Weak Links in Your Jiu Jitsu Academy Can Show Your Strength

We frequently mention how jiu jitsu is for everyone, and that most certainly is true: it is a sport that can be accommodating for the young, old, healthy, disabled, tall, short…The list goes on and on. 

You know the saying, “Your chain is only as strong as your weakest link”? It would be easy, convenient even, to only cater to the super athletes: the ones who can pick up a technique with ease and have no trouble understanding what to do, and do it well within the first few tries. Easy, but not very conducive to promoting diversity in an academy. Personally, a good jiu jitsu program is one that can accommodate both the star athletes and…well, the rest of us. 

A pretty tall order, I know, but that diversity of men and women, young and old, etc. is typically the sign of a healthy academy: one that shows either one, or several instructors who can adjust their teaching methods to the class, who have the patience and are willing to take the time to teach each type of student so they fully understand the techniques. 

And from a business standpoint, it’s a pretty smart tactic- there are only so many athletic people out there willing to try jiu jitsu, so many older people, women, and young kids, etc. By putting out the effort to teach all of them, there’s a much better chance of a larger student body, and a more likely possibility that a business owner will be able to pay their rent and keep a roof over their heads. 

So, in short “weak links” in your academy should not be ignored or excluded: they show the strength of your jiu jitsu program and how the art and sport can be adapted to fit anyone needs. 

That’s all I’ve got for today- have a great day everyone! 



1 Comment

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One response to “Weak Links in Your Jiu Jitsu Academy Can Show Your Strength

  1. MajaEL95

    alright, I’m gonna tell a story that has nothing and everything to do with jiu jitsu and this post.

    I used to train handball as a kid. I was terrified of the ball and decided that a great way of getting over that fear was by starting handball. great tactic! unfortunately the club I decided to train in was also full of all the girls who frequently bullied me at school.
    I was originally super enthusiastic about handball. I went 110% at each training, I saved up money to buy my own handball so I could practice more at home. despite all of this I was not capable of catching up with my teammates (who’d been training for years) in only one year.
    of course you can’t do that! no one should expect that, at least not from a kid! well, that happens to be what my coaches thought. the coaches were parents of some of my worst bullies and they wanted their kids to be the best and to win every tournament and so on.
    and as you said; your chain is only as strong as your weakest link.
    in a situation like this the right thing would be to train me harder, but instead I became bullied worse than ever as my coaches encouraged this.

    needless to say I quit after two years of verbal and mental abuse. it all ended with my father finding out and talking to the coaches only to be told that it wasn’t their problem.

    I spent years not joining any new activity. eventually about three years ago I started to think of starting karate.
    I had a multitude of things to work through before I was ready for that. most of them are not relevant for this story, but the fact that I was scared of being treated the same way again is relevant here.

    after two years I finally decided that I wanted to start karate and I did. I expected to be treated much the same way as before and had decided I was willing to go through that again. I was making a commitment for life.
    my club is nothing like those people I trained handball with. not even close.
    as a result of simply being treated decently I’ve been able to really show my potential for once and I’ve made incredible progress over the last year. I’ve caught up with about half the people in our club that have trained longer than me. that would not have been possible without good instructors, a good training environment, fellow karateka (both members and instructors) who gave of their time to help me get better both during and after class.

    I am no longer a weak link i our club. there are some who have trained longer than me and could still be looked at as a weak link.

    invest in the weak link. help them, encourage them, stand by them and never hate them. you never know who they may turn out to be.

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