So you've decided to start taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Lessons. That already a huge step. Starting BJJ can be quite intimidating and rightfully so. You're not sure what to expect and there's a big variance from school to school.
And, frankly, BJJ is not for everyone.
I've formally been a student at three different Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Schools and have visited and trained at almost a dozen...around the world.
And, here are some of my recommendations when it comes to choosing a good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School and Self-Defense Program.
I've worked with many beginners and I understand that choosing a BJJ school can be a complicated choice and an overwhelming process. So if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out, I'm here to help and I want others to experience what I have through the art of Jiu Jitsu.
Instructors / Instruction (this is the most important part, and could probably apply to all martial arts)
- What's their rank in BJJ? I think purple belts and brown belts are qualified to teach and some qualified blue belts can be good assistants. I taught classes as a brown belt for years. However, they should be training with and under the auspices of BJJ Black Belts and possibly a larger well recognized team. (at Dragon Gym we have 3 Black Belts teaching, Professors Tom, Alan, and myself)
- How many years have they been teaching? This is an important question. Rank is important, but it's not the only thing. The ability to teach and communicate is crucial. Sometimes, a talented martial artist or competitor isn't able to teach or coach very well.
- Have they studied several martial arts disciplines to become better and more well rounded teachers?
- Are they professional, full time instructors that are dedicated to the program and the needs of the students?
- In addition to their professionalism are the also humble and easy going?
Facility - A nice training facility isn't everything, but it can make a big difference in the quality of your BJJ experience.
- Is the training area safe?
- Is it fully matted? (It should be a thicker, up-to-date mat that is suitable for grappling)
- Is there plenty of room to move around?
- Is it clean? (Mats should be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day)
- Separate Changing rooms for men and women?
- Do they have the equipment to help you meet your goals?
- Is there adequate parking and is it well lit?
The Students - After all you are going to be spending a few hours every week with them
- Are they welcoming, happy and friendly? (This is a reflection of the instructor and the culture they have created)
- Do they have similar needs and goals as you? (This will be an indication if the school is a good match for you)
- A variety of belts, not all white belts and not all black belts. That means they are good at teaching beginners, and students stick around long enough to progress through the ranks.
- Reviews and Testimonials? Check out the school's Facebook and Google Pages for reviews. They will also likely have some on their own website.
A Trial Program
- A good school will let you test drive before you buy
- One free class might not be enough to get to know the program
- I've found 3 to 4 classes is more than enough time for students to know it's a good match
Thanks for reading.
Remember, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
If you'd like to give DG BJJ a try, you can get started with our Signature 3-Class Quck Start Program.
It's 3 classes in our BJJ program plus the Gi for just $69.
And, if after 3 classes you decide BJJ isn't for you, we'll give you a full refund (and you keep the Gi).
So....there's no risk to trying it out at DG, but HUGE potential to change your life.
Professor Chris Taylor