Good Vs. Bad BJJ Seminars

I love to go to jiu-jitsu seminars!

Few other sports would give you the opportunity to have direct access to the elite of the sport.

Could you imagine paying $100 to shoot baskets with LeBron James or toss a few balls with Eli Manning?

Never happen.

Yet if you live in a larger city in many countries of the world, one of the top superstars in the BJJ world will pass through your city and be hosted for a seminar.

You may even get the opportunity to roll with a world champion!

Yet as excited as you might be to get an opportunity to learn from a famous jiu-jitsu instructor, not all of the seminars you go to will be rewarding.

seminarsGood seminars will:

  • Be structured around a certain theme or position. Each technique relates to the previous one, and the students can take away lasting information.
  • Feature a question-and-answer segment where you can get help with something special to you.
  • Have an enthusiastic and friendly instructor who wants to be there.
  • Start on time.

Bad seminars will:

  • Start 30 – 60 minutes late.
  • Have no cohesion in the techniques demonstrated. It will just be a random array of fancy techniques that the instructor decides to show to try to impress the students.
  • Have an instructor who is ignoring the students and trying to hit on one of the women.
  • Have an instructor who is more interested in his phone than in helping the students.
  • Have excessive warm up time or time devoted to rolling. Students don’t want to drive 2 hours and pay $100 or more to do push-ups and play leap frog.

I attended one of the earliest BJJ seminars in North America. I was at a gym full of 100 beginners.

Did the instructor start off by showing some basic techniques with a logical progression?


It was over thirty minutes of very hard conditioning followed by showing the first technique – an advanced spinning turtle rollover that I have never seen since!

The instructor himself had slick jiu-jitsu, but was among the poorest teachers I had ever seen.

Oh,..and the swagger! Strutting around the mats. Mean mugging a room full of white belts!

Contrast that waste of time and money with one of the best seminars I attended: one with jiu-jitsu great, Andre Galvao.

Professor Galvao was an excellent teacher who showed details for even the simplest techniques. I was a brown belt, and I learned a new, very helpful detail about the most basic side control escape!

However, Professor Galvao also showed some head shaking, awesome, advanced moves to keep the competitive purple belts happy.

He had a question-and-answer session where he demonstrated a back take that I asked about and he even allowed me to perform several repetitions on him to feel my technique and correct some details.

At the very end, he invited students to roll. It was a thrill to come to grips and feel the precision of a top-level BJJ fighter like Professor Galvao. I swore he wouldn’t get my back,….then he got my back and I tapped to the choke.

It was a great experience and I urge students to take the opportunity to get on the mat at a BJJ seminar when it comes to your area.

Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times – Largest Brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar in American History with Rickson Gracie!

Largest Brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar in American History with Rickson Gracie


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