I received an illustrative email from a white belt who was been training for six months. He has a background in competitive sports (e.g., he played football in college) and he's also been having some success early on in training and competition. Yet, he nevertheless has some questions and concerns. He contacted me because he has read my posts on the philosophy and pedagogy of jiu jitsu and he likes my approach to thinking about these issues. I thought that rather than simply responding behind closed doors, so to speak, I would post his questions along with my answers here on The Grumpy Grappler.
But first, let me just say that if gym owners and instructors did a better job at being explicit and transparent when it comes to etiquette, expectations, and related matters, fewer students who are new to the gentle art would feel like they’re fumbling in the dark. It’s hard enough to learn basic techniques in the beginning without having to deal with mystery-mongering about other important aspects of training jiu jitsu. That said, you can find his questions and my replies below the fold!