Joining a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team is a lot like finding a new set of friends or support system. The atmosphere should match your personal goals so you can get the most from your training. You will be challenging yourself in ways you have never expected and you will be spending a lot of time at the academy training, learning, and reaching new goals. So you definitely need to feel comfortable with your new teammates and coaches. These relationships will be incredibly important as you progress in your journey. These friends are your coaches and training partners, and they are one of the most important factors in your training.
Proven Track Record
To those true experts in the field of study, it is easy to spot the frauds, but for the new students, it is not that easy. There are a lot of academies out there who claim to be ‘experts’ in everything under the sun with multiple black belts in the ancient art of who-knows-what. A reliable coach or training center should have authentic references, honest reviews, certificates of validation, and a training lineage that is easily identified.
Here are some questions you should ask when researching a potential academy:
- Who are the BJJ coaches?
- What is their training history?
- What is their BJJ / training lineage? Who were their coaches and where are they located?
- Have they competed?
This is related to the last 3 questions posted above. BJJ is a small enough community where other coaches and teammates will have interaction with other BJJ schools and coaches. Whether it is at a BJJ tournament or jiu-jitsu seminar, interaction is inevitable. Even though they may be competing schools or gyms, most legitimate and honorable coaches will still be respected within their BJJ / MMA community for their dedication to the sport and their hard work.
A Clean Gym is a Happy Gym
CLEAN! If it looks like it is not being cleaned on a daily basis, then it is not! An organized and clean gym should be well kept and sanitized on a regular basis. This is one of the most important aspects of a training center, for various reasons. This is a preventative measure of which all coaches and teammates should be aware. This transfers to the students as well. If many of the students are in unwashed and unkempt Gi’s there is a chance that the gym as a whole does not promote health. If a gym is not well kept chances are that is not the only corner that they are cutting!
Quality of Training
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / Muay Thai are all contact sports and come with a risk of injury. Getting hurt, bumps, bruises, and even a little bloody is and will always be a possible side effect, but getting seriously injured is never acceptable. Training Protocol explains the safety rules and regulations and ensures the security and continued physical health of all students, teammates, and coaches at the gym. It also spells out unacceptable behavior, gym etiquette, and submission standards of any individual who utilizes the facility. The training protocol should also clearly define the consequences for breaking the rules or injuring any teammate or coach.