Choosing the right Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym
Finding the right Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to make sure you find the right gym for your needs!
Many people want to start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but stall out in the process of finding the right gym. It can be intimidating to step into a martial arts gym for the first time. And with multiple options, how can you know which gym will be the right one for your needs? Here are some tips to help you choose the right Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym for you!
A great place to start your search is by looking at the location of a potential Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym in proximity to where you live, work, or spend significant time. This doesn’t necessarily mean choosing the gym that is closest to you, but it does mean factoring in convenience when choosing a gym. If you consistently have to drive 30 minutes to train, that is valuable time you could be spending on the mats at a more accessible facility. A gym that is on your way to work, or relative convenient to where you live, can be very beneficial. So always take location into account but don’t make it the sole focus of your decision.
By finding the right level of convenience you can help insure you will show up to practice more often, and thus get more results from your training!
Definitely spend some time going through the online reviews of a facility. Read a good mixture of positive and negative reviews (if available) to get a sense not only of what current and past students say about the gym, but also how the gym responds to feedback. By paying attention to the tone and tenor of a gym’s responses, you can get a good feel for their culture. Look for professionalism and friendliness, as well as a willingness to work with someone who did have a bad experience. Gyms that respond aggressively to bad reviews can be a red flag.
Look for gyms that try to understand what went wrong, and are willing to take responsibility. Bad reviews can happen for reasons outside of a gym’s control. It’s their response that matters in determining if they might be a good fit for your needs.
Take the time to read about the instructors, their backgrounds, and their experiences. Some will list competitive highlights, while others will focus on their own instructors or their teaching style. The most important aspect of an instructor is that they are qualified to teach, that they are an experienced teacher, and that they care about their students. That last one can only really be determined by trying out a class, but you should be able to at least initially vet a gym’s instructors prior to signing up for a trial.
Does it appear that the gym in question has a focus on cleanliness? Do they maintain an organized training room, with mats that are free of any tears or excessive wear? Are there any amenities at the facility that you will find useful outside of class? Of all of these, cleanliness is the most important factor, and again that can only truly be determined by visiting the academy. If the gym offers a free consultation, this can be a great way to check out the facility. It will also give you a chance to converse with one of the instructors, which can help you determine if their personality is a good fit for your needs.
This is perhaps the most important aspect for you as a new practitioner. Does the academy offer Fundamentals or Beginner’s classes? Do those classes function on an organized curriculum that ensures you are getting well-rounded skills through consistent attendance? How soon does the gym allow or force you to spar as a complete beginner? These are important questions to have answers to.
You don’t want a gym that moves you too slowly into the live training process, but an academy that throws you right into the deep end might also lead to an unnecessary negative experience. A gym should not only be focused on its advanced students, expecting beginners to catch up on their own. An organized process that develops the basics in beginners will help you assimilate into jiu-jitsu much faster than just showing up with no plan and no organization.
The RIght Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gym
The right Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym will be different for each individual person. and no two gyms are exactly alike. Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each option carefully according to your own needs, and then zero in on a gym where you feel comfortable trying out a class or classes. A week or two of training should give you a good feel for the culture, community, cleanliness, and coaching staff of an academy. If you have done your homework, you’ll be well on your way to starting your jiu-jitsu journey the right way!
If you are in the Chattanooga, TN area and are looking for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym that is safe, beginner-focused, clean, and as welcoming as it gets, come check out Lógica Jiu-Jitsu! We’re a few miles from downtown Chattanooga and have a clean, modern facility with expert instructors who care about your progress!