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The five things to look for when you choose a Jiu Jitsu Academy.

The five things to look for when you choose a Jiu Jitsu Academy.

Great coaches don’t just occur overnight. It takes a long time. Aside from the process of accumulating a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the art. A coach must also develop a maturity and sensitivity to understand and appreciated the individuality of a student, their reasons for training and the goals they wish to achieve.

1. Character of the Coaches

A great coach inspires their students to achieve their goals. Through close assessment of a student’s physical and mental capabilities, a great instructor can guide and support a student through constructive feedback and instruction that nurtures that students’ evolutions in the sport.

Look for a coach that is focused on your development and not one looking to boost their ego. A great coaches Jiu Jitsu speak for itself.

A great Jiu Jitsu school starts and end with the coaching staff. Look  coaches that are focused on building a safe, respectful family orientated environment. Jiu Jitsu is about personal improvement. Creating better human beings and the community that flourish together. A great coach understands Jiu Jitsu benefits spread far greater than the mats of the gym. They are facilitators in creating a positive environment with wherever they go and with whoever the interact. A great coach will make the gym feel like your second home.

2. Curriculum

A Jiu Jitsu school worth its salt has a curriculum. This is a crucial component for students to learn and improve their Jiu Jitsu. A curriculum assists students learning, retaining and adjusting their technical and practical information far quicker than a school who teaches in a hap hazard unformalised manner.

It is important to note that a curriculum does not mean a ridge step by step process followed day in day out. A successful curriculum will identify a structure (time blocks if you will) of overarching positions and/or concepts (closed guard for example) that allows each coach of the academy to add their input and his personal touch into the program.

A curriculum should be tailored specifically for each of our programs like junior kids, senior kids, beginner’s, ladies only classes and so on. This way the students of focus received the training best suited for them.

3. Safety and Cleaning

A gym must be clean. The wellbeing of students is the primary focus of any good Jiu Jitsu school. This should include at a minimum; regular cleaning and disinfection of all floor, wall and bathroom surfaces. Preferably using natural products (over harsh chemical options) such as Eucalyptus and Vinegar concentrates which have proven antibacterial properties.

When visiting a school, don’t be afraid to look around and even ask the staff about their cleaning protocols.

4. The environment

The gym should feel welcoming

It should have a friendly energy where everybody regardless of their ranks or position is friendly and supportive.

A good school will nurture the development of new students. An academy with a great culture understands with the right support a new person, in time will become another technically proficient  training partner. Is this really what we all want?     

Observe if the students around you act natural and display respect for each other and for their coaches.

It is all about respect!

5. Do a trial Class

Still unsure about which school is right for you?

Visit a few different academies for a trial class. This is the best way to see first-hand what the school might be like long term.

Don’t focus on Jiu Jitsu so much, rather observer the points 1 to 4 in their natural state.

If you are not yet comfortable to jump into a class. Just  watch a class first and if you like what they see then give it a go.

The last thought. When it comes to choosing a school, the decision is 100% yours. If something doesn’t feel right, it is probably because something isn’t right. Listen to your gut, try a few schools and make the right decision for you. In the end, its your Jiu Jitsu journey!

“ Article written by Eduardo Dias BJJ 4th Degree Black Belt and Garra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Australia Head Coach.”

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