What to look for in a BJJ school?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by machine29, May 20, 2008.

  1. machine29 Guest

    I trained for a little while at a local place and it left such a bad taste in my mouth, I stopped.

    Basically you had this "Know it all" instructor who all he wanted to do was show what a bad ass he was. So he'd take the students *Beginners* and get off on how fast he could tap them. I got discouraged cause I didnt agree with that method. I am here to learn, not to be your practice dummy.

    Anyhow, I got pretty good fast. I could sub everyone but the instructor, its just I really got tired of his method of always tryin to show what a bad ass he was on the beginners.


    Was I just being a bitch? or was the guy out of line?


    my question is, is this standard at all schools? kind of like an initiation thing? what should I look for when looking to join somewhere?
     
  2. Lame Yellow Belt

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    that happened to me my first class, it wasnt the instructor but he paired me with this guy gearing up for a professional fight. needless to say i cant remember how many times i got tapped, i think he got bored at one point and was just sitting on my chest while i struggled
     
  3. slideyfoot Artemis BJJ Co-Founder

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    In general, signs to look for are a competitive record, regular heavy contact sparring and 'aliveness' (if you're unfamiliar with the term, Matt Thornton has a long article on the topic describing what it is and why it's important: he is the man most associated with popularising the concept). That tends not to be a problem with BJJ, but it would be a concern if any of those were missing.

    What I like about my academy is the broad range of people to train with (size, age, skill, athleticism, even gender to a certain extent), attentive instructors and lots of classes throughout the week. That's one obvious thing to check: do the class times fit with your schedule?
     
  4. Kyokushin_6'4" Orange Belt

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    I know exactly how you feel. My guy was the same. If you didn't kiss his but all the time, he'd get upset and call you disrespectful. What I did like was the small classes gave me tons of individual attention so my skills improved very quickly. But classes got boring because everyone I rolled with didn't give me enough of a challenge. I hadn't rolled with him in 8 months and wondered why, until one of the guys said that his ego would be hurt if he got tapped by any of his students.

    One day out of the blue he called me and told me not to come to class anymore - he doen't want to teach me. I found a school close by that has around 30 students, all awesome guys. The instuctor has no ego and commands respect. My game is improving again because i'm rolling with guys that are better than me. The biggest favour the other guy did, was to kick me out.

    Here's what i look for:
    No attitude
    Commands respect - Does not DEMAND respect
    Focusses on basics
    Less talking, more rolling
    Students that are higher caliber than you

    The rest of the things such as showers, nice mats etc are just cosmetic. I'd roll in a hole in Timbukto if the instuction was good.
     
  5. machine29 Guest


    Thanks alot everyone for responding.

    I am glad my intuition was right and I wasn't just being a bitch with a bad attitude.

    i guess the thing that got me the most also was, the guy was an instructor that didnt fight. I kind of want my instructor to be someone experienced.

    Iknow there are amazing BJJ guys who teach and dont fight BUT for me, it just seems better to me if you have someone teaching u that can prepare u for the wars u are about to get into.


    As its been said many times. Rolling and doing BJJ is one thing. Doing that while someone is tryin to smash your skull in, is another.
     
  6. Big Eck On the mat

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    For me it's all about the atmosphere. I like a relaxed, chill place that's fun to learn at. However, I don't focus on competition. If you want to compete you may want a more rigid, uptight place with an instructor that has a great competition record. I feel like I have the best of both worlds in my gym because my instructor has a very good competition record and we have some quality guys that compete but the atmosphere is also really laid back.
     
  7. Big Eck On the mat

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  8. Trickster*** Banned Banned

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    I still get tapped every class when I roll with certain purples or my instructor. You can't let it get to you....what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

    As long as you are LEARNING from the experience its fine.
     
  9. Deloitte Blue Belt

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    I could see why that would be a good idea, to show beginners how effective and dominating you can be with a mastery of BJJ.
     
  10. Chonbody Guest

    This is a really good thread. I think the trouble of finding a new BJJ gym is always a hassle, it seems every instructor has his or her own quirks about him or her, but before you sign that contract make sure you've taken a class or two. I would rather join a boxing gym, shit even a TKD gym than learn from a egotistical BJJ teacher and there are plenty of those...
     
  11. STFUjiujitsu Blue Belt

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    My instructor the first day whether you have experience or not, will dominate you to show you his skill level and knowledge. I guess to prove to you he knows what he is talking about.
    However, after that first day it's nothing but learning and respect. He will match your pace or go harder if you ask him to. I believe he does it to break that know-it-all attitude before you even get one.

    Look for good atmosphere. People enjoying training. Everything else will fall into place. You'll roll with students more often than instructors.
     
  12. Tony Manifold Brown Belt

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    There is a difference between getting owned by a much better grappler and an instructor who makes his students tap as fast as he can. I think TS is talking about latter. The instructor is ther to help you learn, not beat you. Last time I rolled with my instructor, I tapped 4 times in 5 minutes and he let it drag out. He was allowing me chances to do things because the roll was for my benefit not his. That was the benefit you are talking about. He was in side control, and chances are he could have mounted me in a second or two, instead he let me attempt an escape to guard, stuffed it and choked me. I learned a new gi choke out fo the deal and saw some area's to improve my side control escapes. I wouldn't have had that chance if he went all out.
     
  13. ModernWarrior Blue Belt

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    You have to like the atmosphere of the gym. Its not just the instructors but the people who train there, and if you feel you can learn and elevate in that gym.

    Instructor wise, where i train our instructor competes at every tournament we do, which in a sense puts him our our level. Everyone can relate to him on that level because we all compete together as a team and there is a strong sense of unity, and everyone instructor included, supports each other 110%. Not skill wise, but just mentality and you know we are all training to compete, and all want to get better for that reason. When we roll he never dominates people, he rolls to make both people better, always helping while rolling and encouraging us to ask anytime we have a question about anything training related, not to discourage or make a statement or feel better about himself.

    Thats why I won't change gyms anytime in the foreseeable future. Not for a really long time at least.

    You should probably look for something similar to that in your gym.
     

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