Dec 02

A Conceptual Blueprint for Preparing to Teach

A Conceptual Blueprint for Preparing to Teach

If you teach or want to teach, you have to do more than just regurgitate information. The best instructors create experiences that are rarely forgotten.

You might’ve even had such experiences yourself, especially if you’ve been training for a good amount of time. It’s in those moments when you pay absolute attention because you made the decision that the information was extremely relevant to you.

The question is how do you create such experiences when you teach? To answer that, I want to offer you a suggestion.

I recently read a book called As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick. It focuses on the many different aspects of effective communication, and for some odd reason, it just happens to be well-written too.

One section of the book focuses on a conceptual blueprint for preparing content. We can apply that to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instruction, but let’s start with defining the blueprint itself.

The Conceptual Blueprint

At a fundamental level, there are three components in the blueprint:

  • Outcome – Define your outcome. What do you want to achieve?
  • Relevance – Find the relevance. Why should they care?
  • Point – Clarify your point. What’s your message, in one memorable phrase?

Those three components can then be expanded into an outline where you write out the following information:

  • Who will be in your audience.
  • The outcome you desire.
  • The knowledge you want your audience to learn.
  • How you want your audience to feel.
  • Reasons why they should care
  • The central message in one clear statement.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Application

Now we’re going to use that conceptual blueprint to outline a class, just as an example. Let’s get started!

Who is listening?

  • BJJ Basics Students (Mostly white belts)

Step I – Outcome: By the end of this class, they will….

  • Understand the concept of the triangle and how to effectively finish it.

In order to achieve this they need to know:

  • The four stages of a triangle choke as a foundational concept.
  • The importance of attacking with the hips.
  • How to control angles and posture in the position.

In order to achieve this they need to feel:

  • Confident that they will be able to master the submission in time.

Step II – Relevance: Why should they care?

  • Because the triangle is not only a submission, it’s also an effective position where you can launch many attacks.
  • Because the concepts you learn from developing an effective triangle can applied all over the place.
  • Because the triangle can be found in all kinds of positions.

Step III – Point: What’s your message in one sentence?

  • The triangle is a strong submission that can be used in many effective attack sequences and loops.

Give It A Try

I highly recommend As We Speak. It’s worth studying because effective communication is valuable in all areas of life. I only showed you a small sliver of what you could learn.

I just wanted to give you an example of how knowledge can be applied.

It’s entirely likely that you may read this book and focus on something entirely different then apply that knowledge in a way that I never imagined. That would be a wonderful thing if it happened.