busca da excelência em performance, em contrário o professor precisa estar 100º solicito e preocupado com a evolução dos outros, tudo é jiu jitsu mas são mindsets totalmente opostos.

Hoje tenho contato com centenas de professores e gestores de academia através do VIVER DE JIU JITSU e acredito que esse entendimento ainda é a maior barreira para o sucesso deles, os impede de ter a abertura de aprender coisas novas e a humildade de reconhecer que ele não é o super homem que ele tentou se mostrar e que obviamente não precisa ser, ninguém é.

Fazer seu aluno ser a razão da existência da sua escola é o caminho mais certo para se ter uma academia de sucesso que seja referência onde você escolheu viver e que terá o poder de transformar tantas vidas para melhor.

Essa na minha opinião é a verdadeira essência de ser professor de Jiu jitsu. Fazer pelo outro e para o outro.

O Resultado disso é que seus alunos devolverão de forma multiplicada não só a você mas também entre eles e isso cria uma corrente que explica a maravilhosa sensação que sentimos por estar com nossos amigos de tatame quando fazemos parte de uma academia de jiu jitsu de verdade.

E você? Da aula pelos outros ou por você apenas?

 

Abraços

Fabio Gurgel

Success does not happen overnight

There is an old expression in Brazil: ‘sucesso não vem de cavalo’ which only makes sense if we go back in time to when horses really were the fastest way to travel. It means ‘success doesn’t come quickly.’

And just to elaborate even more with reference to the horse, “o castigo vinha à cavalo,” punishment also comes at the speed of a horse. It refers to the universal law of what you put out, comes back.

Success does not happen overnight, it is built slowly for however long it takes. There is no time limit.

Small changes in habit make you better a little bit every day. You don’t need much, if you were to improve 0.25% each day, after 4 years you would be 100% better than you are today.

I see countless people in Jiu Jitsu whether they are athletes or teachers complaining about the marketplace, blaming God or everyone but themselves for their lack of success.

I want to tell you that we have never experienced a better time in Jiu Jitsu for building a good business. Jiu Jitsu is practiced around the world and there are more and more opportunities for people who want to live off of it.  The image of Jiu Jitsu has been improving continuously since we no longer have that bad boy image (although there are still some who have nostalgia for that time because they think this was the “real” Jiu Jitsu. To these people, I need to clarify that it never was, it was a total misrepresentation of our martial art which delayed and harmed the progress of Jiu Jitsu for many years. So, if the timing is so good why are most academies unsuccessful?

We need to understand that success is not necessarily about how much money a person makes, but much more to do with relevancy, having a sense of belonging and influence.  Money usually follows these steps and becomes the consequence, which is as it should be.

Several reasons distinguish successful people from unsuccessful people in any industry. I would start with the company you choose. Do you know that saying, “that you are the average of the 5 people that surround you?” So, surround yourself with good people, preferably better than you. People who think differently not “disciples” who think everything you do is great, I know it’s not and of course you do too. We have to live in the truth.

 Read a lot. There may be successful people who do not have the habit of reading, but it is rare. Wake up early. Organize your day, life is short and if you want to accomplish something of value you need to stop wasting time. Focus on what you know how to do — many people waste time trying to do many things rather than focusing on what is important. Don’t regret anything. Life is hard for most of the time, accept it and move forwards the best way you can in that moment.

 Do not compare yourself to others, they often have totally different situations from yours, compare yourself to how you were yesterday — this is what you need to succeed.

If you want to succeed in the Jiu Jitsu world in the future, you will also need to master some knowledge:

You will need to understand how to run a gym.

You will need to know how to work within a methodology that delivers something different to your student within what he seeks through martial art.

You will need to understand digital marketing.

You will need to genuinely care about people.

Anyway, you can see that it will not be easy but if you prepare yourself well you will have something that goes beyond success, something very rare these days: working with what you love and chose.

Every sacrifice is worth it, and your goal is very possible. And the best part? It’s all up to you!

Stop finding problems and excuses and let’s work harder and harder.  If you do everything right, no matter if today you won or lost, or if things went right or wrong, keep going. Keep moving forwards.

Since success does not come overnight enjoy the path.

A hug Fabio Gurgel

 

Sucesso não vem a cavalo.

