So I've recently been involved in a conversation online about teaching jiu-jitsu and lesson plans. Some people said they had a curriculum written down and planned out. I'm not sure if some people have every lesson plan specifically written out within that curriculum but it did seem to be suggested. Others said they like the randomness of teaching techniques as they see fit but they still plan lessons, just not strictly. There were also people who stuck to the lesson plan and others who said they would change things up depending on the students in attendance. I've also trained with people who seem to just teach a string of totally random techniques (even within the same lesson)... this is definitely not something I like.
I have approximate lesson plans, and as an example here is the one for tomorrow...
The Sunday morning class is one of the smallest for numbers usually (8 or less) and the longest (2 hours), so I can watch people drilling much more than a normal class. That means that I like to give people more options rather than just a few specific detailed techniques as usual, then let them work the position for longer periods of time. A much more free-form version of what I would usually do.
This week I've been covering two areas; butterfly guard attacks and passing half-butterfly, of those I'll concentrate on butterfly guard attacks tomorrow. It will be a sort of recap of the principles from the different techniques I've taught throughout the week, as they all had similar basic ideas running through them. The first drills will be the entries I've shown to different positions. Sitting up with underhooks from being flattened and two different arm-drags. These will be used as a warm-up.
After that I'll show the techniques I've been teaching in the week and also some other possibilities, then let the class work on them. Every now and then I'll break up the class to show any bits that people are struggling with and to cover questions I've been asked. I'll also add on other technique possibilities or variations which are relevant to how people are coping with the stuff I've already shown.
There might be some specific sparring but on Sunday mornings I usually just do one hour of straight sparring at the end. Rounds times will be what I feel like at the time, they could be different every round, all 5 mins, or 10 mins or more...
However, things could easily change. If I turn up and I just have a group of white belts to teach then I will go back to a normal type lesson. Warm-up will be the same, then I will show a specific sequence of techniques (2 or 3 linked sweeps or attacks and counters to defences) one part at a time and again stopping at times to show mistakes people are making/details they are missing.
This is as far as I think it's necessary to plan a lesson. The major variable is what group of students turn up, that can make me change the style of lesson as I've said but also the amount of sparring or in extreme cases even the technique I'm going to teach. I've also changed the class for other reasons... sometimes people turn up and ask a question about something and I decide that would be a pretty cool thing to look at so change to that position/technique. That's part of what I like about jiu-jitsu, it's not too strict and ordered, and I think allowing a bit of freedom and randomness helps make it more fun.