Difficult question…… going back to sunny Rio and rolling with the Gracies is really enticing but just think about today’s boxer as compared to the bare knuckle boxing of 100 years ago.
Let’s look at the benefits of going back – you help BJJ develop, you get real authentic instruction with practioners really focused on the art and its development.. compare that with today where ok I accept BJJ has evolved incredibly in both techniques and detail but are all the instructors out there focused on development or has it simply become a means to an end.
BJJ set out in the early days to prove itself and as we all know when we have a higher calling all other goals fall to the wayside. Now BJJ is becoming main stream and the US now has more black belts than the rest of the world so its fair to say the captalism bug with all its characteristics is bound to rub off.
BJJ is a skill and thus requires both a good teacher and a good attitude to really get the most out of it – the Gracies and their families must have been excellent teachers to have spread the word so far and wide. I recently came across a discussion (click here to view) several of the contributers claim belts are given out too early watering down the art – if this is true its a shame since BJJ is first and foremost about having the ability to protect oneself and if someone is given a false sense of confidence the wrong decision may be made in a critical situation with disastrous consequences.
Here’s an excellent blog entry on the way BJJ has unfortunately developed – I hope these types of places are few and far between – I believe the instructor can do a lot to create a conducive environment especially if he leads by example and treats all individuals equally, providing differentiated learning opportunities where students have control of their own progress but with a deliberate and individualised manner. A lot of the time students will behave in this way due to underlying issues which aren’t addressed and end up being vented in an unconstructive manner. Check out the article by clicking here …..