First impressions start the story." - Nicholas Boothman
Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone
Jiu-Jitsu is the MOST EFFECTIVE Martial Art in the world, yet, not everyone is doing it. We still have not reached the full potential or mainstream reach of the art. I feel as an instructor and as a missionary for Jiu-Jitsu, my main job is to promote the art and also paint the perfect picture to new student's that may have created certain mental/cognitive biases towards the art. It is for Men, Women, Children, Sizes, All Ages...you name it! But, do we on a daily basis, when talking about Jiu-Jitsu, "SELL" it properly to our friends???
“When we become expert in something, our tastes grow more esoteric and complex.” - Malcolm Gladwell
- You are 40 years old.
- You have not exercised in 10 years.
- You have children, a wife, a great job, but are feeling either vulnerable physically or possibly passionless.
- You have heard of Jiu-Jitsu, maybe watch it on YouTube, and have always had an interest, but you don't really understand the art or what it encompasses.
One of your co-workers just began training and is feeling the amazing effects and can't wait to share the details of the classes!
You ask him "What is it like? I am out of shape. I have never done it before.
Can I do it???"
He replies: "Man, it is awesome. It is really TOUGH, there are CHOKES , ARM LOCKS, LEG LOCKS, THROWS, it's amazing! If you are out of shape, you MIGHT be ok. Even if you haven't done it before, you SHOULD be ok, you just have to have the COURAGE to walk through the door, and take some BUMPS and BRUISES in the beginning. Just come to a class with me, SIGN THE WAIVER, and hop in! Want to come tomorrow night?!?!?"
You reply: "What is the WAIVER for?"
Co-worker: "Something you sign that just says that you won't SUE or anything if you get HURT or DIE. It's a quick form."
Did he come with you to class???
I appreciate the enthusiasm!I don't think that your co-worker came to class and I also don't think that he got the correct perception of the art. When a new student begins, they will suddenly have a new sense of appreciation for technique, humility, discipline, and will have realized that Jiu-Jitsu is truly MAGIC! However; the descriptive techniques listed above are POWERFUL and are a part of what gives Jiu-Jitsu it's strength, they do not generally sound appealing to someone who is nervous, undecided, or fearful of potential risk and injury. Once they are enrolled in the class and they see how safe, effective, and develop proper technique they will be ready for all of the good stuff Jiu-Jitsu offers!
Avoid the "hidden, negative, connotations." All of the above words in RED stand out, not because I highlighted them, but because these are only what the person will hear! Although, you said it was awesome, you explicitly told them they would...
Try this next time
When your friend/co-worker/relative or whoever, nervously asks you about Jiu-Jitsu, and you can see that they have interest but are looking for reassurance, explain to them...
We can all agree that the above is a lot more friendly sounding and is the absolute truth. The beginner's enthusiasm is completely understood, but if WE are to grow this art and promote it to the community and the world, we need to make people realize that a Jiu-Jitsu Academy is not a fight club, or the UFC, or some place negative, where they are going to possibly get hurt...The Jiu-Jitsu Academy is a place where they learn how to NOT get hurt!
Word of mouth is everything
In Seth Godin's amazing book, "The Purple Cow", he explained how almost every top business in the world was gained notoriety and success, mainly by word of mouth advertising. Customers that were so blown away by the product or company, they could not stop telling everyone about it! The easiest part for them was the fact that they were coffee shops, restaurants, and department stores. All of them are slightly easier to describe in comparison to Jiu-Jitsu : )
When we start to WORD things more effectively, we will have a better chance of the world being introduced to the MAGIC of Jiu-Jitsu! What you wear, what you say, and how you act, will give an instant SNAP JUDGEMENT to someone who may NEED or WANT the art desperately, but are unsure what they will enter into.
I am not trying to turn student's or you reading this into a "BJJ Salesperson." I am merely trying to polish up everyone's ability to convince their friends to come in! The more students, the more the school will grow. When the school grows, training level and potential increases. When this all happens, Jiu-Jitsu will finally embed itself into the culture!
