What to Look for in Choosing a Good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy?

Looking for a good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in your local area can be difficult. After all aren’t, they all the same? No is the simple answer due to a variety of reasons. Below are some great tips on what to look out for when choosing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy to train at.

  1. Speak to the head coach – Are they friendly and easily accessible to discuss your goals and expectations OR do they give you the cold shoulder treatment? This allows you to get a feel for the coach and see if they and the club are the right fit for you. 
  2. Hygiene – Plays a major factor in the overall running and cleanliness of the club. Does the intending Academy you wish to join have a funky smell of mould or sweat when you first walk through the doors? Do they regularly clean and disinfect the mats after every class or are you risking catching a nasty fungal infection resulting in you missing out on training for a period of time? Fungal infections are common IF the Academy isn’t cleaned on a daily basis. So why risk training at a venue that smells funky or doesn’t clean their venue daily??  
  3. Knowledge of the coach – Is what they are saying adding up or are they taking you for a ride? Do your research before and after about the club & coach and make your mind up. 
  4. What is the instructional style of the coach and would their style suit you? E.G. Aggressive style versus a relaxed and informative style. 
  5. Does the coach have an ego? Definitely steer clear of this. You are there to learn a new set of skills and not to cater to someone’s power trip. 
  6. Can the coach give a thorough explanation of what self-defence is and how/where Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be applied in defending yourself? If not why not?? After all they are teaching you and everyone else the topic of ‘self-defence’. If they answer with ‘you’re allowed to defend yourself’, ‘use as much force as you can’ (or similar), walk away. It’ll save you the headache and possible legal action if you’ve used excessive force and now going to court over your actions. 
  7. Get feedback from other parents/students at the Academy and get their opinion as to why they chose this Academy compared to others? 
  8. Does the Academy charge: a sign-up fee, joining fee or a grading fee? Why? What do you get for these fees?
  9. Do they promote belts to retain members at the club and therefore cheapen the standard OR do they enforce a high level of standard and produce high quality and technical practitioners and fighters? 
  10. Safety – Does the Academy you are enquiring with make safety a top priority (where they have a duty of care for its members) or is anything goes policy? 
  11. Location – Are they easy to find and easily accessible? Do they have car parking out the front or close that is FREE?
  12. What’s the feel/vibe/environment of the club? Are you greeted with open arms as if you are one of the family or left hanging at the counter? Are you encouraged to jump on the mats and give it a go or asked to come back later when you’ve signed up? Does everyone hang around after class and catch up as if they are long lost friends or leave as soon as the class has ended? 
  13. Do they offer kids classes? If so, do they have a working with children’s check (mandatory when working/engaging with kids)? If not why not? Definitely enrol your kids into another school where they meet these requirements. 
  14. Cost v Quality – Are you getting what you paid for or are you getting ripped off? 
  15. Inclusiveness – Is everyone (no matter of their background and ability) made to feel welcome or is it an Academy for the popular and natural gifted?