What to look for in a good BJJ academy

Kroyler’s Pro tip on what to look for in a good school...So, before we get this show on the road lets go ahead and mention the irony of that statement...“Show on the road” …We are having our Big Team Training session this Saturday, where all the students in the association are encouraged to meet at one of the schools this time being mine. So, guess who’s never been to HQ? Kip. Kip has not ever made it down to visit, see, and/or train. Guess who’s not coming down to train again this Saturday? Kip.  Yes, ladies and gents, he litterally can’t take his show on the road and come visit me. So yet again he’ll miss out and once again I’m having to resort to writing things in rather than speaking them...Paul said I will be coming down, but I am too dumb to work the equipment…So, let's take a minute and write hate mail and send it in to them at thedads@grapplingdads.com. Long preface short, shame on you Kipfor not traveling for jiu-jitsuand shame on Paul for being a nincompoop with his equipment.

So,what should you look for in a good school:

1.Look upthe hierarchy, meaning where did the head instructor get his education from? In today’s day and age its easy to find out where they got their instruction for. Shady background is generally not a good sign. A good education doesn’t also mean he is a good instructor, but it does set him up for a higher potential for success than one with a shady background.

2.Look up how involved the head instructor is with the students. More often than not there will be 2-5 instructors in a school and that’s great, but its important that the head instructor is involved. If they are absent that is generally not a good sign.

3.Come into the school and watch a class.  Pay attention to the structure of the class. Is it structured, or does it seem the instructor is structuring the class as he goes? An unstructured class is a bad sign.

4.While watching the class pay attention to the atmosphere of the class, is the environment one that allows students to be comfortable and fosters growth?  Meaning are or do the students seem to be comfortable around the instructors, around the other students and are the students asking questions?

5.How are the instructors dealing with those questions? Are they welcoming the questions and answering them positively or are they answering them negatively, or even worse are the instructors not allowing or welcoming questions?

6.When the students roll how are they rolling? Are they trying to kill each other and trying to decide who’s king of the mat? Or are they trying to encourage and help each other improve?

7.Look for the students that seem to be struggling, how are their teammates behaving around them? Are they encouraging?

8.Look at the students as they leave the class, do they seem happy? Or are they relieved they survived class?

9.Is the school clean?

10.How were you greeted when you entered the school? Were you welcomed warmly or were you seen as nuisance?

11.Try out a free trial class or a free trial week, most schools have similar deals.

12.Does the instructor make you feel as if they are a greasy car salesman?

After trying a class or week out think of the following:

1.Were you introduced and welcomed to class?

2.Were you comfortable with the atmosphere that you were in? Were you comfortable in asking questions if you had them?

3.How was the sparring? Did they guide you through the rolling? Meaning did they beat on you the entire time mercilessly? Did they hurt you? Or were they encouraging and were they helpful if you had questions?

a.This doesn’t mean that you should get beat up for it to be a good school nor that they should let you beat them up. Simply that they were mentor to you during the roll not a bully.

4.Do you want to come back?

I think if you ask yourself these questions you’ll have a general idea ofwhetherit’s a good school. Although after about 4-6 weeks for sure you’ll see if the school is a good one or not by the mood you’re in. If it’s a shit school, you're more stressed out than you were before, and you despise going to class than maybe that school isn’t the right fit for you.

Kip Dice