All Jiu-Jitsu representatives know the power of the art physically, mentally, and even spiritually. But as we grow and mature through training we must not forget how we felt before we started. If you have been an athlete your whole life, you have been blessed, but you must remember that you have to treat and spread Jiu-Jitsu to people that do not have your attributes and gifts.
Promote the "Gentle Art" (Jiu-Jitsu translated), gently, and make sure that people are reassured they CAN do it and this will help achieve the next wave of mainstream popularity in our ART!
Eddie Fyvie // www.EFJJA.com
>>> Create a script <<<
Go up to your child and say something a bully would say. See what they do...
They said... nothing????
Your child might not say anything or might say the WRONG thing and feel or look foolish in the moment of confrontation. To combat this, start coming up with ideas of things they can say back immediately! If your child does not have PHYSICAL Self-Defense skills they will most likely remain SILENT out of fear of getting hurt.
We have evolved socially, our instincts have not. When you know that you are prepared for a PHYSICAL threat, things get easier. It makes me very sad to think that there are kids walking around fearful, constantly looking over their shoulder, and avoiding social situations because they are intimidated. This was me at one point, I refuse to allow this happen in our world.
FIVE response strategies
If your child is quick-witted...They are probably ok, but could jump from 1-5 accidentally.
If your child is a bit more timid...Make sure they have a script ready, and know the order.
A script for the principal
There will come a time when the child MUST bring in reinforcements. Our school system is fully aware of the bullying epidemic.
However; there is a problem with how children communicate the problem to their teacher's and administrator's.
How many times a day, do you think the principal hears, "He is calling me names!" Probably over 50 times a day. Then your child comes home gloating, and says, "But I told the principal." From this, the parent will get mad and complain that the school does nothing.
Here is the solution...CHANGE THE SCRIPT! Your child needs to "sell" to the principal a NEED for resolve. The administrator's and teacher's slowly become immune to blanket statements like the one above. Here is a better idea...
"____ (Insert name) is calling me names and bothering me every single day. I'm not coming to school again until it stops. It is torture being around him!"
This will send off ALARM SIGNALS to the teacher or principal. This is one of the first steps to creating a resolution.
Parent VS. Parent
" Hey listen ____ (insert name), your kid is a real jerk. What's his deal? He comes to school and picks on my kid everyday!"
How do you think this turns out??? This is our instinct when a bullying situation arises, but it is not an effective problem solving tactic. Try the above statement at your next business meeting and see how it goes down.
TRY THIS ---> " Hey how's it going. Can I talk to you really quick? I think our kids are having a problem with EACH OTHER at school. Kid's are crazy ( : ) smile), I want to see if we can figure out how they might be able to get along better. What do you think?"
This creates a solution to the problem in which the parents are teaming up. The targeted student's parent did not make any accusatory remarks. Sometimes the other parent (Bully parent) is COMPLETELY unaware. Dale Carnegie explains in his book "How To Win Friends & Influence People"... "If you want someone to do something, you have to get them to WANT to do it."
Create a solution, don't create more problems.
There are endless directions that you can go with creating "Verbal" Jiu-Jitsu strategy. Be creative, look at what's overlooked, DO NOT assume anything. Human's have a way of acquiring knowledge and then assuming that other people know what they know.
Eddie Fyvie - Bullied to Black Belt™
The Jiu-Jitsu mats are my laboratory
t is where I grow as an instructor, and forever remain a student. It is where I pass on knowledge, acquired through almost two decades of practice. It is where I experiment and develop, to insure students learn efficiently, quickly, and become the best they can be.
I believe instructors must have a continuously open mind in order to learn, to change, and always grow. Complacency usually leads to failure and I intend to use "The BJJ Lab" as a place where knowledge and goal achieving is accomplished.
The belts of Jiu-Jitsu have always had a mystique. For so long, there were few that could provide answers as to what each belt meant. Over time, some common grounds were met and there seems to be a general understanding or feel of what each belt encompasses.
