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среда, 8 июля 2009 г.

Private Lessons

I have thought a lot about this topic and I believe it deserves some attention whether you take private classes or train in a group. Even if you are a complete beginner and just wanted to find out what it is like to take private lessons, this is the post for you.

Before going in to a long discussion of the merits and problems of each type of teaching, I will list them in terms of priority.

Advantages of Private Lessons

1. Instructor time and attention - in private lessons you get one-on-one instructor attention. He can correct you, show you tips to improve and answer any questions you may have.

2. More flexible schedule – you get a chance to select what day and time fits you best which is great if you have an inconvenient work schedule.

3. You get a choice - some instructors will let you choose what you want to learn and what you want to improve in your game. I imagine teachers vary in their approach but you get to choose the teacher.

4. Efficient use of time. You are not held back by other students that have difficulties with things you do not. You can focus on where you have problems rather than spend time on what you are good at already.

5. You don't really meet with people you don't like who may not make your lessons enjoyable. For example people that are very rough, smell or anything like that.

Disadvantages of Private Lessons

1. Expensive – I hear lessons can cost from $40-$50 for purple and brown belt instructors to up-to $300 for 45 minutes if you are being taught by Marcelo Garcia for example.

2. Less sparring diversity, you miss out on lots of experiences sparring with people of different body type, weight, height, age, strength etc

3. You don't really get to know and can't make friends.

4. You don't really get a feel for the level of different opponents with various years of experience or belts. Basically you know what to expect roughly from a new blue belt when you train for a while in a class environment.

Private lessons are a great way to both learn and improve you game. If you want to train more intensively to improve a specific part of your bjj or judo, private lessons will really help.

I personally recommend to take private lessons together with someone. Training in pairs is great for private lessons because you really need to see the technique performed on someone else. It is difficult to learn when the technique is being done on you sometimes. The instructor also has a chance to look, observe your technique and teach you better. It is sometimes easier for the teacher too when he can see you spar with someone else. Of course the other thing is that you can split the often pricey private lessons with you friend.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that if you can train regularly and often, this can sometimes mean you can get a lower price for you lessons. A discount since you are committing for many hours at once.


From my experience I've seen classes priced between $40-$100 per session. I had private lessons and I really enjoyed them. It was an opportunity for me to ask questions which did not get the attention and opportunity to ask in the normal class environment.

If you are visiting another country and want to train there intensively for a short period of time, buying an annual membership and going to every class may not be the best option for you. I personally just went for private lessons and trained intensively for two weeks every day and it was great. I recommend having a private lesson in the morning and then a regular class afterwards or in the afternoon. This is a great way to train and learn a lot each day.

I really picked up a lot, revising all the techniques I have learnt in the previous class, asking questions and really thinking how to get better and I think private lessons are great whether you do Judo or BJJ.

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