Sucesso não “vem a cavalo”.

 

 

A expressão é um dito antigo. Usava-se dizer que o castigo vinha à cavalo quando estes animais eram o meio mais rápido que se tinha para chegar a algum lugar.

 

O sucesso não chega, ele é vagarosamente construído e não tem um limite de tempo.

 

Pequenas mudanças de hábito fazem você se tornar melhor um pouco a cada dia. Você não precisa muito, 0,25% por dia vai fazer você ser 100% melhor do que é hoje em 4 anos.

 

Vejo inúmeras pessoas no jiu jitsu sejam atletas ou professores reclamando do mercado e colocando a culpa em Deus e todo mundo pelo seu não sucesso.

 

Quero dizer para vocês que nunca vivemos um momento melhor no Jiu jitsu e mais propício para se construir um bom negócio.

 

O Jiu jitsu é praticado em todo o mundo e cria cada vez mais oportunidades para as pessoas que querem viver dele.

 

A imagem do jiu jitsu vem melhorando uma vez que não temos mais aquele selo de “bad boy” (embora inda existam alguns que tem saudade dessa época, pois acham que esse era o” verdadeiro” jiu jitsu). A esses preciso esclarecer que nunca foi, isso foi uma total deturpação de nossa arte marcial que nivelou os bons e os ruins e que atrasou o jiu jitsu por muitos anos.

 

Bom, então se o momento é bom por que a maioria não tem sucesso?

 

Precisamos entender que sucesso não significa necessariamente dinheiro, tem muito mais a ver com relevância, pertencimento e influência.

 

O dinheiro normalmente segue esses passos e se torna a consequência, como deve ser.

 

Vários motivos distinguem pessoas de sucesso das que não fazem sucesso em qualquer ramo de atividade.

 

Eu começaria pelas suas companhias, conhece aquele ditado que diz que você é a média das 5 pessoas com quem mais convive? Pois é, cerque-se de pessoas boas de preferência melhores que você. Pessoas que pensem diferente, não aqueles “discípulos” que acham que tudo que você faz é o máximo, eu sei que não é e claro você também sabe. Viva na verdade.

 

Leia. Pode até haver pessoas de sucesso que não tenham esse hábito, mas é raro.

 

Acorde cedo. Organize seu dia, a vida é curta e se você quiser realizar algo de valor você precisa parar de desperdiçar tempo.

 

Foque no que você sabe fazer, muitas pessoas perdem tempo tentando fazer muitas coisas em detrimento de se concentrarem no que é importante.

 

 

Não se lamente. A vida é dura na maior parte do tempo, aceite e siga da melhor forma possível para aquele momento.

 

 

Não se compare com os outros, eles têm na maioria das vezes situações totalmente diferentes das suas, compare-se com você ontem é desse que você precisa ganhar.

 

 

Se você quiser fazer sucesso no mundo do jiu jitsu no futuro você precisará dominar alguns conhecimentos:

 

Você precisará entender de gestão de uma academia.

 

Você precisará saber trabalhar dentro de uma metodologia que entregue algo diferenciado a seu aluno dentro do que ele busca através da arte marcial.

 

Você precisará entender de marketing (digital)

 

Você precisará genuinamente se preocupar com as pessoas

 

Enfim, já da para ver que não vai ser fácil mas se você se preparar você terá além de sucesso algo muito raro nos dias de hoje que é trabalhar com o que você ama e escolheu.

 

Vale cada sacrifício e é muito possível.

 

E o melhor, só depende de você! Pare de achar dificuldade e desculpas e bora trabalhar com mais afinco e energia.

 

Se você fizer tudo certo não importa se hoje você perdeu ou ganhou, se deu certo ou errado, apenas siga em frente.

 

Uma vez que o sucesso não vem a cavalo, aproveite o caminho.

 

um abraço

 

Fabio Gurgel

“Off the Mats” with Fabio Gurgel

 

Hi Guys,

I’ve just recorded my first podcast in English answering the following questions from our affiliates in the USA.
If you want to learn more then please click on the link below. The idea is to record a podcast every month discussing a topic of your interest, so please comment below with your ideas.

