BJJ Gym Contracts: What to Know Before You Sign

BJJ Gym Contracts: What to Know Before You Sign

1. What is a BJJ Gym Contract?

A BJJ gym contract is a legal document signed by the students who get enrolled in a BJJ academy. This contract included several terms and conditions, including minimum monthly or yearly time duration that a student must spend at the gym. After agreeing to the terms and signing the contract, students acquire gym membership and can join training sessions.

2. General Terms and Conditions in a BJJ Gym Contract

Every gym has its unique terms and conditions; however, some rules and policies are universal and prevail in almost all BJJ gyms across the United States. Here are some general terms and conditions mentioned in the BJJ gym contracts that you should know:

2.1. Refund Policy

Every BJJ academy has a refund policy. If someone wants to quit the academy after submitting fees, most gyms do not refund the fees even if the student has not attended a single class.

Some academies refund complete fees after a few classes, while other gyms offer a one-day trial session along with a percentage refund policy.

2.2. Late Fees Fine

BJJ academies tend to impose fines for late fee submissions. Not all academies impose fines, but those that impose such fines typically mention them in the contract.

2.3. Renewal or Cancellation of Contract

Every academy has a policy to cancel the contract if it failed to meet the member’s expectations. BJJ gym contracts can range from one month to several years. It is advisable to choose a monthly contract at first. This way, if the cancellation policy is not suitable for you, you can switch after one month. Some academies also have automatic contract renewal policies after completion of one term. Members who want to switch need to apply for contract cancellation.

2.4. Visitors

Visitors or guests who accompany the members of the gym to observe a BJJ class must also follow the academy rules and policies.

2.5. Food

Most gyms include a clause in their contracts that prohibits members from eating or drinking on the mats.

2.6. Academy Uniform

Every academy has different rules for the attire you can wear in your gym. Some academies allow non-brand BJJ Gi or No-Gi uniforms, while others demand their students to buy Gi with the logo of their academy. 

2.7. Health and Hygiene

Every good gym is concerned about the health of their students. If a student is ill, he is not allowed to come on the mat and make contact with other students.

2.8. Liability

After reading and signing all the conditions, you have to sign a waiver in which you make yourself responsible for any risk of injury sustained during BJJ training.

3. What to Know Before You Sign The Contract

Before signing up for the contract of a BJJ gym, there are some important points you must check.

3.1. Try to Take a Trial Before Signing Up

Most gyms offer a free trial of a few days before signing up for the gym contract. Try to take that trial because you cannot know the hidden aspects of the gym before getting into training. In these trials, you will come to know everything that matters to you about the gym. The trial will help you to decide whether you should be enrolled in the gym or not.

3.2. Check for Surprising Fees

Some gyms charge last-minute fees after paying all the admission charges. These last-minute fees are usually a commission of the person who is dealing with you or some type of surprising fee. Though the surprising fee is usually not a big amount; however, it may accrue into a bigger sum over time, making it difficult to finance your training sessions.

3.3. Look For the Conditions for Cancellation of the Contract

Before signing your BJJ gym contract, make sure to ask about the cancellation policy. Sometimes after enrolling in a gym, you realize that this environment is unsuitable or uncomfortable. To switch to another BJJ gym, you would have to cancel your membership. Therefore, avoid gyms that have long-term membership subscriptions and difficult cancellation policies.

3.4. Investigate the School Environment

Every gym has a different environment. In a gym with a non-friendly environment, the learning process is usually slow. Students find it difficult to communicate with their instructors and this hinders their growth and skill development. It is advisable to conduct thorough research and enroll in a gym that has a supportive environment.

3.5. Uniform Codes

Some gyms allow their students to wear a regular Gi of any brand, while others compel students to purchase Gis with the gym’s logo on them. Check this information before signing up for the contract because their own brand can be expensive and out of range for you. Sometimes logos of academies are attached in the form of a patch on the Gi that is not reliable during washing. Some academies also give you their Gi free of cost when you sign up for their contract. So you must read the conditions of the dress code on the contract to avoid any problems.

3.6. Subscription time

Every gym has a different subscription time for their contract. If you are confident that this is the best gym for you and you will not need to quit before the completion of a term, you can sign a long-term subscription; otherwise, avoid signing a contract that is longer than 30-60 days.

3.7. Fixed Fee or Raises Over Time

Some gyms raise their fees during the term, while others increase charges on a yearly basis or after the completion of a term. Make sure you ask questions about the fee increase policies before signing the contract.

3.8. Coach Reputation and Rank

A coach's reputation and rank are very important for the training of students. Some BJJ black belts are blacklisted by IBJJF due to their immoral behavior or ineligibility. Unfortunately, these black belts continue to train students in some gyms. Before getting enrolled in a gym, you must acquire complete knowledge about your instructor. Black belts who are promoted to a higher degree of black belts usually have a great experience in coaching. Also, find out about students who were promoted to higher belt levels, including brown and black belts, by your potential instructor.

3.9. Security Charges

Almost all gyms have some security charges that are refunded at the time after the completion of a term. Some gyms adjust those security charges into your pending dues while others do not do not have any security refund policy. Before signing the gym contract, make sure you inquire about the security charges and whether they are refundable.

4. FAQs

4.1. Why do gyms make you sign a contract?

Every gym has specific terms and policies that you agree to by signing the contract. This document ensures your compliance with the gym’s rules and helps avoid behavioral issues and payment delays. In addition, the contract helps reduce the gym's liability in the event of a training-related injury.

4.2. Can you cancel the gym contract?

If the gym has a cancellation policy outlined in the contract, then you can cancel your subscription accordingly.

5. Conclusion

Every BJJ gym has its specific set of rules and regulations mentioned in the contract. It is essential to read and inquire about each policy before signing the contract to avoid potential issues. Whether you are a beginner or a skilled grappler seeking to resume BJJ training or switch gyms, make sure you follow the guidelines mentioned in this article and also conduct independent research to choose the right gym for your BJJ training needs.

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