Have You Ever Switched BJJ Gyms?

Here is a question from Brooks, from our private BJJ Lounge Twitter Space

“What has your experience been like switching gyms? I love where I am but there’s another nice place that I’ve visited that’s much closer to where I live.”

I’ll go first. Since I’ve only been doing it for just over a year (wow really it just hit me I’ve been doing a martial art for a year woah) I’m still at the Gracie Barra I signed up with. I like the people and the instructors there. I also like how many people there compete, which is where I’d like to focus my BJJ game towards as opposed to just the self-defence aspect of jiu jitsu.

There are five (I think) other BJJ gym in my city. A blue belt recently told me he’s been to all of them and think this Gracie Barra is the best in terms of the calibre of the jiu jitsu being taught. Sounds good to me!

Pros of my current gym:
– lots of people compete, opportunity to focus more on competition BJJ
– it’s close to my house
– my wife and her brother signed up there as well
– the head instructor is chill and we don’t have to bow before we go on and get off the mats
– instructors aren’t strict with the adult class while still following the curriculum correctly and we also sometimes learn new techniques that aren’t part of the curriculum
– instructors aren’t assholes and enjoy having fun sometimes, friendly
– If you don’t have a Gracie Barra Gi you can still join and train

Cons of my current gym:
– the change room is too small
– there are so many members that I find it hard to get long, meaningful one-on-one instruction (although I haven’t asked about private lessons)
– classes are only one hour, I would love two hour classes
– there’s only one, one hour open mat a week, I wish there was one every day
– there is only two No Gi classes a week
– it’s expensive, $135 a month

The pros outweigh the cons. Not enough reasons to leave my current gym. And thank goodness it’s not a McDojo (“McDojo is a pejorative term (in the same vein as “McMansion” and “McChurch”) referring to martial arts academies (generally located in the Western world) which, rather than being honestly committed to teaching students, are instead concerned primarily with amassing profits.

Here are some thoughts from other people about staying or leaving their jiu jitsu gym:

“I switched due to moving (changing states) – but did a fair amount of research & drop-ins before picking my “new home.” Don’t listen to any #Creonte type BS – Bottom Line, it’s a business & you’re the customer. Pick a place that suits you, your training needs/goals, etm.” -Matt

“I switched gyms and never looked back. Didn’t realize just how toxic my old gym was until I got out and got into a much healthier environment.” -Becky

“I’m on my third. No reason, just wanted to get different perspectives and training partners. Still friendly with my former academies and teammates.” -Nicolas

“Coming back to the mat after 20 years away, I switched gyms. I’ve had 35 lessons so far. All good. The previous gym is where I received my blue belt which in the grand scheme of things is low level. My new gym – Professor says “train where every you want”. I go to open mats.” -Peter

“I’ve moved academies twice. 1st time was from an affiliate to the HQ so was not too hard. Went as a blue and was promoted to purple there. Covid/post covid moved to my current gym been 2 years and promoted to brown. Took a bit to get use to though” -Ray

“In December I moved from the DFW area to northern Indiana. I had been training for 7.5 years there was a blue belt. I have been here 9 months now and have been accepted and promoted to purple. My approach was to focus on being a good student and teammate. And let everything else play out on it’s own. I’m happy with where we landed. I do miss my old gym and teammates (planning a trip to visit soon). Happy to be a further resource if any questions arise.” -Brad

“Yup. Your gym is a business that provides a service. If another gym’s service makes more sense to you, then go there. I switched due to location. It was between a 40 min drive and a 20 min drive. My new one also has more class times, so I can train more often.” -Tommy

Have you ever switched BJJ gyms?

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