Since we're asking question today...

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Oak, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Oak

    Oak 栄誉

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    So I see a lot of questions going on about the meaning of a belt color, so I wanted to ask my own question which to me means more than a belt color.

    Do you feel like your school is truly a family?

    I have been searching for this family feeling since I started BJJ, and although I have only been at 2 schools, and don't plan on changing schools again, I don't really feel like my school has that. My first didn't either though.

    This is a break down of my school:

    - Cliques of friends who started together or moved to the school together. They're not really looking to making new friends, but they all blow the really good guys, and they are really cool with the instructor.

    - A couple of the arrogant dudes who wont talk to you, or most people.

    - A couple of the really nice guys who will do anything to help you. They are always there to help you with a move or to tell you to stick with it.

    - The regular guys who might chat with you if the situation arises but other times wont say anything, or even hello.

    - The stragglers in between that you will talk to every now and then but usually you don't get to know them too well because they don't come to class that often.


    So how do you guys feel about your schools? Are you a family, or are you just separate entities there to train?
     
  2. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest Orange Belt

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    Let me counter your question with a question. How long have you been at this school?
     
  3. Jagcorps_esq

    Jagcorps_esq Red Belt

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    There are certainly segments of friends that are closer to each other. The older folks, the weight groups that often get put together for situational sparring, those that do judo also, those that are MMA fighters, those that compete, etc.

    These divisions are natural and understandable. It's hard to like and relate to everyone the same.

    That being said, our instructors do everything they can to kill these divisions....or rather, to lessen their strength so that people train across the board with everyone.
     
  4. Sloth

    Sloth Brown Belt

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    For the most part, everyone at Balance is welcoming and easy to get along with/quick to acquaint with new students. I think things are this way because the head instructors (Phil and Rick) set the tone and make this the norm. Of course there are groups of people who gravitate towards each other, but they are not exclusive groups that do not open up to newer folks.

    For me, this is the most comfortable training environment and the best way to run a business.
     
  5. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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  6. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    I don't know. I get along with everyone there and everyone seems to get along just fine. I'm friends with the people closer to my age and belts, but I just can't connect well with most of the graduates, since they're usually in their late 20's to their late 40's, and I'm not a talkative dude. It could be a family indeed, but I feel more like one of the kids than anything else.

    The last time there was a division, it was a big one. Three students were promoted to black belt, and they opened another school, affiliated to us. A bunch of the students left to train there, which is no biggie. My teacher helped to set them up, there was a friendly internal tournament, and a couple of weeks later, they jumped to another team without even saying anything to my teacher.
     
  7. korleone1911

    korleone1911 Blue Belt

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    Yes sir... most definitely do feel like our gym is a family.

    Now... as far as the cliques... I feel you there, as there are cliques of people that just bond closer than others within all organizations (even families).

    Like an above poster said... people who relate tend to be closer. I, for one, have been fortunate, to be able to get close to almost every one in my gym and this is why... I'm involved with alot of stuff:

    - the heavier guys because that's who I roll with pretty much every day

    - the guys who compete because I compete in tourneys and get to spend time with those guys during that time and during competition training

    - the guys who fight MMA (not that many at my school) because I train for that, as well

    - the guys whom I share musical interests with because we play music while we train and people bring in their stuff so we get to talking and bonding over that

    - supplements... yada yada yada... the list goes on and on

    it's really interesting that when you open yourself up to others, then others will open up to you... it's reciprocal. We ALL have SOMETHING in common and that's where relationships are formed... upon commonality and relateability (sp).
     
  8. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    I think the social atmosphere at the Gracie Barra where I recently started training is very positive and friendly, and the students get along with each other well.

    I've trained at several different BJJ academies before and I've never really gotten the feeling that the guys hang out with each other very much outside of class, with the exception of going to watch UFC fights. But I have heard a few guys at GB talking about going out to eat together and stuff.

    I've made actual friendships, like where we frequently chill outside of class, with a couple of training partners, but overall I don't think it's super common for people to hang out with people they met at BJJ. Just my impression.
     
  9. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    I think the norm is to think that your BJJ club is family.

    But it does not mean I make friend with everyone either.

    I became friendds with the first generation and keep my distance with the new guys.

    I see some drama between newbies and I am tired of it already.
     
  10. raines513

    raines513 Blue Belt

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    Hmmm I'm glad this is not my situation, we all help each other to get better we don't have cliques or anything like that.
     