I believe there is always room for improvement on the instructor side. I hold myself to the highest standards and place "deadlines" on my student's progression. I refuse to allow myself to become complacent. I do not believe in testing. Testing forces students to prepare for the test. To be externally motivated. It's ok, but their improvement of skill, comprehension, and retention, may not be up to standard. They performed and executed the test, but may not have connected the circuits for the long term. The test is everyday in practice. I believe that a students full potential and growth can only be met if I do the job I am supposed to.
For the past few years, I have evolved as a teacher. I have matured and developed new ideas and a new outlook on life and BJJ. I realized that for so long, I was grading my students poorly, and perhaps, slowing their progression by not having a "perfect" evaluation standard. Each person is different, so each evaluation, must be different.
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Einstein
The THREE C's - Comprehension
As the student evolves, I start to look at the following for "Comprehension" assessment...
The THREE C's - Cooperation
Your ability to work with partners, re-teach, and share information is crucial to development. If you are constantly basing your skill set off of your "grappling performance and tap ratios"...You are missing some important lessons.
When it comes to increasing knowledge, improving yourself, and becoming the best version of "you", cooperation is crucial. Teamwork is essential.
Imagine a team environment that bases its grading solely off of winning and losing. This environment will slowly become one of keeping secrets, withholding information, and hoping that your practice partners get worse, so you can continue to "win". The problem is...Nobody wins. This has happened quite often in the BJJ community and happens all over, through every art and sport. Also, every part of life.
An environment, where one is motivated to improve "themselves", but understands the need for others to improve in order for that to happen, is the most successful. Everybody wins. I care about your rolling and "tap ratio" and love to see you submitting your training partners. But it really is only a small piece of the giant puzzle.
I want people to be intrinsically motivated. Motivated by the desire to grow to become better AT THE ART. Motivation externally, by reward (belt, tapping others) is OK, but it plays a small role in how I view progression.
You might be able to submit people, but lack understanding.
You are getting better, but nobody wants to train with you.
You are strong, but not smooth.
The moral of the story is...Worry about being better than the day before and much better than the day you walked in. The rest will fall into place. Your partners will improve and their growth will keep you climbing the mountain and avoid plateauing.
The THREE C's - Competition
Do you compete a lot? Are you 18-30. Want to be a world champ? If that is the case...then you will be evaluated on competitive performance a bit more. You should be in a challenging but correct division in each tournament.
As a competitor, you must be placed in the ideal divisions. If you are a Purple Belt, with Brown Belt Comprehension and Cooperation, but you cannot come close to catching a Brown Belt in a match, you might get held back.
Essentially, a coach needs to help the sport competitor win. The coach must place more assessment on grappling and competing performance, more than he or she does with others.
There are so many factors that go into measuring a students abilities. A tough, challenging, and empowering art like Jiu-Jirsu leaves a lot of room for emotions and disappointments. Most of these hardships are due to people comparing themselves to others. You could believe that you are better because you tapped a higher rank. Some might even feel undeserving of their belt rank. Don't let this be you.
Self-Defense, Martial Arts, Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ, jujitsu) in Malta, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, and Saratoga Springs
Disclaimer : 10 years of teaching, well over 10,000 hours...the tips below are from the life lessons I have received and thousands of parents and kid's I have worked with!
"Kid's haven't changed, leadership has changed." - SweetheartsAndHeroes.org
We are their guides through life
• What if everything you were doing is correct?
• What if everything you were doing hurt more than helped?
I am not yet a parent. I can only imagine the stress of the above questions as parents raise their children. I am extremely excited for my future as a parent, but in the meantime, I am an observer of human nature. I am working to master my craft as a teacher. I am in the Jiu-Jitsu lab studying and experimenting like a scientist to make the most effective learning environment for adults and childhood development.
From criticizing to...APOLOGIZINGThe number one thing that I have seen over the years when observing parents is, when the PARENT joins Jiu-Jitsu their whole outlook CHANGES! In many cases you will see the following occur...
An "Allergy to passion
"The "passion allergy" is a deep, deep, theory. I cannot remember where I STOLE the phrase, but it hit home when I heard it!!!
"Passion Allergy" Definition: As the child grows, they will become passionate about many things. If these things/activities start to coincide with criticism, negativity, and resentment, they most likely will develop fear and low confidence when it comes to trying or developing a passion in adulthood. This will also hinder their TRUE potential.
