That was the question a teacher asked Rickson Gracie a couple of years ago; and, since it could have been asked by so many teachers worldwide, we thought it would be helpful to share the answer. Enjoy it below.
"The best way to teach self-defense is to, first, show the perfect move, and then allow the student to comprehensively execute the move in almost slow motion and start to get the practice; and you're supposed to be the dummy; you're supposed to fall every time he throws; so, adjusting little by little. And give the guy the sense of the mechanics.
"After he gets the mechanics, you start adding a little pressure, a little more balance, more of a challenge, a little more pushing and pulling, a little more resistance, to give the sense of the student starting to build—from scratch, from a very gentle way—a little more toughness on the grip, a little more adjustments on the hip throw, on the pushing the leg, or on the lift...
"So the process of building a good self-defense program is to go gently in the beginning and to start adding pressure and stress as we progress. You cannot add stress in the first class—or try to make the guy tough, to understand everything. So, first, it has to be gentle, and smooth, and comprehensive. And, as the guy starts to feel 'Oh! I understand,' 'So, yeah, you understand, but let me put a—' 'Oh! Oh!' So, another knot, another step, but it has to be comprehensive and gradative growth, to the point where the guy really can defend himself and really can be effective on the defense."