Are Seminars A Dying Art?

I recently saw a FaceBook post by a well-known practitioner (Erin Herle Follow her on facebook) in the community talking about how seminars are getting harder and harder to book and that it was a dying art. And while a few people made some spiteful comments towards the person making the most of it was actually a good discussion. I wanted to talk about a few of the valid points made and how we can work on them in the future.

The first topic people were discussing was the over saturation of the market. Every Jiu Jitsu instructor wants to set up a seminar these days as a way to earn some extra cash, and this is pretty reasonable. However there are also many lower belts and unenthusiastic instructors who devalue the seminar system. By this I am referring to instructors who run cookie cutter seminars and show little interest in helping anyone individually and basically just looking for the check.

Another great topic was the availability of information via technology. This is more geared toward the more well-known competitors, but could be applied to anyone. Basically there is so much information out there on YouTube and dvds that some people don’t see purpose of paying extra to see what they believe to be the same moves. The problem with this is that you never can learn a move off a dvd the same way you can having someone show you the move hands on. Plus many instructors will have little hidden details and tricks that are not shown in online videos.

The last topic that was brought up was the culture. Some academies and instructors just either, don’t value seminars, don’t have interest in setting them up or are just plain scared of their students learning from someone else. This is a shame because everyone can learn something from everyone and instructors should not fear their students training with another instructor.

What is your take on seminars? Do you enjoy them and think they are a key part of the BJJ learning system? Do you throw seminars or have you faced challenges in booking them?


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