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Shae Smith: For the Love of Jiu Jitsu

Coach Shae Smith has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Easton since September 2010, and it’s been his passion for the last five years. Not long after he started taking classes, he decided to devote himself full-time to training, and he won his very first competition as a white belt, dealing out four submissions in four matches. Shae looks back at that day as one of his proudest achievements, smiling as he cites it as his first experience winning anything. Since then, he’s been doing Jiu Jitsu constantly, and currently teaches classes of all levels at ETC Boulder.

As a BJJ practitioner, Shae likes to add a creative touch to basic concepts, and enjoys innovation. He describes his game as “flexibility-oriented and gyroscopic,” and one of the hallmarks of his style is constant movement. He says that because he isn’t a particularly big guy, it is difficult to force things. By moving around, he can open up small spaces in order to capitalize on a particular position.

Shae loves teaching, and as an instructor, he wants every class to be informative and fun. He emphasizes accessibility in his Fundamentals classes, saying that, “Anyone, whether an Olympic-level athlete, or someone who just got off the couch, should be able to come into a class and enjoy it and learn from it.” In Advanced classes, he likes being able to get more in-depth and analytical, showing his students very specific reactions to a variety of  situations. Shae wants students of all levels to be able to use Jiu Jitsu to better themselves in whatever way they can. To him, it’s not important whether they want to compete, or how quickly they advance in relation to their peers. He just wants to see them getting a personal benefit from their training. He works hard to make sure all students come away from his classes with good technique, but it is just as important to him that they enjoy themselves. He says, “Jiu Jitsu should be fun for everyone. I take it seriously, but it’s always fun for me.”

For students who are interested in invigorating their BJJ game with fresh techniques and energy, Shae recommends private lessons. A small group or one-on-one private lesson gives him a chance to give his students more attention, focusing on their particular needs. In his privates, he likes that he can look closely at small details, opening a student’s eyes a little more to the proper execution of a technique. He finds this to be a very productive learning environment. Even a single session can produce a significant improvement, and Shae loves seeing his students successfully utilizing their newly learned techniques in live training.

In the month of August, Shae will be running two weekly small group privates. These will be held on Thursdays at 6:30 PM and Fridays at 11:00 AM. As this article is being posted, there are still spots available in both groups.

If you’re interested in getting in on group or one-on-one private lessons with Shae, talk to him when you see him around the academy! He enjoys chatting about Jiu Jitsu, and is always happy to answer students’ questions. You can also contact him by email at baxtermass@gmail.com

To learn more about Shae, check out his Instructor Bio!

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