Finding the Perfect Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School
People choose to take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, (BJJ) for many different reasons. Whether you aspire to fight MMA, lose a few pounds, get better confidence, or simply to stay active in a new and exciting way, BJJ has something to offer you. That being said, finding the perfect Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school can be a large time and monetary, commitment. So for those of you who are looking for your first BJJ school, or perhaps you are thinking of relocating, the following highlights important things to consider about selecting a school that suits your specific needs and goals.
The first thing that everyone ought to understand is that there is not one best school for everyone. Finding the perfect Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school for you will ultimately depend on what your goals are. The best school for you is one that helps you achieve those goals. In order for you to select a school that fits your goals you will have to actually visit the school. Most gyms will allow you a free weeks trial, or at the very least will give you a tour and answer any questions you might have. I typically divide my questions and what I am looking for in a gym, in two categories.
The first category is the facility. Look around the facility; you very well may end up spending a lot of time there. Are the bathrooms clean? How often do they clean the mats? We work hard, we sweat, and things get dirty. The mats should be cleaned once a day, perhaps every two days if they are not used as often. If your goal is to have a workout during your lunch break from your office, perhaps you need a shower. If your goals involve doing complimentary activities, like another martial art or strength and conditioning, a gym that lacks equipment or other programs may not be a fit for you. More expansive gyms may have snack bars and saunas. While these may be great services, ask yourself whether you feel these are essential to your goals and if not, whether you are willing to pay for these services. Remember the little gym with one shower and small mat space that does not charge for extra perks may be perfect for someone out there.
The second category is the staff. I say staff, not just the instructors, because often it is not the instructor that I meet first. When I walk into a gym, and the secretary or the person cleaning the floors stops to welcome me with a smile, I get the feeling that people enjoy spending time here. The instructorship at the school is very important. These are the people teaching you the martial art; how you learn, will dictate your enjoyment, as well as whether or not you are able to reach your goals. Ask if you can watch a class, or better yet sit in on one. If the school is run by a famous blackbelt, ask if they are the ones teaching all or most of the classes. Most BJJ instructors are simply great people, BJJ has a way of humbling people due to its nature, but it is not impossible to run into an instructor who does not always have their students’ best interests at heart.
These are just a few of the many things to consider when visiting and looking for a BJJ school. Good luck and get rolling!
Interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Come in for a FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL MEMBERSHIP!
Thank you Igor Osowski for this great article!