Ottawa BJJ | How to Find the Right Martial Arts Academy
Picking a Brazilian jiu jitsu gym is an important decision. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time there and your training partners will almost certainly become part of your social circle. This to say nothing of the effort and sweat you’ll put in chasing results. There are a lot of them out there, and let’s face it: not every gym is for every athlete.
Walking into a new gym can be an intimidating thing, and it can be very difficult for a newcomer to the martial arts to differentiate between one gym and the next.
Not to worry, I’ve got your back on this one!
First and foremost: get started. It’s been said a thousand times, but waiting until you’re in shape to join a gym is like waiting until you’re rich to go to work. Start your search today. You’re already on the internet reading this, so open a new browser and start now!
- Jump on Google maps and search for BJJ or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Boom! If you live in a major city, you should have a lot of options. Consider the location. A gym is only useful if you actually go. If it’s going to take you an hour and a half on public transit just to get there, you may want to consider someplace closer (unless you enjoy reading on the bus, of course)
- Visit their websites. While most gyms’ websites are more a function of their marketing acumen than the quality of the instruction, you should be able to get an initial feel for the gyms you have in mind. Get a good look at their schedules – do they work for you? Even with the commute?
- Call or email to set up drop-ins at several gyms. Bear in mind, many (or most) gyms aren’t going to want to give you prices over the phone. The reasoning for this is simple: gyms are not commodities, and most gym owners want you to see the facilities and the classes before they talk prices, so you know what it is you’re comparing.
- Show up for your drop-in. Many gyms offer a free week (or more) for you to try out the classes. Try out a few classes, get a feel for things. Stick around and watch the advanced class. Check out the facilities. Ask questions! All gym owners want new students and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Take some notes when you get home (because visiting a few gyms, all the answers tend to blend together).
- Be sure to visit a few different gyms (even if you love the first one!). This will give you context.
- Pick the one you like best and sign up! I suggest signing up for a shorter duration to start off with. It’ll cost you a bit more per month, but it will allow you to change your mind if after the honeymoon period wears off you realize this gym (or even this sport) isn’t for you. Once you’re sure this is the gym for you, they’ll be happy to switch you over to a longer membership plan for a lower price.
Checking out gyms is only as intimidating as you make it. Remember: BJJ gyms are businesses, and businesses need new members. This means YOU! Start looking right away, but invest some time in the process to be sure to get the one that suits you, rather than signing up to the first one you run across. You’ll be glad you did!
Since you are interested in BJJ take advantage of our free 7 day intro program —> click here to register