To be an effective teacher requires more than just the simple regurgitation of knowledge. You have to take what you’ve learned, process it, and then articulate it in a form that can be easily understood by your audience.
The challenge lies in the fact that the skill levels of your audience can vary significantly from day to day. So there is always a constant re-evaluation of what you’re going to cover and how you’re going to convey the material in the best manner possible.
Benefits of Teaching
What I’ve noticed is that teaching has some side benefits beyond its primary function of helping others achieve their goals. Here’s a short list:
- It forces you to think about Jiu-jitsu more.
- It reinforces concepts and movements in your own mind.
- It gives you epiphanies in the form of new and unique possibilities in different situations.
Now I have no doubt that the list can be expanded far beyond that, but those three were the first that came to mind when I thought of my own experience.
I’ve been an assistant instructor at Evolve Academy for about two years, and I’ve also taught classes at Crazy 88 for the past eight months. During that time, I’ve never felt that my own personal development has suffered as a result of spending so many hours teaching when I could have been training myself.
There has been many a time when I’ve been in the process of teaching and out of nowhere I suddenly perceive a possibility in that instance which expands my knowledge base. I’ve picked up several little adjustments and attacks that I’ve never been taught just by associating concepts learned elsewhere to a given situation in the midst of teaching.
Also I’m always in the process of learning new material even techniques that I don’t plan to use myself, just in order to share those techniques with those who will use them. A recent example is that I learned a few tricks from a teammate at 88 just to help another teammate at Evolve who is working on developing a specific position.
In the process, I now have a firm grasp of those techniques as well because when I taught them they were reinforced in my own mind. In fact, anytime I teach any technique it gets driven deeper into my subconscious and becomes mine. I might not use it, but I will take the concept of why it works and apply it somewhere.
There can simply be no doubt that the best way to get is to give.