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How To Select A Local BJJ Gym?

How To Select A Local BJJ Gym?

After deciding to pursue the BJJ as a career, the most important part is to select the local BJJ gym for practice. It is a crucial step for every BJJ beginner to learn BJJ and excel. Observing the increased popularity of mixed martial arts, trainers have established the local BJJ gyms. It allows the students to register themselves and practice under the supervision of the pro BJJ trainers.

However, with the increased number of academies and gyms for MMA, it has become difficult for the students to select an institute. They look forward to their facilities and curriculum and deciding which to join. If you are also going to start the journey soon, this blog is definitely for you. Read this till the end to know which elements you should consider before joining. 

Why All Students Need BJJ Gym?

It is quite challenging for the beginners to practice the grappling techniques. Even, competing with a dummy at home is not an ideal option for the students who have just begun their journey. Also, students need someone to evaluate their skills and let them know their weak areas. Also, players need to acquire specific skills to participate in national and international tournaments.

Therefore, practicing alone at home without any partner to roll with cannot judge the skills and grappling techniques. It is essential to compete first in order to fight in matches officially.

Types Of Local BJJ Gyms

Multiple BJJ gyms are present locally in the United States and across the globe. They are working perfectly to meet the student’s needs and let them achieve their goals.

McDojo BJJ Gyms

McDojo Gym’s name is inspired by McDonalds. These gyms do not have pro BJJ trainers and vital student facilities. The trainers are unable to teach all the grappling techniques that can work in real-life combat situations. Actually, they have learned the skills online through the YouTube channels. Some of them got their training from McDojo Gym.

These gyms are not worth your money and the time. They claim to be the best BJJ Gym, but the case is vice versa. They do not deliver the true BJJ value that one player must possess. These are the institutes awarding the BJJ black belts to undeserving players. Such BJJ Black belt players start teaching skills and open their institute. That’s why knowing about the trainers teaching at your chosen academy is necessary.

Academies With Competitive Focus

Competitive schools primarily concentrate on competitive strategies rather than self-defense. They adhere to the rulesets established by IBJJF or ADCC competitions.

If you’re committed to competing and considering a professional career in BJJ, these competition-focused BJJ gyms are strongly suggested. These institutions have a long history of nurturing renowned, award-winning fighters.

MMA Training Centers

Many BJJ academies have shifted their attention to mixed Mixed-Martial Arts. BJJ, known as the gentle art, primarily focuses on ground fighting techniques. Conversely, MMA encompasses striking, ground fighting, takedowns, and submissions. MMA schools provide a variety of skills, enabling you to compete in MMA events or explore wrestling and BJJ tournaments. 

Institutes like Strategic Academy and Warrior Martial Arts Academy, are the MMA training centers. These institutions offer diverse classes, letting you select a combat sport that most intrigues you. It’s suggested for fighters aspiring to earn BJJ black belts and eventually compete in MMA events to attend MMA schools that provide BJJ classes.

Reputed Academies

BJJ schools with a student body exceeding 25 typically have seasoned BJJ black belts. You have the option to sign up for individual private lessons or participate in a group class at these schools. Private lessons provide you with the instructor’s full attention. In contrast, group lessons offer the opportunity to learn from fellow students who may be at a more advanced belt level than you.

No Gi BJJ Institutions

Certain BJJ schools like 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu focus on No-Gi BJJ instruction. These schools provide admissions to local contests, and with sufficient exposure, you can progress to No-Gi schools. These No gi institutes have superior facilities and highly proficient teachers.

Recreational BJJ Schools

These BJJ training centers emphasize physical fitness, enjoyment, and leisure. If you’re not a fan of conventional workout regimens and are interested in trying BJJ for fitness, these schools are an excellent choice. However, you will need more than leisure-oriented BJJ schools to equip you for competitive events. Therefore, if your ambition is to become a professional BJJ competitor, these gyms may not suit you.

Identify your Goals and Preferences

Depending on your objectives and preferences, you can investigate and narrow down your options for BJJ training centers. Here are some suggestions to help you begin:

  1. If your primary goal is active BJJ community involvement, then large, well-established BJJ training centers should be your go-to-choice.
  2. For individuals with specific health objectives, leisure-oriented BJJ training centers are advisable as they are tailored to enhance fitness.
  3. BJJ enthusiasts who aim to compete in national and international tournaments should consider competition-focused gyms, NoGi institutions, or MMA schools.

