On Jiu-jitsu Times A Reader Question: Instructors Behaving Badly

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Actual Question:

“Hi just looking for advice my ex instructor. *(names removed)
If you do search there is a lot surrounding him.
In Bullshido and other forums question his belt .
I went his school 8 months.
I left for few reasons one being I got bad staph infection.
In other schools mats were mopped after class.
I never once seen them mopped here.
…I told him I wont be returning that’s when it all started.
He sent me numerous insults and threats. Few months go buy I’m at another school now another email pops up and threats…
What should I do? He’s very unstable.”

Jiu-jitsu Times: Unfortunately, we see threads pop up more than and more on bjj internet forums about fake black belts and poorly run academies.
There is a certain amount of self policing in the bjj community, but there will always be poorly qualified instructors putting up signs “Bjj Classes Here” and running unprofessional, unsafe environments.

First thing is to not get involved in public war of words with the old school. Even if you are 100% correct, no one ends up looking good after highly public disputes.
Just refuse to participate in gossip and public arguing – as it reflects poorly on you as well.
Sending provocative messages just “fans the flames”.

The best solution is for you to find a new academy where you can get back to concentrating on what is most important – training bjj!

There are a few “red flags” to help students identify toxic academies and bad instructors:


 

1) Unclear / unverifiable lineage
Most black belts have been training a LONG time and will have established long training relationships with legitimate schools.
If the circumstances surrounding who awarded them their black belt are shrouded in mystery, this should be cause for alarm.
It should not be difficult to find a photo of the black belt getting their belt tied around their waist by a legitimate bjj instructor as proof.
Sadly, some motivated by profit and / or ego will award themselves a rank in bjj.
It is difficult to hide behind a fake belt for long and usually these fake instructors are exposed.


 

2) Dirty gyms
Before signing up for any bjj classes, the student should always visit the gym 1st to observer a class.
Have a look around.
Are the mats in a state of disrepair?
Bits of used tape, empty water bottles and forgotten training equipment piled up in the corner of the mats?
Does the gym smell like it is cleaned often?
Do the bathrooms look like they have been sanitized in the last month?
These indicators will let you know how professionally the gym is maintained.
The health risks of rolling on dirty mats can be serious (skin infections, MRSA etc).


 

3) The gym culture
It is said that the atmosphere / culture of a gym comes from the top and filters down to the students.
Does the instructor encourage a cult like mentality and wants to be important?
Do the higher belts seem friendly towards lower ranks or is it a dog eat dog atmosphere on the mats everyday?
Do the students behave in a humble and cooperative manner or do they swagger about and “mean mug” others in a show of ego?
A solid bjj gym will have highly skilled students without the bad attitude that intimidates new students.
If you get a negative feel of the gym culture , it is probably best to continue your search for another bjj school.

As a student and customer of a bjj school, if the school is not run professionally, then vote with your wallet and take your business to a better run academy!

for questions email: info@jiujitsutimes.com

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