Tips on How to Be a Great Ambassador for Gracie Barra & Jiu-Jitsu
Have you ever experienced the following scenario?
You walk up to a friend and rave about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and tell him how you’ve realized how it has dramatically changed your life. Then while your friend is still caught in a state of shock, you proceed to tell your story about BJJ’s history and all the moves like the guard, sweep, armbar, the Kimura, and various submissions. Then while your friend is hopelessly lost in translation, you proceed to tell him about who Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is and how he established Gracie Barra. You talk about how to enroll in Gracie Barra, the programs in it and how you can actually bring your friend in because he is going to benefit a lot from it. Then you proceed to rave about the famous BJJ champions like Braulio Estima, Flavio Almeida, Octavio Sousa, Marcio Feitosa, Vinicius Magalahaes (to name a few) and even start telling your friend about the Brazilian nicknames of these fighters.
And you were able to accomplish all of this in under 10 minutes, in full detail, while your friend is in complete state of awe and maybe a little confused.
While the said scenario can be a bit overboard or exaggerated, we have all shared something in the same manner to someone at least once in our lives. The enthusiasm is there and enthusiasm is a good thing. However, the audience you are talking to probably have lived a normal, “Jiu-Jitsuless” life all of this time. For them to be introduced to something like this in one sitting may not be as effective as we thought it would.
The intention to spread Jiu-Jitsu to everyone that we know and get them to train with us is a noble one. We all know the benefits that Jiu-Jitsu can bring. We all want everyone in our lives to become healthier, but to get the buy-in of individuals who have yet to see the interiors of a gym, or have only understood martial arts through television can pose a challenge. It will not be easy, but there are effective ways to share the art to anyone.
Do It the Way Good Salespeople Do It: “The Jiu-Jitsu Salesman”
A good salesman never sells. They share stories. The stories they tell are based on experience. They start with a need with a genuine concern for their potential clients. If this was a Jiu-Jitsu salesman, he’ll say, “I think you’ve been stressed lately. How are things going?” As soon the clients open up, the Jiu-Jitsu salesman then proceed to tell him about something that can improve his lifestyle. How healthier he/she can be.
Then as soon as the he gets the attention of his potential client (because he was able to reach out to him on an emotional level), he then proceeds to share. The keyword is sharing. We share ideas to those who are willing to listen. We invite them to appreciate what we have in-store for them.
The operative word here is sharing. Sharing stories is different from story telling. The former implies a profound experience, the latter is mere entertainment.
Keep the Language Simple: Make it Universal
Avoid the intricate details as of now. Complicated Jiu-Jitsu talk can be hard to grasp for someone who has yet to understand Jiu-Jitsu. Share some details like how it’s a good workout, how you can get fit, or share it as the “gentle art.” These words are great examples of how universal Jiu-Jitsu is.
Talk about health, fitness, discipline, and lifestyle. Talk about getting fit and feeling a lot better! Talk about how you see little kids grapple and enjoying themselves, or women learning self-defense. Talk to them about how great your instructors are and how supportive they can be.
Walk the Talk
This is one the biggest challenges about sharing Jiu-Jitsu. You have to show them that there is something really beneficial about Jiu-Jitsu and they have to feel it… they have to see it in you. They have to see that you have been looking healthy, less stressed, in a better mood. They have to notice that you now have discipline, and your enthusiasm to go to the gym is astounding. They have to feel that you are really passionate about what you signed up for.
They have to see that it is really good through you.
Becoming a good ambassador for Jiu-Jitsu is not easy. It all boils down to how we convey our message, “Jiu Jitsu for Everyone,” to those who matter to us, or even to strangers. Sharing Master Carlos’ message to the world is his challenge not just to the instructors, school owners, et al, but also to each student who intends to make a difference in other people’s lives.