Last month Roots BJJ had their bi-annual seminar. I always strongly encourage all my students to attend, as it is a great opportunity for them to meet their peers and instructors from different gyms, as well as learn their favourite BJJ techniques and have a roll with people from other gyms to build up their experience.
But most importantly, the reason why I tell my guys to attend the seminar is to support their team mates who are being graded and to watch and see what is expected from them when it is their turn.
A few of my students used to dislike the fact that gradings were conducted externally.They preferred to be graded internally i.e. within our own gym, as ultimately, I see their progress and in a sense ‘grade’ them everyday. And to a large extent, I agree with them.
However, what makes BJJ so reputable and difficult to get graded in required bothon and off the mats. And that is why I think gradings should be done externally, as an external grading in front of all your peers and other instructors watching, is a true test of these benchmarks.
Ultimately, the purpose of a grading is to see one’s knowledge and proficiency in understanding the techniques in BJJ against a resisting opponent and the ability to perform under duress. The external grading does this nicely.
Firstly, your opponent is selected at random by the head instructor. This eliminates any pre-arranged choreography by the parties when performing the required techniques.
Secondly, when you are called out to the centre in front of all your peers and instructors, what was just another day on the mats performing moves that you have already done hundreds of times before, suddenly becomes a lot more difficult. This is an important element to experience and eventually master, as when it comes time to actually use your techniques to defend yourself or your loved ones, the emotions you experience won’t be foreign to you.
Third point, to maintain the integrity of the art and to be true to the lineage in BJJ, the grading is conducted and judged by the highest ranked instructor in Australia. This I believe is an important process. As an instructor, when I put someone up for a grading, in my eyes they are ready for the rank they are going for, else I wouldn’t be nominating them in the first place. To have a more senior instructor grade my student, under duress and sub optimal conditions and to have them pass, only proves that they are more than ready to be promoted.
Finally, because it’s a grading, a pass is not a given. One will either pass or fail. In today’s world where instant gratification is the norm, for martial arts and in particular BJJ, hard work is paid upfront not in arrears.
Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.
"Really helpful and friendly marital arts centre. Hi guys I'm a taxi driver and have had instances where I've been THREATENED I was after a place where I can learn some helpful life skills that if in case needed will save me from bad guys. I have just recently started with training with David and Steven they are really friendly and helpful and understood my requirements to configure a self defence course for me. Im really glad that I m now part of this incredible martial arts centre everyone at the centre is really friendly and helpful I was made feel very comfortable by everyone I highly recommed joining this centre for anyone in a likely situation thanks guys"
"Dave is a skilled, and super friendly instructor. He runs an awesome program at ICC. You'll be safe, and happy to train here. Highly recommended!"
"Our oldest son Patrick has been training BJJ under Mario for 2 years and our middle boy Jack has just started Karate Jitsu. I cannot speak highly enough of him, the difference he has made in their lives is enormous. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to get their kids into martial arts."
"A place that is welcoming and warm. My child loved it from day 1. Professional warm instructor's. Thank you for your kindness and professionalism."
"The instructors at ICC are competent, friendly and professional but that’s not entirely why I chose to join and bring my 3 kids (2 girls and a boy) along. There are plenty of martial arts gyms with disciplined instructors but very few with the right culture and family oriented approach that make it easy for a parent to entrust their children with ICC in teaching them such an important life skill. For an old man like me and for any anyone else for that matter, the senior students have gone out of their way to pass on their skills without any condescending ego, it’s part of their journey to learn and to give back. I feel like the ICC philosophy rings true in that everyone is welcomed at ICC irrespective of their background and/or athletic ability. One final stand out for me is the large membership of girls and women in the club. As a father of 2 teenager daughters and a Girls Development Officer at a local football club it's very important for me to see the right culture is established to encourage female participation. Highly recommended."