Guidelines For Selecting A Local BJJ Gym

Consider the following aspects when choosing a BJJ gym:

Evaluate The Instructors And Their Qualifications

The BJJ belt rank and experience of an instructor should be your primary consideration when choosing a local BJJ gym. Ideally, Instructors must have 3 to 5 years of BJJ teaching experience. Your instructor should preferably be a black belt, but a brown belt who has participated in local competitions is also acceptable. After reviewing online feedback about an instructor, request a trial session before enrolling in a BJJ gym.

Membership Perks

Specific BJJ training centers provide annual memberships at a reduced rate. Furthermore, the monthly charges are also cut by 10-20%. Considering such BJJ centers is worth considering, but be wary of unrealistic promotional promises. Some BJJ centers lure learners with substantial discounts yet lack proficient trainers.

Review The Facilities Offered

Ensure that the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu center you’re considering has gym equipment. A small neighborhood gym might not be fully equipped, but it should at least have essential BJJ gear. It includes GIs, jump ropes, punching or heavy bags (if it’s an MMA gym),clean mats dumbbells, and adult training dummies.

After the instructor’s qualifications, cleanliness is the next primary concern. Verify that the mats, locker rooms, and bathrooms are sufficiently clean. Confirm that the gym has enough mat space to fit all students comfortably. If not, your practice and progress could be affected. 

Class Timings

A flexible timetable is another crucial aspect to consider, mainly if you’re working to fund your BJJ training. Some Jiu Jitsu schools offer morning, evening, and weekend sessions, allowing students to train at their convenience.

Assess Nearby BJJ Training Centers

Here are some methods to investigate the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies in your area:

  • Visit various local BJJ training centers. Communicate with students to inquire about the instructor’s expertise, belt levels, class timings, competition opportunities, and other amenities, such as mat area and gym apparatus.
  • If you have friends or family members who are BJJ practitioners, you may consider joining their BJJ academy.
  • Leverage Google Maps to locate the nearest BJJ training centers. Google Maps also offers reviews and ratings of various local gyms, assisting you in determining if the gym meets your requirements.
  • Explore various social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram, for suggestions of BJJ gyms. You can also participate in online BJJ discussion groups for reviews and suggestions.
  • Utilize apps or websites, like the BJJ Gym Finder, to discover highly-regarded gyms in your area.

Questions To Ask Before Enrolling in a BJJ Training Center

You must ask these questions to select the best gym for yourself.

 Is the head instructor a black belt or a competent competitor?

If the BJJ trainer is a brown or black belt, it’s evident that he possesses the expertise and proficiency that could benefit you. However, knowing that the trainer still needs to receive his belts from a McDojo center is equally crucial. You can also search about the trainer’s involvement in various contests. If he has significant accomplishments, then his training center is worth joining.

Are there any extra charges beyond the regular membership?

Always inquire about “hidden fees” when selecting a BJJ academy. These hidden fees could include belt, examination, and seminar or workshop fees. Consult with the students if the administration needs to be more transparent about these costs.

Do they provide training for beginners?

Certain BJJ academies only permit white belt holders to observe rolling or sparring. Nonetheless, training should be accessible to all ranks. Therefore, choose an academy where white belts can train after watching.

Do they adhere to the IBJJF rules and utilize contemporary teaching approaches?

The crucial aspect of any BJJ training center is verifying if they follow IBJJF regulations and incorporate modern methods in teaching BJJ basics.

What is the current female enrollment?

Always opt for a BJJ academy that accommodates both genders to ensure safety.

Do they offer programs other than BJJ?

BJJ training centers often provide additional courses such as karate, Muay Thai boxing, and various other martial arts to broaden your experience and enhance your grappling abilities. Therefore, seek out training centers that offer a variety of martial arts instruction.

Final Verdict

Considering the potential trainers, your goals, hygiene and the type of BJJ training you want can help you in selecting the right BJJ gym. However, you must keep in mind that not all academies have the same curriculum and facilities. Their training sessions and timings vary. So, you can also choose the gym according to your availability and future goals for mixed martial arts. Consistency and dedication are the key to success in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Think wise and act smart to enter your desired academy.

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