Teaching to the Masses and Getting the Message Through

Teaching is a word generally used meaning to impart knowledge. A good teacher has many strategies to do this, while less successful ones may only have a single delivery method.

After teaching many Jiu Jitsu classes over more than 20 years I’ve learned how important it is to read the student or group of students I’m working with. Reading the student, I believe, is on par with the subject matter itself in terms of importance.

The world is full of examples of where messages, through poor delivery, have been misunderstood.

This is overt in the teaching of martial arts. 

Students are all very different in the way they make mental connections to information. I believe a good instructor needs to “get inside the head of the student” and understand how they visualise and process information. Once instructors recognise how students perceive the information, they can change or modify their delivery method to make it understandable for the student, and to ensure the message sent is the one being received.

Use analogies your students can relate to

Whether your student is a construction worker, a doctor, or an IT expert, relevant analogies from their industry can be very helpful tools to help them understand the information you wish to impart.

As we are all aware, there are also great differences in intellectual capacity between students. It’s important to recognise the ability of the student to understand, and more often than not, we need to break down the concepts to a level that students can understand.

Some students also have problems with focussing and distraction. As teachers, we need to be able to capture their attention and motivate them as we are getting our message across – make sure they’re really engaged and involved in the learning process and even make a few light-hearted jokes along the way.

We all want our students to progress so we must pay special attention to how our message is getting transferred and interpreted, and not just solely on the content of the message.

Peter de Been is Director of de Been 100% Jiu Jitsu, Australia’s first Jiu Jitsu Academy, and President and Founder of AFBJJ Inc, Jiu Jitsu’s national governing body since 1994. www.deBeenJiuJitsu.com