If you’re considering taking up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or are maybe looking for a new BJJ club to train in, then there are plenty of choices out there.
The problem is picking the right one.
The last thing you want is to decide on a new club only for
it to turn out to be a waste of your time and money. A little research before
signing up can go a long way.
Here are a few things you should consider when looking for a
Obviously, if you want to learn something, then you need an
instructor who knows what they’re doing in the first place.
But how do you tell?
If someone boasts about having “over 10 years experience in Brazilian
Jiu-jitsu”, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re any good. They are plenty of
white belts out there with years of experience!
The best way to find out if a club has good instructors is
to look at their winning record in tournaments.
Bad teachers have bad students, there’s simply no way of
getting around that. And bad students get their asses handed to them in tournaments.
You need a BJJ gym that has trophies on the wall, and
instructors who know what they’re doing.
Now’s probably a good time to mention our head instructor Graham
has studied with the likes of Mauricio Gomes, Roger Gracie, Braulio Estima,
Victor Estima, and Renzo Gracie, and even Master Carlos Gracie Jr. himself
amongst others, while the club is consistently winning tournaments
across the UK and Ireland.
Convenient class schedules
One of the wonderful things about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is it’s
open to everyone.
We have people from all walks of life come to our club;
doctors, mechanics, writers, students, software developers, taxi drivers… everyone
is different, and everyone works different hours.
A good BJJ club will have a timetable that allows people to
train when suits them, not the other way around.
That’s why our gym is open
throughout the day, with classes are divided into Fitness, Fundamentals,
Advanced, Black Belt and Live Sparring sessions.
We even have women only classes so any ladies who might be a
little anxious about rolling with men can come and learn with other women.
There’s no getting past it – Brazilian Jiu-jitsu can be
Sweating in itself of course is no bad thing, it means you’re
getting a proper workout, but not cleaning up afterwards is where the problems
Any potential BJJ club you look at must have a good hygiene standard. Check the changing rooms and showers, the general look of the place, and most importantly, the mats.
If they look like they haven’t been washed since Freddie Mercury
was still performing with Queen, then walk out and never go back.
Pristine mats which are cleaned every day (like ours) mean you’ve walked into a world-class gym.
A friendly atmosphere
This might just be the most important part of finding a BJJ
The type of people who do BJJ tend to be friendly, outgoing
and respectful, so most clubs will be fine… but there’s always the exception to
If you do find a club that has a funny vibe to it, then
trust your instinct and stay away from it. This usually means the people who run
the place are instilling a culture that doesn’t fit with the BJJ ethos.
Some gyms (regardless of the sport) have a cult-like atmosphere, with their own strange rituals and rules.
When visiting a potential new club or during your free trial
period, pay attention to other members, especially how they treat each other.
Do people seem to be getting along or are they just using each other as punching bags? Is there a tension between members? Do people talk off the mats or hang about afterward and socialise?
Remember, how members treat each other is how they’ll treat
you if you join. You want a club that’s fun to go to, with people who will
hopefully become good friends.
Gracie Barra Belfast – the perfect BJJ club
If you do find yourself looking for a new club, then we fit
all of the above criteria.
With our highly-skilled and experienced instructors, our flexible
timetable, squeaky-clean facilities, and friendly, family-run gym, Gracie Barra
Jiu-jitsu is perfect for anyone starting out or experienced grapplers who would
like a change of scene.
If you would like to know more or are interested in a 14-day free trial, then contact us today and let’s have a chat about how we can help you.