When you decide to begin training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are many factors to consider before deciding on the school you want to attend. If you are new to martial arts training, then it can be confusing to know exactly how to make the right choice.
On a side note, you should never join a martial arts academy without first having tried a class or two. This is the ONLY real way to know if a school is the best place for you to train. Any reputable academy should offer a free trial to prospective members.
When comparing different BJJ schools, there are several questions that you should ask to determine if an Academy is right for you and if their approach is compatible with your goals.
Is the Academy clean, tidy, and in good condition?
Firstly, and in my opinion, the most important is the academy clean, tidy, and in good condition. Martial Arts academies and gyms, in general, are always difficult to keep clean, but any academy that is not clean, tidy, and in good repair shows a lack of care for their student’s safety.
As a bare minimum, the school should be cleaned once a day, and deep cleaned once a month. This consistent cleaning will help avoid the risk of infection if you get a cut or minor abrasion.
Also, if anything breaks or requires fixing it should be dealt with as quickly as possible. This will help maintain a safe training environment.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of instructors and school owners that don’t care for their facilities.
Are the instructors qualified?
There are a number of different ways you can check your instructor’s credibility. The most recognisable are the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.
However, a certificate or belt rank alone is not proof that a particular instructor is a good instructor. Being a black belt only means they possess the skills of a black belt not that they can pass knowledge on effectively to their students.
In fact, lower ranked students can often make better coaches than high-level champion black belts as they can relate the information to their students better.
One of the most important factors in choosing a BJJ instructor is their attitude. They can be a fantastic coach and competitor but if they have a bad attitude it can hinder your progress. A great instructor should be knowledgeable, approachable, friendly, and want the best for their students.
The best way to tell the attitude of the instructor is to look their students. The students tend to develop the same attitude as their instructor. So, if they’re welcoming and encouraging the instructor will probably be the same.
Finally, does the instructor hold a First Aid Qualification, do they have a DBS check and Insurance, and what do their health and safety policies look like.
These are all important things and easy to obtain but to neglect any of them shows a lack of care for their students.
Do they offer classes suitable to your level?
As you can imagine, Jiu Jitsu students of different levels have different needs.
A beginner student should never be thrown in with advanced students. Instead, they need to follow a structured plan that will teach them the basic techniques of Jiu Jitsu and prepare them for the more advanced training as they progress.
Once a student has developed their basic skills they should then be introduced to more advanced technique and how to apply them against a fully resisting opponent.
Also, aspiring competitors should have classes available that will prepare them for tournaments as their training will require a different level of intensity.
A final thought on this area is; will the classes help you achieve your goals. If you don’t believe they will then they’re probably not the right school for you.
The bottom line is…
The bottom line is if a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school is missing any of these elements they are putting your safety and wellbeing at risk and you should not join them.
To help you make an informed decision and choose the right school for you, we’ve put together a Free 16 point Checklist that will help you decide if a school is putting your safety first and is the right place for you to join.
To download the checklist right click this link and save as: How To Choose a Martial Arts School Checklist
These are the minimum standards any BJJ school should have. If they don’t meet them, you should question your decision to train there.
For more information about training in our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes call 01752 262233 or visit our Get Started page.