With Jiujitsu becoming an increasingly popular sport and schools popping up around every corner, it is important to know what to look for when deciding where to train. The last thing you want is to end up at a gym with poor instruction and you wasting away your money. Here are some of the top qualities you should look for when choosing a BJJ school:
1.Coaches/instructors– Are the coaches or instructors qualified? Just because they wear a black belt does not mean they are a good coach. Sit in on a few classes and watch how they teach and interact. Always look into their credentials to make sure they know what they are doing. You don’t want to get stuck with a phony. You’ll end up injured real quickly. Also, a big aspect you want to look at is if you’re just joining a gym because of the name. Just because the name is well-known does not mean you’re receiving the same instruction or knowledge from that person. Do they ever stop by the gym to teach? Is the coach at this gym directly affiliated with the name on the door? Some gyms just pay to put a name on their school, so it is important to look into it.
2.Atmosphere-What is the atmosphere like in the gym? Is the staff friendly? Also, what are you looking for specifically? Do you want to train for fun or are you looking for a more competitive environment? Or maybe something you and your family can do together. You need to find a gym that has what you are looking for. There is a good fit for everyone.
3.Cleanliness– This is important! Look around and see how well-kept the gym is. Do they clean their equipment? Do they clean the mats after training? You certainly do not want to walk out with a staph infection. Always be aware of how sanitary a gym is.
4 Contracts/Pricing-Prices range from gym to gym, but more importantly you want to look into what the terms are for any type of contract you sign. Be aware of how long the contract is and also find out what happens if for any reason you need to break it. Are there penalties? If so, what are they? These types of details are important when joining a gym.
5.Curriculum– What is this gyms curriculum like? Can they show you it on paper? Any well-established gym will have a written curriculum on hand. You want to know that you’re being instructed in a way that is organized. You wouldn’t want to train somewhere that doesn’t have any type of solid curriculum set in place. Also, see how they start you in BJJ. Do they put you in an intro class? Or are you just getting thrown in to an “all levels” class. You want to make sure you’re comfortable starting out this sport so that is an enjoyable experience.
These are a few important aspects to look at. It certainly does not hurt to go online and look at reviews of any gyms you are interested in as well. You need to see the good and the bad. You cannot solely base your decision off internet reviews but they may be able to give you a general idea. The only way to pick a legitimate gym is to go yourself and do your research.