Why a Grappling Buddy Is the Key to Advancement in BJJ, Part 1

Grappling Buddy
Teaching the dominant Brazilian jiu-jitsu positions and transitions to a full class of very young students is a job for more than one instructor, to be sure. Kids in BJJ need to practice their moves on a willing uke, and as anyone who teaches kids knows, it’s almost impossible to get one child to balance on another child. I have dubbed their form the “jellyfish” because it has no muscle or structure. You could waste an entire class attempting to stack one “jellyfish” on top of another.

So even with three instructors for kids to practice on, I often had to drag out a giant — 140 pounds! — Greco dummy to assist. Well, I did before I found the Gameness Grappling Buddy.

The Grappling Buddy is light enough for my 3-year-olds to grab and place down but firm enough to carry the pressure of an adult’s knee-on-belly — meaning I can run the class by demonstrating on it while the kids mimic my movements on their own Buddy.

For this reason, I immediately fell in love with the potential of this training device. It’s a fantastic way to anchor the youngest students to one spot as they practice, and I can use it to teach in person and online.

I created a curriculum using the Grappling Buddy that’s designed to keep the class fun and fast-paced while building technical jiu-jitsu practitioners as young as 3 years old. The Buddy curriculum accelerates learning so I can move my students through the higher levels faster, often promoting 5- and 6-year-olds into classes that are filled with older, more advanced students. It’s the ultimate learning-curve shortener.

The Gameness Grappling Buddy is especially useful when running a class that includes both experienced students and newcomers because it facilitates teaching to all experience levels in a seamless manner. The Buddy also can be a class-saver for those times when, despite diligent planning, few students seem to grasp a particular concept. I simply pull out enough Grappling Buddies for everyone and get the lesson back on track without a hitch.

I use the Grappling Buddy so often that I was able to perfect my curriculum and create a DVD called The Prodigy Processto teach it to other martial artists. It’s now available through The Prodigy Process DVD – Gameness. The goal is to help kids, parents and instructors benefit from the Grappling Buddy the same way my students and I have.

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