Probably at some point in your life, you will be faced with choosing a BJJ school. Maybe you are moving to another city/country and still want to train there or it’s just beginning of your journey with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Regardless of the reasons for your searches you are probably wondering how to choose the right academy. Due to the significant increase in the popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is really something to choose from. In most of the places, especially bigger cities you can find a few BJJ schools. However, if there is such a great choice what to look for while choosing so as not to get wrong? Below you can find 5 most important things to consider when picking jiu jitsu Academy.
5 things to consider when picking BJJ school
You can say this is the main person in a BJJ school. His belt rank, lineage, successes in tournaments, etc. will tell you a lot about the whole place right away. It the main trainer is successful, black belt with some qualifications in teaching and info who gave him the belt, etc. it is easy to find you can be almost 100% this academy is not some shady place. After you check that it is worth going to a few practice sessions to test how this trainer is live. Then you can pay attention to whether his style of teaching suits you. Maybe he shows the technique too few times or he is always late for training? These things may seem harmless but if there are other places, why bother?
The main coach is also a person a bit imposing the rhythm of the whole school. If he is mostly focused on competing you can expect there could be pressure in this academy for everyone to compete. Besides, it is also worth paying attention to how the coach is as a person. If he gets angry quickly, screams, etc. it’s also not worthy to stay in a place like that. Of course, in many places, there is more than one trainer. In cases like that, it’s best to pay attention to both the main trainer and the one who will lead our classes. If both seem ok it might be the right BJJ school for you.
Here it is important to look at how many classes the school offers and how diverse they are. Can you train both gi and no-gi in this BJJ academy? Whether classes are divided according to the level of advancement of the trainees? However, you probably got also other things in your life than just BJJ. If so it’s even more important to pay attention to classes schedule than on their diversity. Working hours of whole BJJ school and especially the time of classes you want to attend just need to suit you.
So what if there can be dedicated classes for women in this academy, etc. but in such hours that you will never show up because you work, for example? Also, first look at the schedule and types of the class will tell you immediately how big the school is, etc. It’s easy to guess that a BJJ school with only three classes per week will be a place quite intimate.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a quiet contact sport, you practice techniques in pair, then roll with several people. So it is kinda important if you feel ok around other trainees in BJJ school. If the atmosphere is strange people are weird it is worth considering for the second time whether this is definitely the right place for us.
Here it is also worth paying attention to the differences in age and sexes of the people in the academy. Because it may feel awkward being the oldest guy in classes, like everyone there are teenagers and young adults and you are in your 40’. Or being only girl, especially smaller one in the BJJ school with only really big, buffed guys. Is one thing when paying attention to people. Do they fit us kinda in a physical way. Another thing is their mentality. If they are generally aggressive, distrustful of new ones, generally unfriendly or strange in another way this BJJ academy is not worth your time.
Jiu JItsu School Infrastructure
Probably you want to train in a comfortable environment. In that case, it is worth checking what the mat at Jiu Jitsu school looks like. If it is really small you can expect you will bump into others all the time. If it’s too thin or just bad quality you can expect that falling on it can be unpleasant and even injurious. You can check it with photos from their website/FB or on your own skin by just going there for one or two classes as a test. It is also worth paying attention to the general facilities of the school. Is there some extra space for stretching, or maybe there is even a gym? Are the changing rooms clean, all showers working, etc.? You will be probably spending a lot of time there, check all the detail, they might be really important one day.
There is also one more important thing, which unfortunately cannot be seen that easily at first glance. It is the cleanliness of the mat. Only by looking at the mat you will not know whether you will catch any skin disease on it. Of course, you can ask or observe how many times and how the mat is cleaned. But even that cannot guarantee you won’t catch something nasty. If after some classes in Jiu Jitsu school you notice some disturbing change on your skin it may be worth looking for another place.
Bjj School Localization
Kinda obvious, but no less important. Similar as with class schedule, place of BJJ school just needs to suit you. So what if it is the best academy if you have to travel there for 3 hours? If you don’t get school/work it could be ok, but in other cases, it’s just wasting time. Imagine, you are tired after work, you want to go to practice, but thinking it all will take you something like 5 hours (2 h of training and 1,5 h to get there and another 1,5 h to go back home) just weakens you. In that case, I would say it’s better to look for something closer. If you have 15-30 minutes to BJJ school, saying that it is too far will be a poor excuse.
Other things to consider when picking BJJ school
- Your budget – the most expensive does not always mean the best. Just check if you can afford as many classes as you want, etc.
- Opinions – don’t forget to check online opinions about the place, they can tell you a lot.
- Other initiatives – check if they are doing something extra in the academy, like seminars with some BJJ stars or sports camps.
- Association or affiliation – check if the academy is the part of something bigger or it is just the local independent school. It is important because some associations got its own rules like Gracie Barra uniform policy (you need to have stuff with their logos to train there).
- Contracts – check if they don’t want some strange loyalty contracts. For example, you have to sign something for the whole year in the beginning, etc.
- Just check aren’t they BJJ Mcdojo.