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Monday, 30 January 2012 09:40

Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu Coach: Class Structure

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For those of you out there considering taking up a new productive hobby, or for those who are curious as to what a class at Marcello Monteiro's Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu academy is like, then this article is for you. The first step, of course, is to arrive on time (to ensure that you are warmed up and ready to get the most out of your training). You head into one of the changing rooms and get suited up in your gi, or, as my 6-year-old daughter Maddy calls it, your “karate suit.”

The class is then ready to begin. Either Marcello or one of his associate Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu instructors or higher ranking students will get everyone lined up for stretching and warming up, to prevent injuries and to strengthen the core muscles of the participants. The students are lined up by rank, in descending order of belt colors and degrees, starting with black belts followed by brown, purple, blue, and white. The stretching exercises focus on key joints that are vulnerable in the sport including but not limited to ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The back, neck, and hamstrings are thoroughly stretched. The class does and counts off various forms of crunches and sit-ups to work the core, anywhere between 50 and 250 reps. It doesn’t take long for a beginner to improve their abdominal muscles, which are critical to safe participation in the sport. I, for one, can do several hundred more abdominal repetitions in one sitting than I could do even a month ago!

Once everyone is warmed-up and loose, it is time for instruction on various positions and techniques. Marcello has everyone circle closely around him and one of his higher ranking students to demonstrate the technique. He walks through the series of moves to be worked on that evening, all the while explaining why things are best done that way, what would happen if your opponent did this or that, etc. He generally starts in one position, for example, having your opponent in your spider-guard. Then he teaches a series of moves that commonly transpire from beginning in that position, and several different options that can be done to improve upon that position, or defend against it. Once he has run through the demonstration two or three times (and glanced around to make sure that everyone is paying attention as well as seems to follow what he is saying, through a look of recognition if nothing else) he then pairs people off to practice the technique.

The size and the mixture of the evenings class helps him determine how he pairs people off. There are generally a few females in the Marcello's Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu classes, and he will usually partner them together. If there is a brand new person, he will put them with someone of a higher rank for two reasons. First, you can’t just watch these moves be done and immediately master them. It takes multiple repetitions, hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of reps, done slowly, focusing on correct form and order of the technique. A blue belt or higher can help give brand new students the additional instruction that they will inevitably require when first starting. Secondly, a higher ranked, more seasoned practitioner of the art will be able to do the technique, correctly, to the new student so that they know how it feels to the opponent when administered correctly, which also helps the newbie wrap their mind around the purpose of certain essential steps of the technique. I am yet to meet an individual on Marcello’s Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu team who is unwilling to help teach someone of a lesser rank, because by teaching they also learn, and cement the technique more solidly in their own minds. It is all part of the team atmosphere, which makes us all more successful.

After about 45 minutes or so of taking turns practicing techniques, taking turns with a partner, it is time to train. But that, my friends, is another whole blog in itself.

  • By: Ryan Berry
Read 3600 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 July 2016 06:49

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