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.

I’ve had the privilege of training under Aaron for a few years. Not only is he an amazing practitioner, he has a rare gift of being able to teach techniques that anyone can understand. He gives thoughtful answers to questions based on a student’s size, strength, and build. Students walk away with confidence in the technique.

For me, one of Aaron’s most valuable traits as a teacher is how he motivates you to challenge yourself no matter what skill level or gender you are. Although he keeps an eye on safety, he encourages you to fight your own battles and is generous with his advice afterward. His personality makes it easy for him to connect with all different types of people. He is an eternal student himself, constantly curious and searching for ways to make his techniques more efficient. He inspires this in his students as well.

Aaron comes from a line of high quality instructors. He takes his responsibility as a teacher seriously. There is no pretense. He cares about his students development and wants to share his love and respect for BJJ. I feel incredibly fortunate to have his instruction and guidance. He has greatly impacted my life on and off the mat.

I have been training partners with Aaron for many years. He is a true martial artist who understands the finest details and concepts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is a incredibly technical and innovative practitioner of the art.

I’ve had the pleasure of training with Aaron for many years at the world famous Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City. He is a accomplished competitor, great teacher and a highly technical black belt.

Master: Renzo Gracie