top of page

The Ecological Approach: A Better Way to Teach BJJ

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The ecological approach to teaching Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) focuses on the learner's environment and how it facilitates learning in the sport. Unlike traditional teaching methods that rely on excessive explanation from the coach, the ecological approach prioritizes usable information from the environment over theoretical knowledge. By immersing students in a learning environment that reflects real-life scenarios, they can develop a deeper understanding of BJJ techniques and their practical application.


For example, instead of explaining guard passing techniques through lengthy verbal instructions, the ecological approach encourages coaches to emphasize staying on top, holding the partner down, and freeing trapped knees. This approach allows students to experience the challenges they may encounter during a live match and find their own effective solutions.



The Implementation of the Ecological Approach by Greg Souders


Greg Souders, a renowned BJJ instructor, is a proponent of the ecological approach in teaching Jiu-Jitsu. Souders believes that intention-based learning is crucial for skill development. He focuses on creating a learning environment that encourages students to explore and discover techniques within specific constraints.


For instance, Souders utilizes different types of grip fighting techniques to teach students the importance of controlling their opponent's grips. By experiencing the impact of grip control firsthand, students gain a deeper understanding of its effectiveness and develop their own unique game strategies.


Benefits of Using the Ecological Approach in Jiu-Jitsu Training


The ecological approach offers several benefits in Jiu-Jitsu training. Firstly, it helps address the novelty and ever-evolving nature of the grappling culture. By immersing students in realistic scenarios, they become better equipped to adapt and respond to unexpected situations during a match.


Additionally, the ecological approach facilitates a deeper understanding and integration of new techniques. Rather than simply copying techniques without comprehension, students are encouraged to explore the relationship and effectiveness of techniques within the context of their training environment. This approach allows them to see the practical application and effectiveness of techniques, enhancing their overall skill development.


Furthermore, the ecological approach encourages students to discover their own unique approach to martial arts. By prioritizing usable information from the environment, it fosters a creative and organic learning environment where students can develop their own game strategies and techniques.


Constraints-Led Learning and its Relationship to the Ecological Approach


Constraints-led learning is closely related to the ecological approach in BJJ. It is a method that focuses on the learner's environment and the constraints within it. This approach recognizes that the learning context plays a crucial role in skill acquisition.


Constraints-led learning encourages students to explore and find solutions within the given constraints. By placing specific limitations on training scenarios, such as restricting certain grips or positions, students are forced to think critically and develop innovative strategies to overcome these constraints. This method enhances their problem-solving skills and promotes a deeper understanding of BJJ techniques.



Applying the Ecological Approach to Gi Jiu-Jitsu

The ecological approach can also be applied to teaching Gi Jiu-Jitsu. While the training context may require adaptations and modifications to suit the Gi framework, the core principles of the ecological approach remain applicable.


By providing a more organic and creative learning environment, the ecological approach helps students understand the relationship and effectiveness of Gi techniques. It encourages students to explore different grips, submissions, and transitions within the gi context, enabling them to develop their own game strategies and techniques.


In conclusion, the ecological approach to teaching Jiu-Jitsu offers a better way to facilitate learning and skill development. By prioritizing usable information from the environment and encouraging students to explore within given constraints, this approach promotes a deeper understanding and integration of techniques. Whether training in a gi or no-gi setting, the ecological approach provides a framework for students to develop their own unique approach to BJJ.




Check Out Services and Products



317 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page