Jiu-Jitsu for thought?

One of my girlfriends told me the other day that I am "doing a BJJ tour of Austin", which is true. But it is a lot different to analyze an academy from the perspective of a visitor who will come back a few times a year compared to finding an academy to call your home. BJJ academy shopping is a lot of work. Throughout the past few weeks I've trained at a few times at the same academies. I believe it's going to take a while to really get the feel of an academy and to honestly evaluate it. To visit just once is not exactly the best way to "judge" the inner workings of an academy. Unless you had a particularly horrible experience on your first visit, I say every academy deserves a few shots.

As I've mentioned before, I have a growing list of areas to consider when choosing a new school and team. To make it easier, I've broken it up into five categories (for now); academy, instructor, class, team and training partners. Most importantly I am evaluating how my needs can be met and assessing how the inner workings of each school aligns with my vision. Keep in mind that each person's priorities will vary and mine is a work in progress. I am not an expert by any means and I am definitely open to suggestions. Here is what I have so far in no particular order:

Academy: location, equipment, price, facility, ownership, other programs, women friendly.

Instructors: Lineage, belt, level of technique, style of Jiu-Jitsu, teaching style, execution of lessons, accomplishments, attentiveness, type of coach, body type, perspective on Jiu-Jitsu, understanding of principals, detail oriented, compatible learning styles, tolerance of student training at other schools, Jiu-Jitsu is their only job, level of involvement (employee or ownership), mutual dedication, loyalty and support.

Class: structure, intensity, goals of classes (competition, recreational, instructors training), length, times, days, allotted time for rolling, woman friendly

Team: Lineage, structure, presence, camaraderie, family style, unity and level of support

Training partner: Size, skill level, type of training partners, student's perspectives (academy, instructors, classes, etc.)


  1. This bit stood out: Jiu-Jitsu is their only job. At least in the UK, that is still pretty rare, so the pool of schools would be tiny if that was part of my own criteria, were I on a similar hunt. Or did I misread?

  2. This list isn't a list of my requirements necessarily. It's more so areas to take into consideration. Things to think about. However, most of the academies in Austin that I've come across the instructors only job or primary job is BJJ. However, it's not a requirement by my standards. Like you said, that would limit my choices and that's not what I am trying to do. Quite the opposite. :)


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