Table of Contents
Finding the right fit BJJ school is quite a tough job nowadays as you can find a lot of options near you. Every one of them claims to be the only best in the town.
To make it easy for you to find the right school, here we are listing 10 of the important things to consider. Keeping them in mind will help you choose the best fit school to get enrolled for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in your city.
1. Proximity from your Home/Work
Distance of the gym or school from your home or work matters a lot in the selection process. You must be able to attend your classes easily.
If you go to a gym far from your work or home, maintaining routines can be difficult. You might get stuck in traffic that will eventually result in missing your class. So, prioritize choosing a gym that is easy to reach or is near your home or workplace.
2. Repute of School/Instructor
The reputation of the school and its instructors is also an important factor. The more famous a person or institution is, the more accountable they can be held for their practice and/or malpractice. However, this also means that you can’t expect them to compromise or bend their rules regardless of how absurd and unnecessary they might seem to you.
For getting the best reviews and advice, try asking the students or reaching out to Reddit’s BJJ community instead of using Google or Yelp reviews.
There, you will come across a vast community with over 100K white-black belt funny, helpful, supportive, and experienced members. You can ask practitioners of the dojo/gym and talk to members or even ask the dojo instructor to let you sit in for a day and see how things go.
From evaluating instructors to the entire school, take every step to ensure that you don’t get overcharged by a gym.
3. School Facilities
Consideration of the school facilities is also a key thing that you should not be ignoring at all. Your chosen gym should have the maximum facilities.
You should be asking potential gym owners about the facilities including the cleanliness and hygiene of the mats along with showers, changing area, and protocols for disinfecting the dojo to prevent risks of Staph and other infections.
No good dojo will compromise on health and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for asking tough questions that pertain to your health. As long as you’re keeping yourself clean, the gym should ensure cleanliness as well.
Find a gym with maximum facilities and conveniences for students, but beware those privileges will almost always cost extra. For example, some dojos can offer to wash your Gis but you can be sure they’ll have to charge you for it.
Along with that, if a gym contains showers and changing areas, it can be a good choice for people who don’t like waiting for a long ride home to freshen up. Also, try to find a gym that also offers parking if you commute on your personal vehicle.
Ignoring these facilities can make it tough for you to return from the classes with an odor and a whole lot of sweat.
4. Class Size, Structure, and Type
The size, structure, and nature of the classes in the school should also be points of concern for you while choosing a BJJ school around you. The class that you will join should not be too large or too small. It must be between 15 to 30 students so that you can have a variety of training partners.
Getting into a populated class may reduce your learning chances. Having a few partners in the starting will be a plus for you as you will get more direct attention. But too few partners will limit your learning prospects. So, your class must have a moderate number of students.
Similarly, you cannot ignore the factor of what kind of classes will be at the start. It also depends on the type you want to have. If you want to learn the basics of BJJ, you will be learning fundamentals and might be missing on advanced concepts.
On the other hand, asking for a comprehensive BJJ class will be the best way as you will be able to learn all basics and advanced concepts of the sport.
The structure of the class along with its curriculum are also things that you should be assessing. Asking the respective trainer or gym owner about these aspects can help you know the way they go during classes.
Always try to get in the class where both theoretical and practical concepts are taught. If you’re lucky, you can also get 2 or 3 trial classes before finalizing a BJJ school.
5. Alignment of Goals
It is also important to determine what are your goals to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Do you want to compete in an MMA competition or want to learn it just for self-defense? Does the gym provide Gi as well as No-Gi training? Because for self-defense and even competitions, you’ll need to train in both.
Researching and deciding on goals can help in finding the right BJJ school that has instructors as well as a curriculum of instructions that aligns with your goals. You’ll find that some gyms and dojos tend to be competition focused and others teach for self-defense purposes. However, there are many that just teach BJJ regardless of what you choose to do with it as well.
So, whatever your purpose of learning BJJ is, make sure that the gym you are choosing provides you the opportunity to learn what you want to your heart’s content.
6. Affiliation of School
A large number of BJJ schools are affiliated with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu associations and federations like the IBJJF or the SJJIF. The parent association of a gym or school is of great importance. Though high-ranking BJJ bodies and organizations have some specific rules to follow, they provide you with a lot of opportunities to excel in the sport.
Having the association with a gym that is affiliated with a world-class jiu-jitsu organization, you will get the opportunities to learn from highly qualified instructors and train around the world. However, that means signing up for their traditions, rules, and policies as well.
7. Schedule of Work and School
The other thing that might prove problematic later if ignored at the start is the timing of classes with respect to your work and pre-occupations. Always try to find a school that has a class timing most suitable to your routine.
If you are a working person and work in the evening times make sure that your classes are in the morning and vice versa. The clash between the timing can result in missing classes that can end up limiting your learning opportunities.
So, also check the alignment of the BJJ classes by the selected school with your routine schedule to avoid any kind of clashes or missing classes.
8. Instructor’s Rank
While choosing a BJJ school, also look for the rank of the instructor who will be taking your classes. You should always go for an instructor with a higher belt rank as he will be able to promote you to the high ranks.
Though a purple belt instructor can promote you from white to the blue belt, for higher belt ranks it is essential to have a black belt instructor. Only a two-degree black belt or an instructor above that rank will be able to promote you to the black belt.
Therefore, this is vital to consider a gym with a black belt or high-rank instructors. Nowadays, it is quite easy to find black belt instructors in your area, especially if you reach out to the BJJ community for advice as explained above.
Ask potential gym owners for the rank of instructors before getting enrolled for jiu-jitsu classes.
9. Student Belt Depth
Student belt depth means the number of students in every belt color rank. In the selection of a right fit Brazilian jiu-jitsu school or gym, this point is also important.
There should be a few black belts, some brown, many purple, and a good number of blue and white belt students. It means that the respective gym is a healthy one and has been working for a number of years as preparing trainers for brown and black belts takes time.
This will help you partner with a diverse range of jiu-jitsu students. A greater number of lower rank belts in a gym depicts that either it is new or has a toxic culture that people do not like to get enrolled here. That’s why you should always go for a trusted, well-established, and healthy gym.
Lastly, and most importantly, your budget is also an important element to consider in this regard. It is not just about the monthly gym fee, it is also about the other costs including equipment such as Gi NO Gi apparel, competition fee, etc.
Apart from the fact that there are some dojos that overcharge you ridiculously more than you need to be, there are some that can present policies in contracts that are just as, if not more, heinous. au
For example, some people have reported their gyms charged them for paid seminars made mandatory by some schools that you’ll have to pay for regardless of whether or not you attend. Therefore, before choosing any BJJ school, make sure that it is affordable for you.
Consideration of the above-mentioned points can help you not only in finding a reputable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school but can also provide you with the opportunity to experience the best side of BJJ.