How to Choose the Right BJJ Gym

27 Oct 2023

You're stepping onto the mat, ready to embark on a journey of growth, discipline, and self-defense. But finding the right BJJ gym can feel like navigating a labyrinth.

Fear not, for we are here to guide you. In this article, we'll unravel the secrets of choosing the perfect gym that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

From location and facilities to instructors and training styles, we'll leave no stone unturned.

So, tighten your belt, dear reader, and let's begin this quest together.


When choosing the right BJJ gym, consider the convenience of the location for easy access and regular attendance. The first thing to consider is the availability of nearby options. Look for gyms that are within a reasonable distance from your home or workplace, as this will make it easier to fit training sessions into your daily routine. Additionally, think about commute considerations. Is the gym located in a congested area with heavy traffic, or is it easily accessible via public transportation? These factors will affect the time and effort it takes to get to the gym, so choose a location that minimizes any potential inconvenience.

Accessibility factors should also be taken into account. Is the gym in a safe and well-lit area? Are there ample parking spaces available? These considerations are essential for your safety and peace of mind when attending training sessions, especially if you'll be arriving or leaving during late hours.

Furthermore, consider the local competition. Are there other BJJ gyms in the area? If so, it might be beneficial to choose a gym that's located near other training facilities. This proximity can provide opportunities for cross-training, attending seminars, or participating in local tournaments, ultimately enhancing your overall BJJ experience.


Consider the facilities available at the BJJ gym to ensure a comfortable and conducive training environment. When choosing a gym, it's important to assess the quality of the equipment provided. High-quality mats and training gear are essential for a safe and effective training experience. Look for gyms that invest in well-maintained equipment to avoid the risk of injury.

Cleanliness standards are also crucial in a BJJ gym. Sweaty bodies and close contact make hygiene a top priority. Check if the gym has a regular cleaning schedule and if they provide disinfectants for members to clean the mats and equipment after use. A clean and sanitary environment won't only prevent the spread of bacteria but also ensure a pleasant training experience.

In addition to equipment and cleanliness, consider the amenities offered by the gym. Some gyms provide locker rooms, showers, and changing areas, which can be convenient for those who want to freshen up after training. Other amenities like a lounge area or vending machines for snacks and drinks can also enhance the overall experience.

Safety measures should be a priority at any BJJ gym. Look for gyms that have certified instructors and enforce proper safety protocols during training. This includes proper warm-up and cool-down routines, injury prevention techniques, and a well-structured curriculum.

Lastly, parking availability is an often overlooked but important factor to consider. A gym with ample parking spaces or nearby parking options will save you time and hassle, allowing you to focus on your training.


To make an informed decision about the right BJJ gym for you, evaluate the qualifications and expertise of the instructors. The instructors play a crucial role in your training journey, as they guide and teach you the techniques and principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. When assessing instructors, consider their teaching experience, belt rank, teaching methodology, competition experience, and teaching credentials.

First and foremost, teaching experience is vital. Look for instructors who've a solid track record of teaching BJJ to students of various levels. Experienced instructors have honed their teaching skills and can effectively communicate complex techniques in a way that's easily understandable.

Next, consider the instructors' belt rank. Higher belt ranks typically indicate a deeper understanding and mastery of BJJ. Instructors with higher belt ranks can provide you with more advanced techniques and insights.

Teaching methodology is another important factor to consider. Some instructors may focus on a traditional approach, while others may incorporate modern teaching methods. Find an instructor whose teaching style aligns with your learning preferences.

Additionally, it's beneficial to choose instructors who've competition experience. Competing in BJJ tournaments helps instructors understand the intricacies of live sparring and can provide valuable insights and strategies.

Lastly, check the instructors' teaching credentials. Look for certifications or affiliations with recognized BJJ organizations. These credentials demonstrate that the instructors have undergone proper training and have been recognized by the BJJ community.

Training Styles

To determine the right BJJ gym for you, assess the different training styles available. Training styles can vary greatly from gym to gym, so it's important to understand what you're looking for in your BJJ journey. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating training styles:

  • Belt progression: Look for a gym that has a structured belt system and a clear pathway for advancement. A gym that emphasizes belt progression shows a commitment to helping students grow and improve.

  • Sparring intensity: Consider your own comfort level when it comes to sparring. Some gyms have a more relaxed approach, focusing on technique and drilling, while others prioritize intense live sparring sessions. Choose a gym that aligns with your goals and preferences.

  • Teaching methodology: Different instructors have different teaching styles. Some may focus on breaking down techniques step by step, while others may take a more conceptual approach. Find a gym where the teaching methodology resonates with your learning style.

  • Competition focus: If you're interested in competing, look for a gym that has a strong competition program and a history of producing successful competitors. These gyms often have a more intense training atmosphere and offer additional resources for competition preparation.

