Tips on how to choose a BJJ club
- Choose the closest gyms available to start with. Traffic can be painful during peak hours and the further you have to travel, the more chance you will find excuses to miss training
- Try to avoid gyms that would not disclose their price online or when you query for it. Some gyms are so expensive that they will only disclose their fees once you have completed their free trial program.
- Find a gym that has a clear and standardized teaching program. Try to avoid gyms that just have random techniques taught.
- Be aware of cults. Like many other martial arts, there are instructors that end up taking themselves too seriously to the point that they think of themselves as life coaches. Number one warming sign is when someone describes his BJJ gym as a "Family".
- Look at the ratio of instructors and students. While, large numbers of students could be beneficial in terms of having more training partners, you do not want to be in an over crowed class when you do not get the required attention from the instructor.
- Look at who is teaching the beginner class: is it the black belt instructors or some junior instructors?
- Try a free trial and feel the vibe. You might want to stay away over strict discipline gyms: the type that would shame you in public for being late at training. But also, you might want to stay away from gyms that are too lose and have no discipline at all: you just felt that you walked into a frat house and no one is paying attention to the instructors, students and instructors are just cracking jokes every 5 minutes (usually at the mercy of other students).
- Are your goals compatible with the BJJ gym? Do you want to compete? Do you want to learn self defense? Do you want to stay fit? Try to gauge what type of gym it is and if their training program would suit you. No point joining a BJJ gym that strongly focus on competition if you do not want to compete.