Today Prof. Griff boarded an airplane bound for California. He will be competing in no gi worlds on Sunday… thus our school is without an instructor for the next few days. As usual when he is about to skip town Griff asked if any of us were willing to run Fri and/or Monday morning classes. I offered to do it. To me it made sense in as my  next step in the BJJ journey. I’ve noticed that I’ve been instructing other students a lot lately and have begun doing a lot of in-class coaching, so why not teach a class? I’ve been an instructor pretty my all of my life anyway and love teaching. I didn’t realize until a day or two later that teaching BJJ is different than teaching, lets say, ecology. Ecology is facts, not body movement. The teaching methods, I realized, would be different.

Luckily, I had a purple belt husband so I got to practice the techniques I wanted to teach on him first. It’s amazing how much of BJJ is instinct to me that this point. I don’t realize half of the things I do. In this case, I was doing a running side control escape. I was keeping my elbows tucked in and head glued to the mat in our living room. This prevents a back take, but I did not include this in my practice instruction with Eric. I do these things naturally now, not deliberately. Eric pointed out all the details I was doing besides the largest more obvious movements. I realized then that teaching BJJ meant picking apart every detail and explaining why each move is carried out. The thing is, I might do it naturally, but the rest of the class, especially lower ranking belts, might not.

So I made a lesson plan and well, instructed. As I expected, teaching physical movement is different then when I taught at national parks, but all in all things went will and my all male class (typical!) were successful in repeating the techniques. We figured running side control escape was great to confuse newer folks who have it drilled into their heads that to escape side control you need to turn into the person. In the running escape you turn away! I also went over the  double underhook rollout since a player can get caught in that pass while doing the running escape… I realized then that body type makes a big difference. As a little person that is easier for me to do than the bigger guys I was teaching. But, I also taught to chicken wing elbow escape as an aside and they worked well for them.

So time to prepare for Monday’s class. Below was today’s lesson plan:

BJJ Lesson Plan,

Friday Nov. 1

Teaching Objective:

To teach the running escape from side control and a counter to the opponents common response: double leg unhook pass.

Class Structure

Warm up:

Jogging, movement drills (make sure to include monkey rolls, front and back rolls, butt scoots)

Technique Instruction

Running escape:

  • ·         Works when opponent is block one side in side control
  • ·         Free hand pushes while you turn AWAY. Free block arm immediately when there is space
  • ·         Place knee up high as you move onto you side beside forearm and then use TOES to push. Roll over shoulder
  • ·         Immediately place feet on hips …open guard

Double underhook rollout

  • ·         Last ditch effort
  • ·         Roll over a shoulder making sure to roll away from opponent to make distance and NOT just in place
  • ·         Grab hips with one arm and place butterfly hooks in with the same size leg. Sit back into guard


 Person down starts under side control

Open Mat