Master Carlos Gracie Jr. working together with a team of talented black belts have grown Gracie Barra association to have schools (500+) all over the world. To ensure the standards at the original academies are maintained as the art of jiu-jitsu expands through out the planet, Master Carlos has developed the Gracie Barra Method.
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What is the Gracie Barra Method?
Definition provided by Gracie Barra Association:
“The Gracie Barra Method is the set of teaching techniques, tools, and standards developed by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to empower GB Instructors all over the world to teach Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone while Keeping the Legacy Alive. A total of 7 essential building blocks come together to form the Gracie Barra Method so it can serve as a common platform on which our instructors stand and realize their potential as teachers, mentors and leader.”
The Gracie Barra Method is composed of 7 main pieces that combine to form the most effective teaching system for a student’s progress.
1. GB Program Structure
“A framework defining the path of each individual student and the relationships between classes, student rank, and prerequisites.”
The classes are divided according to experience level (and by age for the kids programs). A brand new beginning student has very different needs and capabilities than a 5 year purple belt competitor and classes are designed to best serve the needs of those different student types.
2. GB Curriculum:
Definition: “The combination of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques organized in weekly cycles that serve as the main ingredient from which instructors create their own class plans.”
Without a solid curriculum, the instructor may overlook certain important areas of jiu-jitsu that students need. Over the 16 weeks of the GB curriculum, students will be exposed to all of the essential positions and techniques that comprise a complete jiu-jitsu. Self defence, standup and ground techniques. Without a curriculum you risk creating knowledge gaps in your students. read also: The Gracie Barra Curriculum: The Gracie Barra Curriculum: The Best Way to Learn Bjj
3. GB Class Structure
Definition: “The progression of class elements with specified timeframes designed to serve as a reference for instructors to run their classes. The combination of class elements, the order as well as the timeframes were designed to ensure the students are having a great training experience.”
Even something as “standard” as the beginning of class warmup can vary greatly from school to school with a method to ensure a consistent, well thought out class plan. The GB class structure is the result of extensive experience in designing the optimal structure of warmup, standup techniques, ground positions, sparring and cool down.
4. Belt System
Definition: “The ranking system designed to recognize and reward students’ progress and establish an objective criteria for separating students by experience level, allowing the instructor to plan and adjust the best training to each level.”
The goal of many students entering bjj classes is to one day earn a black belt. The belt system provides a means of recognition and reinforcement of a students progress along the way.
From the GB ICP: “Master Carlos is always very clear in defining the belt as an individual achievement based on one’s progress against his or her own potential. The belt system represents progress against one’s potential and achievement of technical, time and attendance
5. GB Uniform
Definition: “A dress code applied according to the traditional martial arts training apparel designed to inspire order, team spirit, pride, and hygiene.” “At Gracie Barra we believe that what we wear identifies us as a group and shows what we stand for.” “In the strongest armies, all the soldiers wear the same uniform”.
6. Teaching and Training Methods
Definition: “The practices adopted by the instructor to demonstrate a technique, track students attendance, pair up students, create safe and challenging training, etc.”
The training methods are the heart of Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu.
“Specific drills and training practices designed to convert the knowledge represented in the curricula and taught by the instructor into knowledge and skills, insuring that the student is able to apply their knowledge and techniques under real circumstances (or under authentic conditions)
The greatest instructor minds in Gracie Barra with combined decades of teaching experience have collaborated to shape the teaching methods.
Gracie Barra’s continued place atop the medals podium at major competitions is testament to the effectiveness of the training methods.
read also: Specific Training: Specific Training: A Great Training Method
7. Teaching Vocabulary and Teaching Commands
Definition: “The common verbal communication used to communicate essential class instructions and GB values to students.”
Instructors public speaking abilities and actual teaching skills can vary widely. It is not a natural skill to many. The Gracie Barra Instructors Certification Course – ICP5 provides training for HOW instructors should communicate most effectively.
A significant part of team building is the communication by the leader – the head instructor of the academy – to unify the team under a common purpose.
The task of ensuring a consistent quality in every Gracie Barra school in every city, in every country is an enormous task! The Gracie Barra Method steps are the tools by which instructors can continue the legacy of Gracie Barra’s founders.
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam