Question: “I want to start training at a different school. My current school has great boxing and stand-up programs.
The jiu-jitsu, however, is severely lacking. The instructor is a legitimate purple belt under a major player in BJJ (this much I have looked into), but the training is extremely disorganized. For this and a few other reasons, I’m planning on switching schools, but just for the BJJ.
I’m still keeping my old membership but only going to do the stand-up classes.
My question is, how should I tell the instructor that I’m jumping ship and training BJJ with another school?
Should I even tell him? Despite the problems I have with the BJJ program, the rest of the school is great, and the instructor is someone who I do really respect and actually like as a person.
I guess I know I don’t actually HAVE to tell him, but out of respect I kind of feel inclined to do so.
Thanks for your time and attention.”
Jiu-jitsu Times : There are a few ways you can navigate this potentially tricky situation.
Your right and desire to have the best BJJ training environment is valid. As both a serious student of BJJ and a paying member of the gym, you have every right to maximize your own learning in jiu-jitsu.
You could just say nothing and that would avoid an awkward conversation initially, but it would create an awkward situation later when the purple belt learns that you have jumped ship to a different gym. That could damage your relationship to the instructor and gym in the future.
You could have a brutally frank conversation and be totally honest. That may not be received well and result in hurt feelings. It could also damage your future relationship.
The MMA / BJJ community is a small and insular community within most cities and everyone’s paths cross numerous times a year. It is best not to burn bridges with other BJJ guys if it can be avoided.
Your best solution might be to inform the purple belt instructor and gym owner that you will be training BJJ at another location because of your work, school, or training schedule.
You could also say you need a less-competition oriented environment. Tell the instructor that it is nothing personal, but it is simply the best option for your training needs. This is a face saving measure and could mitigate any potential damage to your enjoyment of training at the stand-up classes and continued membership at the gym.
I hope this helps.
Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times A Reader Question: “Subject: Looking out for my own progress.”