Photo: Personal Archive
During the pandemic, Bruno Bastos had to get creative to keep students at Lead BJJ in Midland, Texas. With his dojo shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus, he has been teaching online classes for kids and adults via his Facebook page.
Bruno, a black belt in jiu-jitsu, also chose to reward the loyal students who didn’t cancel or freeze their membership with free seminars.
“During this chaos that has affected the whole world, I’ve had to be strategic to bring the best to my students,” said Bastos. “I learned how to livestream, manage Facebook groups and mainly, how to work with digital marketing. This is the way I’ve been able to keep teaching my students without lowering the quality of my lessons. I managed to answer some of the student’s questions even though we are far away from each other. We’ve been able to realize, in practice, how the world is going to work from now on. I will pay more attention to online tools to develop content for my students. Now, also, due to the suspension of activities at the gym, I’ve already been able to reach an agreement for three seminars with Xande Ribeiro, Leticia Ribeiro and Jimmy Pedro. All of them will be free for the students who didn’t cancel their memberships during this pandemic.”
Bruno went on to say that at first it was hard to adapt to big changes like classes becoming online-only, especially after having to close down his academy less than three months after its opening.
“Like anything unexpected, the first reaction was frustration,” said Bastos. “I had to practice what I’ve been teaching for years, which is to be comfortable in unfavorable situations. In spite of the bad period, I’ve only had positive thoughts in regard to all of it. I’ve always had to work for my dreams and goals, and this will not be the thing to stop me. This is also a way for the students to see how we can defeat hardship in life.”
Even with the IBJJF’s competition season on hold, Bastos remains hopeful about the rest of the year.
“I have faith that some of the most important events will take place this year,” said Bastos. “But the organizations depend on the academies going back to working normally, without any restrictions. If there are any competitions in 2020, our focus will be on the World Championship, the Master Worlds and No-Gi Worlds. We will adapt as much as we can. Oss!”