At the conclusion of the technique instruction part of the BJJ class, some students approach the instructor with questions.
There is a model of learning called the stages of competence in acquiring a new skill.
Here are two ways instructors help you learn.
Helping students improve what they know they’re doing wrong.
In this case, the students asking questions know they do not know something and proactively seek a solution.
Good students take an active role in their own learning and tap the knowledge of the instructor. This is one of the very best ways to build your jiu-jitsu. Your instructor possesses a depth of knowledge that is there for the asking.
Helping students identify what they don’t know they’re doing wrong.
The second way that your instructor helps you is by observing your rolls. A sharp instructor can spot patterns in your rolling and help you identify areas of “unconscious incompetence.”
That is to say that the students do not know a technique and they don’t know they don’t know! It is a blind spot that they can’t see. It is the instructor that can correct a hole in the game.
I watched a blue belt trying a knee cut pass three times in a roll. He was neglecting to secure a proper underhook for the pass and consequently got his back taken three times.
After the roll, I called him over and asked him if he understood what had happened each time. He did not. He was unaware that he was even making a mistake. Once we corrected that error, he suddenly experienced fewer back takes.
A good student asks questions and a good instructor watches the students sparring (not texting his girlfriend on his phone!) to identify mistakes.
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