I think that me helping out in the kids’ class at Lincoln BJJ Center actually helps me more than anyone else. The class has grown much larger since it started last year, so I’m no longer needed as a partner for the kids, but I’ve still been going to class and working with them on drills.
Trying to teach something definitely increases your own understanding of it! I enjoy working with the kids, it allows me to experience BJJ from a different perspective, and it reminds me of what it’s like to be a new student. When they don’t understand what I’m trying to explain, I have to think of other ways to get it across, and I have to know why they should do it that way, because “Why?” is most children’s favorite question!
Kids aren’t afraid to ask a lot of questions, and it makes me realize that although they seem to pick up on things faster than the adults, in some ways they still have no real understanding of what they’re doing. For example, after one of the boys reversed his mounted partner during the positional grappling yesterday, I said “Nice job.”, and he asked “Who, me? Did I win?”.
Another bonus to helping out in the kids’ class is that on the days when I can’t train, I can still work with the kids, and it helps soothe my withdrawal. Luckily that wasn’t the case yesterday, as my shoulder pain eased up enough to allow me to attend the adult advanced class! I was even able to participate in most of king of the mat, but at that point my shoulder was aching, and I didn’t want to push it, so I sadly opted out of free-rolling.
The same boy who asked me if he had won also told me that he just wanted the drilling to be over yesterday, so that he could roll, and I know a lot of the adults feel the same way (but won’t admit it!). Sometimes it’s hard for me to be motivated to go to class with an injury, when I know that I probably won’t be able to roll, but even when I can’t, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go. The Professor told me that even with an injury, he still recommends going to class and at least doing the drills if you can, because something is always better than nothing. I was definitely happier doing what I could yesterday, than staying home and feeling bad about what I couldn’t do.