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Where to Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A Beginners guide to starting

Where to Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A Beginners guide to starting

So you’ve decided to make the jump into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so the next thing to think about is, where or how are you going to train? We’ve given you a few great options on how to structure your training, so you can get the very best training on your own time. They all have their own advantages and disadvantage, which we will go through, so you can make an informed decision.

Formal Classes at an Academy

If you’re lucky to live in a build up metropolitan area, it’s more than likely that you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the amount of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies. You’ll more than likely see clubs with names such as Gracie Barra, Checkmat, ATOS, or Alliance and these are affiliated gyms where the head instructor started their own journey and wanted to continue their legacy, these, like many other independent gyms, are ultimately down to the head instructor and how they structure their classes.

Many Jiu-Jitsu classes offer free taster classes, so use this opportunity to find an environment that fits you best. If you think a structured curriculum is something that appeals to you, then maybe Gracie Barra might be your thing, if you want your training to be more competitive, look towards Checkmat, every gym has their own environment, so now is the time to choose how you would like to train.

When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu class, it’s normally structured into three parts

  • Warmup
  • Drilling and Learning
  • Sparring aka. Rolling

Don’t be afraid to get stuck into all three, no one will expect you to be amazing on your first lesson, this is all about feeling things out.

Advantages of Jiu-Jitsu Classes

The main benefits of taking a Jiu-Jitsu class are your training partners. Here you can form friendships, and gain opinions from someone who doesn’t want your money. 

A jiu-jitsu class hopefully means a good mixture of coloured belts. In fact, this should be an important aspect when choosing which school to go too if you continue to train you will have a good scale of people who are beginners to experienced.

You’ll get to train with lots of different people and also get to spar with many different people.

Disadvantages of Jiu-Jitsu Classes

The main disadvantage of a Jiu-Jitsu class is the lack of specialised tuition from the instructor. As a class, the instructor’s time is split between the entire class.

If you get paired up with another beginner, unfortunately, the situation can resemble the blind leading the blind sometimes. This means you may not get the best training you’d hope you get in your first lesson.

If you decide to spar during your first lesson, it can go one of two ways you will either get an understanding training partner who will go light with you and help you navigate your way through the roll. Or you’ll get an overzealous training partner who will go hard and will look to tap you as much as possible.

Private Tuition

A popular option for celebrity practitioners. Private training with the instructor is a one-to-one opportunity to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with someone with a lot of knowledge in the game. Private instruction means the details in your jiu-jitsu game will skyrocket far faster than beginners in a class setting. But this comes at a price, money. Private instruction normally costs a lot more than a class setting.

Advantages of Private Tuition

Private training means a more focused one-to-one session with yourself and the instructor. This is a lot more beneficial for the learner and the teacher, as they can give you 100% of their attention.

Rolling with an instructor means getting to experience another world of Jiu-Jitsu, as their Jiu-Jitsu is going to be worlds away from yours. This means your defensive Jiu-Jitsu will be far more advanced than any other beginner

Disadvantages of Private Tuition

As a beginner, you may not be able to understand the nuances of the detail that the instructor will give you. So your money may not be paid in the most efficient way.

Rolling will the instructor will basically mean you’re going to get smashed constantly, and while that will build up your defensive Jiu-Jitsu, it won’t grow your offensive Jiu-Jitsu.

One-to-one tuition won’t allow you to build the family and comradery that a Jiu-Jitsu class offers. Martial arts is more than just learning to fight, it’s a family experience which can only be explained if you do it.

Training with Friends

Sometimes the idea of formal training doesn’t suit everyone. Even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was formed by a family, with no real instruction, apart from the groundwork being laid out. Training in a friend’s garage is a great way of getting in much needed physical exercise in a space which is familiar, with familiar faces. Training with friends will often be cheaper as there are no fees to pay a school or instructors to pay.

However, the amount of Jiu-Jitsu you’re able to learn depends entirely on the friend’s skill level. If your friend is a white belt, giving you information, it’s not going to be as advantageous as if your friend was a higher grade.

Often times instructionals and BJJ Books will be used to gain new techniques. Sometimes these techniques can be unorthodox, meaning you’re able to gain new insight into the grappling world. One which may never be taught.

Advantages of Training with Friends

A familiar face is always easier than walking into a gym full of strangers.

Training can be fit around your schedule, not the gyms.

Training will often be cheaper as it will be done on mats at a friends house.

Disadvantages of Training with Friends

Unless you’re going an online training system such as Gracie Online, which is not recommended, there is no formal way to be graded.

You will only ever have your friend to train with, meaning you will only ever get used to one type of Jiu-Jitsu.

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