I have had the misfortune and pleasure of being both a training partner (hence, misfortune) as well as student (hence pleasure) of Aaron Milams. Aaron has the rare distinction of being both an elite level grappler as well as a natural teacher. Initially he will sit against the mat and observe you roll; without comment he will identify the holes in your game, then without pretense Aaron will politely ask your opponent to step aside, look you in the eyes, slap hands, and proceed to thoroughly dominate you like a cat swatting at a staggering rodent. This is when the teaching begins. Articulate and methodical, Aaron has a very tactile and intuitive teaching style – I often find that our interests are aligned; he is your teacher but remains a lifelong student. Aaron doesn’t dictate or lecture, but rather, works through the problems with you. Our private lessons are often situational. Often, in various positions Aaron will stop, close his eyes, feel out your base of support, pause again, open his eyes, and begin working through the various alternatives of your problem set. We will then drill the solutions, write down our findings, and hypothesize for the next session. This is bespoke instruction at its best.

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