Talent is not a guarantee of success. That’s why sometimes the greatest achievers are more known for their dedication and resolve than for natural ability. This is true in sports, especially in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am convinced that a purple belt who is not the most talented guy in the gym can become an excellent instructor and a great asset to his or her team.

If you are considering teaching the gentle art, see if any of these qualities below apply to you.

1- Great instructors-in-the-making love people. They do not use white belts for ego massage. They care genuinely for the progress of teammates and usually develop friendships outside the mat. They are known for being approachable and always eager to help.

2- Future great senseis are the first to arrive at the dojo. They check in 20-30 minutes early and ask the front desk if anything needs to be done, be it folding Gis, vacuuming, or filing student cards. No job is below their rank. They are known for their servant attitude and dependability.

3- Excellent instructors-to-be stay late. They drill the techniques of the day after class. They may even ask lower ranking guys to show them a different twist on the moves of week. Exchange of ideas is a hallmark of these guys.

4- Teachers-in-training are loyal to their professor. They have no tolerance for gossip. Even though they are customers paying for a service, they understand there is a code of honor to be followed. If a disagreement with the professor arises, they seek to resolve things with integrity, rather than create division.

Let me hear from you if these qualities describe you. Let’s get the conversation going. Oss.

Photo: Chandra Zarate Photography, used with permission.

From left to right: Geoffrey Alegria, Lenny Zarate, Steve Steward, Fernando Lopez and Robert Hernandez.




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