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BJJ: how to choose your club

BJJ gone wrong list:

  • Classes that don't start on time.
  • Instructors that don't teach.
  • Instructors that get in street fights on the weekends and brag in class.
  • An instructor that punished a student by rubbing his ears so he gets cauli.
  • Instructors roided up and psycho.
  • Student instructors teaching that are stoned.
  •  Instructors that purposely hurt students by over extending armbars.
  • Classes that are canceled without notice.
  • A school culture that promotes cauli as a badge of honor.
  •  A school culture of tough guys.
  • Neck cranks
  • Heel hooks that cripple people permanently.
  • Instructors that ridicule students and yell.
  • Instructors that sleep with their students.
  • Instructors that say they are raising the fees because there are too many students and they want the less dedicated ones to quit.
  • Club that only let you wear gis that you have to buy from them.


BJJ correct list:

  • It's always clean - I've trained at a lot of schools that I can't say the same.
  • Online Support - I get to review techniques before class and get training tips.
  • Things run smoothly - Actions that are detrimental to safety/timing of classes are stopped.
  • Correctly Dressed - on Gi days, everyone wearing Gi's. On No Gi, everyone in NoGI.
  • No sandbagging - no holding back students so they can do better at comps.
  • No thugs - The overall philosophy of the club doesn't support them. They leave.
  • Friendly to new people - new people aren't fresh meat to be smashed.
  • Conditioning - There is a focus on getting folks in rolling shape before rolling.
  • Open doors to other schools - We routinely train and interact with other clubs.
  • Self Defense & Sport - I've trained at places that are strictly sport and prefer the mix.
  • Respectful - everyone is respectful of each other and treat as training partners.
  • BJJ, not MMA - There is no confusion that it is a BJJ school and not an MMA gym.
  • Instructor training certification program - The instructors are certified and not just winging it and there is a path for students that want to become instructors.
  • Curriculum - No "hmm what should we do today" moments. Or "why am I learning reverse De La Riva guard escapes as a day 5 white belt?"
  • Positional Grappling for Newbs - learn a few side control escapes, then focus on them during live grappling instead of clueless newbie rolls
This post is inspired from discussions on F12.

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