Life IS A sprint, except for childhood
I like to use the quote "It is a marathon, not a sprint." But then I immediately contradict myself by saying "Life is short."
They are both correct. We have a small window to be successful in our personal lives and also to be successful in impacting those around us. However, children can test patience and they are going to make many mistakes along the way, we must have the enduring spirit, patience, and fortitude of a marathon if we are to cross the finish life-line!
Patience isn't possible until we understand they must be understood
My wife is an early childhood educator and has helped me immensely in my ability as a youth instructor. I surround myself with SMART people so I seem smarter :). She gave me a quote "it's not patience, it's understanding". This simply means that until we understand the child, who they are and what they are, we won't have the ability to be patient because we are looking through our own perspective and aren't grasping WHY they are doing what they are doing! My best advice is to always read, study, research, experiment, use the wisdom of those that were successful before us. I am always searching for "better". People have complimented me with my ability to be patient. This only developed as I started to understand why and how I should and could be patient!
" The secret to success is just copying what the successful person did." - Mark Schultz (Olympic Gold Medalist)
Positivity is the key
Here is a test...pick something your child is not familiar with. Teach them how to do it, but only use negative tones and negative corrections. Watch the clock and see how quickly they do it or if they want to continue doing it. Then...
Try the same test, but with positive tones, positive corrections, smiles and pleasantries. Watch the clock, watch the difference.
I already know the answer. I have personally seen the difference and FELT the difference in my own life. Their have been countless studies on this topic. I would provide examples, but ever since Google was invented, you will most likely already have "Googled" my above statements to check the validity.
In part TWO, I will talk about...
Self-Defense, Martial Arts, Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ, jujitsu) in Malta, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, and Saratoga Springs
I was pushed to the breaking point, BUT...
I believe my self motivation stemmed from early positive affirmations, from my father who would always tell me that I COULD be the BEST and WILL be the BEST at whatever I want to do. This created a motivated monster who only thought that being the best was the only option. This is NOT a bad thing...human competitiveness and the willingness to strive for the best is what creates amazing results! Nothing worthwhile in the world was created with out a competitive spirit.
As I strive to be the best, I studied the greats along the way and noticed the work ethic and the grit they had. I knew I had to work hard to be something special.
There were times when I felt burnt out and when I believed that the training and practice went too far. However; it was always fixed with TWO secret tricks...
When I played baseball, my father would have me do hand-eye coordination hitting drills until my hands bled and it was dark, EVERY NIGHT. This seems insane (it is), but, I would play the next day and get a hit almost every time I stepped to the plate. PRETTY SOON, I was asking him to stay even later and do even more drills. This is where I reflect and find out where a lot of my self-motivation came from. I was always made to believe that I was extra special for putting in the extra effort. The crazy practice was always finished off with,"You are the best and will be the best in the world!" Thanks POPS!
---> ***Disclaimer*** This worked for me, it may not work for everyone. But the power of making someone feel great regardless of effort, definitely does!
Developing the HABIT of not quitting
"Chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken." - Warren Buffet
The habit of quitting is the hardest of all habits to break. It comes on like a disease and then once it spreads, it is next to impossible to get rid of. Giving up, falls into two categories. One category is OK, the other is NOT.
Through this analysis of the situation, you can start to assess if quitting is an option. I also have seen disturbing trends where, the child shows a slight disinterest and the parent gives in because the PARENT wants to quit the activity. We must always take a back seat to the child's future. I have seen this countless times. There is one way to get good at what you want and to be the best at what you want...DON'T QUIT.
The method to our madnessOver the years I have experimented, researched, and spent countless hours and sleepless nights, honing my craft as an instructor. I know that my leadership could be the difference in a child's future success, even in the slightest way. If I can provide an atmosphere to reinforce positive behavior's, I will do EVERYTHING in my power.
