Max Olson teaches youth Jiu-Jitsu

Freshman volunteers at M-Theory Martial Arts over the summer


Alicia Mainjeni

As freshman Max Olson looks ahead to summer, he prepares for a summer filled with Jiu-Jitsu. He spends time volunteering as an assistant coach at M-theory Martial Arts where he teaches youth Jiu-Jitsu.

In his time as an assistant coach, Olson said his experience with coaching has taught him that it is possible to be consistent in Jiu-Jitsu and learn from teaching others.

“It taught me that no matter what, there’s always a way to implement Jiu-Jitsu into my day. It taught me that in order to really learn something, you have to show other people that thing and not just do it yourself,” Olson said. 

Kah Seo, trainer and fellow assistant coach at M-Theory, spoke highly of Olson. Seo described Olson as a coach who connects with the youth he works with due to his age, while also enjoying the work he does.

“Max is one of the coaches who is closer to the kids in a way that he’s younger than most of us,” Seo said. “The ages of the kids vary from 4-12 years old, in that way, he can communicate and understand them better.”

According to Olson, he was inspired to coach the summer program because his own Jiu-Jitsu coach, Ishmael, taught him the importance of practicing Jiu-Jitsu daily.

“My coach Ishmael is my inspiration. There is never a day in his life where Jiu-Jitsu wasn’t involved and I aspire to be that way,” Olson said.

According to Seo, a trait of Olson’s that stands out is his calmness and ability to communicate in difficult situations while keeping the kids optimistic.

“When there are younger kids who try to do a move and since they’re younger, they have a harder time executing the move — Max is very patient,” Seo said. “He’ll wait until the kids present the move and he’ll communicate in a way that they understand the correct move but they also don’t feel bad that they did it wrong.”

Olson said he spends the majority of his summer days and leisure time outside of summer coaching the class.

“I usually coach all summer long, or whenever I get a day off, I’ll just go to the kids’ class and help out,” Olson said.

According to Seo, the limited number of assistant coaches is affected when Olson is available to coach. He is a helping hand to not only the children, but also the coaches.

“Besides the head coach and general manager, every coach is volunteering. Since nobody’s rewarding them, they’re just doing it because they like kids and they enjoy watching kids grow and learn,” Seo said. “In that way, I really appreciate Max helping the kids’ class.”