Questions:

  • What is the right way to plan advanced classes? I have a good handle on the beginner and intermediate classes but I just do whatever is on my mind for the week when it comes to the advanced class. Is there a systematic way to organize content?
  • How do you approach a white belt who signs up under the beginner program and he goes and rolls at some other schools open mat? I have spoken about the rolling thing, but I feel like I have no power over a student who is paying and decides he wants to go and roll at someone’s open mat. How should I approach this situation?
  •  What is the best way to find sales staff?
  •  How many employees do you have? What role do they have, and what would you consider fair pay?
  • How many mat assistants do you have per number of kids on the mat.
  • What are key ways to help develop a competitors mindset in order to be a champion.
  • Along those lines of treating everyone equally what does everyone think about congratulating kids who placed in competitions in front of the class? And what do you do in terms of recognizing those competitors in their achievements? What would you limit that to in order to make sure you don’t inflate any egos?
  • What have been the keys to a lifelong successful partnership between the three alliance founders.
  • What advice can you give to someone entering or navigating business relationships. What to never do, what to always make sure you do etc.
  • How do you deal with students with rank, that join? We get guys who switch to us as blue, purple, brown and honestly, sometimes they suck. No basics. Zero self defense. They haven’t really ever trained hard. We try to help them along, but you can see the frustration and feeling of being overwhelmed on their faces. Not to mention they just aren’t at the level of the average student at their rank or below. We’ve had a couple quit because they just feel like they wasted so many years in the past and it’s too hard to catch up. Not their fault. Their old academies did them a disservice. Aside from that, we can’t in good conscience promote them if they don’t have the minimum requirements we require from our students at their rank or below.
  • Do you charge late fees on late payments? And if you do, after how many days late?
  • I’d like to know what type of email marketing you consider to be more efficient and if you can describe the characteristics you feel the system should have to be considered an efficient prospecting tool.

 

Podcast Audio

The Ego in Jiu Jitsu

The EGO in Jiu Jitsu is very common, but how often does this spill out and affect our life? When we think of our achievements, those moments where we have succeeded like: being a champion, financial achievement, work promotions, being popular, liked, admired, having a million followers or whatever other goal we have, BEWARE. This is exactly where your worst enemy — your EGO — lives.

There is a huge difference between having and being — having medals doesn’t mean being a champion, having money doesn’t mean being rich, the second option is much deeper. It’s not about the medals or your bank account — but rather about attitude.

 The most common thing we see in Jiu Jitsu are champions who don’t understand this difference; they believe in the character created — not only by others but also by themselves. Do not fall into this trap because it creates the illusion of having it all and consequently removing that motivation to keep improving.

The eternal search for the best version of yourself keeps you from deluding yourself with what is not true, and the EGO is not true, so keep evolving.  EGO goes against the idea of belonging because it drives you away from the group, or the team. EGO says you should shine more than others, that you are more important than others, and deserve to be more than others. This sense of entitlement is harmful and self-perpetuates into a constant quest for external validation.

The EGO kills kindness and empathy — it makes you believe in the façade, but you know deep down this is a lie. That incongruency will make you suffer.

This ego trip in Jiu Jitsu leads many teachers to a very common mistake: using their own name on the kimono patch and consequently in their academy. What is the big problem with that? The argument being that everybody does, and it was always that way…

It’s true, I also did that. I had my academy named “Fabio Gurgel Jiu Jitsu,” up until I partnered with Jacaré, and decided it would be better to have a name without being linked to an individual. We created “Master Jiu Jitsu” which would later become Alliance Jiu Jitsu. The main point of this mistake is that it limits you. You’ll only ever be able to have students under you that haven’t achieved as much. Again, your EGO is in control assuming that you will always be the champion, and that everyone needs to keep carrying your name. You look, and analyze but you can’t see the truth, still believing that your name is essential for your business — it isn’t — it’s only your EGO that prevents you from seeing.

The reality is different, think of the biggest Jiu Jitsu teams today, which ones have their own name? None, right? It’s a sign, which I hope will make you think. Rather than having your name imprinted on everything, worry about how you do your job as you help and guide people around you.  Let your work speak for itself. Always strive to BE instead of HAVE, stay humble.

A big hug and see you soon,  Fabio Gurgel