When it comes to teaching, I know that everything you do requires practice. You cannot stump me with one thing, even breathing takes practice. It seems natural, but I spend 75% of a class reminding people to breathe : ). I focus on praise, developing "grit", attentiveness, discipline, and respect, among other things. We must practice and TEACH everything. There are so many expectations from parent's of their kids, yet, we must remember to TEACH and practice everything if our expectations are to be met.
"HEY LISTEN!" ----> How do you listen?
"PAY ATTENTION!" ----> How do you pay attention?
"GET UP, KEEP GOING!" ----> Why?
Work on your answers for these questions and develop a practice.
This is part TWO, there is so much more...I will come back around to this topic at some point. I hope this helps. Please reach out to me (email@example.com) with questions, concerns, or to tell me I'm wrong. I could be...who knows, I'll just keep practicing!
Self-Defense, Martial Arts, Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ, jujitsu) in Malta, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, and Saratoga Springs
A whole life dedicated
For nineteen years, I have been involved with both Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. At 10 years old, I made an aggressive decision. I was going to dedicate my life to Jiu-Jitsu and follow in the footsteps of those early fighters I watched on my VCR player and illegal PPV box.
Fast forward, eight years later and I'm standing in a ring across from Jim Miller (both of our pro debuts) in Atlantic City, NJ. It was surreal and it was the culmination of my training as an adolescent. After this fight, I dedicated myself completely and continued to purse fighting for eight years, the only issue...MMA WAS BANNED in New York.
This forced me to travel to other states in order to compete. I went on streaks for months and at one point close to a year of not being able to fight because of not being a "Local". A local that could sell hundred of tickets, fighting ten minutes or one hour from home.
I was traveling anywhere from 3-7 hours to fight. It was taxing. It forced me into retirement. It depressed me. It was sickening to be there, year after year, watching politicians shoot down legislation to UN-ban MMA.
The last few years, Amateur MMA popped up and provided some minor growth, but died off quickly as fighters realized there was NOWHERE to fight in our state. The lack of standards in these events, did more harm than good as well. MMA Athletes in NY State are a DYING, almost EXTINCT species.
I'm watching it firsthand AGAIN...
My long time student and friend, Matt Secor has competed all over the country. TUF 16, Bellator, World Series of Fighting, you name it. He has compiled an 8-3 record and is also 4-1 in his last five fights. He has persevered through the difficulties of not only competing out of state, but having to travel and train out of state.
There is VERY limited training and sparring in our area, due to the fact, fighters RARELY make it. Not because of skill or dedication, but because they get shut out of certain opportunities.
I understand it from the promoters side, "Why would you hire someone who has to travel, sells fewer tickets, and doesn't have a local following." I have watched the sport get crippled in Upstate NY. It is sad. My survey to any pro fighter in this area (There are few), ask yourself, how many pros are still at it and still competing? How many live and train local? How many made it to the big stage?
Petition for a LOCAL guy
Finally there is some hope...On December 9th, the UFC is coming to Albany, NY. It is bittersweet for me. I had to give up my career as a pro fighter and I gave up hope, this would happen. I feel this card NEEDS some local talent. I don't feel this way for selfish reasons (maybe one or two, lol). I feel this way because our community and culture NEEDS to be ignited.
Inspire the future
The top fighter living and training in Upstate NY, is 20 minutes from Albany, his name is, Matt Secor. He is the perfect candidate for this fight card. Having his local star on the event, will inspire a massive amount of local competitors to keep the dream alive. It will help foster hope for the future athlete and competitor in Upstate NY, giving them something to aspire to. I am pleading. MMA training and sparring is disappearing! When there is no one around fighting, nowhere to fight, and there is no inspiration locally, how could it SURVIVE?
Help us do it
We are petitioning and pleading to get Matt Secor on this December 9th, UFC fight night. He deserves it, he has earned it through victories, and now it is a chance to keep the dreams alive for those in my area.
Welterwieght, Middleweight, any weight, any opponent. Matt Secor is ready. Upstate NY needs the ignition. Find Matt on Twitter @secormatthew.
Help us continue this movement. The talent and potential are untapped and this could open the flood gates of future fighters that can say they are from Upstate NY!
Self-Defense, Martial Arts, Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ, jujitsu)
in Malta, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, and Saratoga Springs