Ronald Rochel

I started martial arts in 2005 when I was 15 years old. My parents signed me up so I would be more active. The first time I watched a class, my mom asked me if I wanted to join and I answered yeah, sure. Whatever. Mr. Fariborz then said And I promise he will never speak to you like that again. That was 10 years ago. Over the years, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and forms have been my favorite areas of training; The former for its technical detail, and the latter for its variety and beauty.

In 2007 after earning my black belt I became instructor quite unexpectedly. I hate being late, so even though my Saturday morning class started at 8am, I always arrived at 7:30 while the previous class was still going on. All I remember was watching that class where Mr. Fariborz was always teaching something new and interesting. After class one Saturday, I asked him if I could take that class too. He said he would let me know. Something was different about that class and the people in it, and I just knew I needed to ask before I should join. When he let me know a week later about his decision, Mr. Fariborz said he had asked me to wait because he needed to ask Mr. Faramarz his thought on allowing me in. It turns out I had inadvertently asked to join the instructors class, although I hadnt realized it until a few weeks after I started attending it. Im glad I did, because my incredible journey as an instructor has been unforgettable over the years.

More than anything, being an instructor has made me a better student. I dont remember where I heard this, but I believe it to be true: the best way to learn is to teach. By teaching, I realize more what I need to work on. Not only do students learn, I learn as well.

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