  11. Gorack

    Gorack Purple Belt

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    Absolutely, that feeling was driven home for me just recently. Due to present financial constraints (resulting from a lot of recent flood damage to our house) I decided I needed to step away from my gym for a bit to catch up on paying off credit cards and such.

    I put a lot of thought into it and decided that when I return to training I wanted to go somewhere new where I could train in the gi. (We're a no gi JKD/MMA school.) Being 40 I just don't know how long I want to keep doing MMA training when I could be working on gi jiu jitsu which I always figured I'd move on to at some point. There's a couple of other issues I was having with the place but I still loved the people that I was training with.

    So, I let my head instructor know last week that I'd no longer be attending our academy. He was very encouraging about me continuing in the gi somewhere else and said I'd always have a home there if I decided to come back.

    After the conversation with him I got really down. I told my wife later that evening that I felt as if someone close to me had died.

    I was with this gym for 2 years and I was very active there so I knew everybody. I taught beginner's striking classes so a lot of the newer students would come to me with questions and such even once they had progressed to the regular striking classes.

    I read on here about people switching schools for various reasons but I never knew it could be such a hard thing to do. Like someone's sig on here says "The patch on my gi will never be as important as the people I train with." They were like a family to me and it's really hard to walk away from that willingly.

    But, I plan to find a new family that's more geared towards what my goals are right now. I'm pretty sure I know where that will be.

    Sorry for the long post but I'm still having some seperation anxiety I think, haha.
     
  12. RG45

    RG45 Blue Belt

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    I see too many newer guys trying to Teach stuff they've seen this makes me give them zero respect immediately.

    Before I taught my first class, and before I start teaching a new student I will make sure to roll with them, giving them a reason to respect my techniques.

    So if you're one of these newer guys doing this, I might be one of the people giving you no time of day.
     
  13. ijustwannasurf

    ijustwannasurf Brown Belt

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    Unfortunately, no. We've had some instructors and students leave, and coupled with a huge explosion in growth, it's hard to not miss the tight knit atmosphere.
     
  14. SpaceBoogie

    SpaceBoogie The Autumn Wind Is A Raider

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    Yes, absolutely. I miss a week, and I'm getting text messages asking if everything is alright. Also do non bjj related stuff so its pretty cool.
     
  15. Quixand

    Quixand Orange Belt

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    Exactly like a family. Not just my segment either, but throughout my entire network of schools. Everyone is mad cool, and very tight.

    I couldn't imagine being on a journey WITHOUT that level of support.

    Makes me sad that someone is asking this. :icon_cry2
     
  16. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    In BJJ both clubs treated me very well it did indeed feel like a family.

    Club 1 was out of a garage (back in 96 or 97) and was literally out of the instructors home. Also most of the guys that trained there fought MMA, local shows all the way to the UFC. We all cared about how they did and therefore did what we could to help each other train. Guys were ALL social but it wasn't like we would check up on each other if we missed a class.

    Club2 had some guys fight MMA but it was not as hard core in that regard but all still very good people, a few guys I said little to nothing to and vice versa but many of the guys were super cool.

    Wrasslin' is a team and they go out and lay it on the line each night for each other. Each win or loss by an individual could mean a win or loss for the team. This was the tightest knit of all I had exposure to. Still have many of them on my facebook and now one is a coach at the HS and I am always welcome there.

    Judo was a little less social due to the VAST age ranges. We had guys 60 to 16 so it was tough to relate to everyone.
     
  17. Higher Learning

    Higher Learning Brown Belt

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    yes, the core group of our club is quite close and i think we're very welcoming to everyone... we have a relatively big group of students though so the more casual guys may think its a bit cliquey
     
  18. Stmarkus

    Stmarkus White Belt

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    So, how's the knee?
     
  19. BWC

    BWC Purple Belt

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    I think our school tries to maintain it but the club has exploded in the last year or so but the core guys seem to be the same. There's quite a few more here today, never see them again type of guys now that our coach is really trying to grow but we always have the core guys. I've been there about six months and I'm a solid core guy now but I've seen about a 100 guys come and go so it's hard to bring a lot of the guys into the family when they just quit right away..
     
  20. Laddy

    Laddy Orange Belt

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    I had a really good experience today, I rolled with a guy I've never talked to before and he went easy on me and helped tweak my submissions. Made it feel like a family.
     

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