Choosing to start training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be very intimidating on many levels due to all of the tough guys with cauliflower ears on the mats, not being in the ideal physical shape when you start training, or having any previous martial art or grappling experience. More and more Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies are starting to add beginners and fundamentals classes to the schedule to help ease new students into the gentle art. If you are interested in starting BJJ, the beginners/fundamental classes would be ideal for your free trial class since the classes focus on basics and fundamentals. Before going into your free beginners class, make a check list of what you are looking for in an instructor and training environment. Here are 5 quick things to observe and evaluate during your free beginners class.
1.Coaching: All because the instructor is wearing a black belt, doesn’t mean he or she is the right BJJ coach for beginners. In addition to being able to clearly demonstrate and communicate basic fundamentals, the coach also needs to be very friendly, patient, empathetic, and warm towards students. Is the coach hands-on and walking around helping students while they are drilling the techniques? When you are visiting a school for a free trial, watch to see how the coach behaves when students ask questions, can’t grasp concepts, or are struggling with the cardio exercises in class to see if you believe this coach would be the right fit for you.
2.Culture: Coaches create cultures, but students play a large role in shaping the academy’s vibe and culture. Training in BJJ requires students to have a high level of mutual respect and collaboration with each other in order to have a safe learning environment. Watch to see how the coaches and students behave during class. Are the students friendly and respectful? Is the training environment more competitive than collaborative? Are the students focused and listening to the coach? During drilling, are the students repeatedly drilling and practicing or just taking a break?