Choosing your BJJ Gym is crucial. A bad Gym can mean injuries, slow learning, paying too much money, and an overall bad experience.
So, if you’re ready to dive into your BJJ journey, look for a healthy gym. There are some red flags you need to know about. These are signs that a gym might not be your best choice.
What Are The Red Flags?
1. No Cross Training Allowed:
If the BJJ gym tells you you can’t train at other schools, that’s a big red flag. You should be able to explore other gyms, visit different open mats, and have freedom in how you want your jiu-jitsu path to go.
2. No Visitors:
Some gyms don’t like blue belts from other Gyms or higher coming in to train. Maybe they’re worried their students will get exposed.
This could indicate that the gym is insecure about their BJJ skill level. I think a gym should be open to visitors. Welcome them, learn from them, and create relationships with students outside the gym.
3. Instructors Don’t Roll:
If your instructor never rolls with students, you gotta wonder why. Sure, some are older or hurt, but if that’s not the case, maybe they’re hiding something. You wanna learn BJJ from someone who’s not afraid to get on the mat with you.
Unfortunately, I hear many stories of instructors with brown or black belts, but their skills match the blue belt level. You want to train with an instructor who competes or has competed and has a long history in BJJ.
4. Expensive Belt Promotions:
You should earn your belt, not buy it. Think twice if a gym charges more than $50 for a belt test. Better yet, go for a gym that doesn’t do belt tests. They should watch how you do and decide if you’re ready for the next level.
5. Must Buy Their Gear:
Some gyms make you buy their gear. They say it’s about team spirit but also a way to make extra money. You should be able to make your own decisions about buying the best BJJ Gear for you.
6. All About Winning, Not Safety:
You’re there to learn, get better, and not get hurt. Some gyms go all out, even in practice. If the focus isn’t on safety, it’s not the right place for you.
There are some gyms where the injury rate is very high, and somewhere, people don’t get injured often. Of course, you should be competitive, but respect is everything. A Gym should emphasize that.
7. Long-Term Contracts:
Be careful if the gym only offer long-term deals. What if you wanna leave? Or what if you find out it’s not the right BJJ school for you? Long-term contracts are a red flag. You should be able to pay on a monthly basis.
I’ve visited some bad Gyms, but most of the time, they’re good ones. Whenever you go to a new Gym, remember these red flags so you pick a gym that’s a good fit for you. Most of the BJJ Gyms are amazing, but there are always some bad ones. Be aware.