What To Look For In A Gym

2014-03-24 13:15:35

Have you ever walked into a gym or martial arts school and you could feel the laser beams of eyes looking through you?

In today's day and age we need to be educated in selecting a place where we potentially could spend more time than we do with our spouse, girlfriend, common law or sibling. Often we find ourselves going from gym to gym looking for the biggest, and meanest looking people thinking that we can aspire towards that when it is actually furthest from the truth.

I have been in Martial arts for over 14 years now and have seen an array of gyms which offer single and multiple disciplines and may even be equipped with weights. You may ask which of the options are best suited for onewalking in??? Well it is much more complex than that.

For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in particular, make sure that the following criteria is met:

1) A clean facility with top quality equipment

- The last thing you want to be doing is rolling on insufficient mats that are not meant for the art itself which in turn may lead to injury.

2) An ego free atmosphere

  - I have seen far too many places condone bullying and "get the new guy"    type behaviour not understanding that not all members are trying to be competitors

3) Make sure that the instructor and program come from a reputable lineage

- Way too often instructors try to jump on the bandwagon of "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" when their actual training comes from variations of it and are   not true

4) Understand the curriculum's process and the expectations along side of it

- There are many gyms that have different mind sets when it comes to grading and competing. If you are looking for only fitness and recreation,make sure that the instructor knows and understands your goals as many gyms require this of you

5) Be confident that not everything is being micro-managed as "my way is the only way" is one of the worst mind sets out there

Professor Toma Dragicevic

I started training in 2000 under the guidance of Rickson Gracie and Slavko Ilic who was an affiliate of his at the time. After training to my blue stripe under Rickson, I was then left coach less as Slavko had moved to another city. For the next year and a half I had just drilled the previous techniques that I learned with a sparring partner as video or footage in terms of instructionals was non existent.

It was then (2002) when I met Scott Schilling who also was a blue belt under Rickson but freelance at the time. I began training with Scott and we eventually affiliated with Sylvio Behring who is now a Master in BJJ whom I received my Blue and Purple belt from.

Shortly after that Scott and Sylvio had parted ways and I decided to stay local with Scott as Sylvio was based in Brazil. I continued my journey and eventually got my Brown and then finally Black belt in December 2011.

Today I am proudly a Black belt under Robson Moura and have created and grown a great program at my Academy, Evolution/Robson Moura BJJ.

More in category:

BJJ - Professor Toma


Greg Lawyer

2014-03-25 07:32:21
Great blog, I already have a gym that I'm a part of but I didn't put much thought into it when I decided to join. Looking back, although I love the gym I can see how it could have been a bad situation. I'm currently looking to join a kickboxing gym (to go along with the grappling that I do), and I'm definitely going to use this advice!

Connor Mitchell

2014-03-26 08:07:33
I like to call the last gym that I worked out at "The Death Trap". When I signed up I was new to the world of martial arts, and the fact that it offered Jui Jitsu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai among other things at one location seemed like a great thing to me. After signing up I realized the bathroom showers didn't work, the equipment was broken, weight lifting equipment was broken, instructors showed up when they felt like it and to be honest the owner was fake and didn't appreciate his customers. This is a great blog and I"m going to use the tips to find a new gym!

Al Priorson

2014-03-27 09:41:56
Adding to the gym horror stories, mine was dangerous. Faulty equipment, intimidating trainers and no changeroom lead it to close down fast. Now I'm very wary when picking a new gym. Thanks for the tips!

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