Research and Development Class
Our Research and Development Class gives our somewhat advanced students (generally blue belts and higher) an opportunity to share their prior knowledge and research techniques or concepts from their favorite practitioners, then share with our other students. The class works like this:
We start with whatever aspect of jiu jitsu we will be covering the following week based on our curriculum. A few days before the class, we'll announce the topic on our forum and anyone interested in attending can "claim" a few sources they'll be researching. They will then research what their source has to say about the aspect we'll be covering in class. When we meet at the arranged time (see the schedule), we start with a base of prior knowledge based on our past experiences, most of which originated from San Diego Fight Club, our "home" school in SoCal. Each participant will then have an opportunity to share what they learned from their sources. As a group, we then test everything on each other to determine what elements and details are most important. Those details will then be used to design that week's lessons and shoot video if applicable. This process is repeated indefinitely for every aspect of the curriculum, which is how we assure our curriculum retains the highest quality standards possible AND evolves with the sport.
We've found this collaborative process serves a few useful purposes.
First, it gives our students the opportunity to boost their learning by exposing them to a wide range of instruction from a large cross-section of the jiu jitsu world. Gone are the days when jiu jitsu was taught as a collection of 'secret" techniques. For any given technique, there may be 1,000 Youtube videos from world-class coaches and athletes. If we're serious about learning the art, it makes sense to utilize this amazing resource. It makes zero sense to limit our learning to only one source, no matter how good that source is. We learned jiu jitsu from phenomenal instructors, but being open to other phenomenal instruction will only boost our game.
Second, it allows us to sort through the vast amount of resources available to all of us, cull the crap, and learn the best practices for anything and everything. Information overload is a major problem of the Internet age in general and the modern jiu jitsu world in particular. This process-based class allows us to grasp far more of the great information out there than we ever could as individuals.