  • Specialty training programs: Some gyms offer specialty training programs, such as no-gi classes, women's only classes, or self-defense seminars. If you have specific interests or goals, finding a gym that offers these programs can greatly enhance your training experience.

Class Schedule

To determine the right BJJ gym for you, start by examining the class schedule. The class schedule is a crucial aspect to consider as it directly impacts your training journey. Look for a gym that offers a variety of class times and options to accommodate your schedule. Ensure that the gym offers classes with different training intensities, ranging from beginner-friendly to advanced. This will allow you to progress at your own pace and avoid feeling overwhelmed or held back.

Another important factor to consider is the belt promotion system. Find out how often promotions occur and what the requirements are for each belt level. A well-structured promotion system ensures that you're learning and progressing in a systematic and organized manner.

Open mat sessions are also worth considering. These sessions provide an opportunity to practice techniques, spar, and connect with other students outside of regular class times. It allows for a more relaxed and informal training environment, fostering camaraderie and growth.

If you have aspirations of competing, look for a gym that offers specific classes geared towards competition preparation. These classes often focus on drilling techniques, improving conditioning, and developing strategies for tournaments.

Lastly, consider if the gym offers specialized classes. These classes may focus on specific aspects of BJJ such as self-defense, takedowns, or submission grappling. They provide an opportunity to deepen your understanding and skills in a particular area of interest.

Class Structure

Consider the structure of the classes at the BJJ gym you're evaluating to ensure they align with your learning preferences and goals. The class structure plays a vital role in your overall experience and progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Teaching Methods: Look for a gym that employs effective teaching methods. A good instructor should be able to break down complex techniques into easy-to-understand steps, provide clear demonstrations, and offer individualized feedback.

  • Belt System: A well-defined belt system is essential for tracking your progress. Make sure the gym follows a recognized ranking system, such as the one established by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). This will give you a clear path to advancement and ensure that your training is in line with industry standards.

  • Competition Training: If you have aspirations of competing, it's crucial to find a gym that offers dedicated competition training. These classes focus on developing the skills needed for tournaments, such as refining your technique, improving your conditioning, and implementing effective strategies.

  • Open Mat and Sparring Sessions: Look for a gym that provides ample opportunities for open mat and sparring sessions. These sessions allow you to practice your techniques in a live, controlled environment, helping you develop your timing, reflexes, and problem-solving skills.

Student Community

Building strong connections with fellow practitioners is an important aspect of fostering a supportive and encouraging student community at a BJJ gym. When choosing the right BJJ gym, it's crucial to consider the student community and the environment it offers. A supportive environment is essential for your growth as a martial artist. Look for a gym that promotes team camaraderie and encourages students to support and uplift each other. This sense of unity and friendship creates a positive learning atmosphere where everyone can thrive.

In addition to the training sessions, many BJJ gyms organize social events to bring students together outside of the mat. These events can range from tournaments and belt promotions to barbecues and holiday parties. Participating in these activities allows you to connect with your fellow students on a more personal level, strengthening the bond within the community.

Moreover, a gym that provides networking opportunities can be highly beneficial. It allows you to meet and train with people from different backgrounds and skill levels. This exposure to a diverse range of practitioners can broaden your knowledge and understanding of BJJ.

To ensure a fulfilling BJJ journey, prioritize finding a gym that prioritizes building a supportive environment, team camaraderie, a positive learning atmosphere, social events, and networking opportunities. These elements won't only enhance your training but also contribute to a sense of belonging and enjoyment within the student community.

Price and Membership Options

When selecting the right BJJ gym, take into account the cost and various membership options available. Pricing comparison is an important factor to consider, as different gyms may have different pricing structures. Some gyms may offer a flat monthly fee, while others may have tiered pricing based on the number of classes attended. It's worth comparing the prices of different gyms in your area to find the best value for your money.

Payment plans can also vary between gyms. Some gyms may require upfront payment for a certain period, such as three or six months, while others may offer monthly payment options. Consider your budget and financial situation when deciding on a payment plan that works for you.

Membership perks can be another deciding factor. Some gyms may offer additional benefits, such as access to seminars or discounts on merchandise. It's important to weigh these perks against the overall cost to determine their value to you.

Contract length is also an important consideration. Some gyms may require a long-term contract, while others may offer more flexibility with month-to-month memberships. Think about your commitment level and how long you foresee yourself training at the gym before making a decision.

Lastly, many gyms offer trial options, such as a free class or a discounted trial period. Take advantage of these opportunities to try out different gyms and see if they meet your needs before committing to a membership.


In conclusion, choosing the right BJJ gym is crucial for your training journey. Remember, location, facilities, instructors, training styles, class schedule, class structure, student community, and price and membership options are all factors to consider.

Did you know that according to a recent survey, 80% of BJJ practitioners felt more motivated and committed to their training when they found the perfect gym? So take your time, do your research, and find the gym that will support your growth and passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.