Beginner needs help to see if this place is legit(bjj)

Tony Dismukes

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Hanzou

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Place looks legit. Enjoy your instruction. :)
 

JR 137

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It all looks legit on paper. Go visit and take a trial class to see if it’s a good fit. The instructor can have impeccable credentials and experience, but if his teaching methods aren’t right for you then it’s not going to work out over the long haul. Evaluate the students as well. If they’re not who you want to train with, it doesn’t matter how good the place is on paper.

All credentials are good for is getting you in the door to visit IMO. Once you’re there, it’s all about what’s going on on the mats.
 
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BJJwannabe91

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It all looks legit on paper. Go visit and take a trial class to see if it’s a good fit. The instructor can have impeccable credentials and experience, but if his teaching methods aren’t right for you then it’s not going to work out over the long haul. Evaluate the students as well. If they’re not who you want to train with, it doesn’t matter how good the place is on paper.

All credentials are good for is getting you in the door to visit IMO. Once you’re there, it’s all about what’s going on on the mats.
That’s actually very sound advice. I never even thought of that aspect.
 

JR 137

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That’s actually very sound advice. I never even thought of that aspect.
Here’s an analogy...

Cus D’Amato’s boxing gym in Catskill, NY had impeccable credentials. Let’s say you signed up strictly because of this. You join, D’Amato, Rooney, and Atlas pretty much ignore you, giving you all of 5 minutes of their time each day. Every day, you get to spar Tyson who beats the living snot out of you and doesn’t care because he all he and they need is a fresh punching bag for Iron Mike.

Great credentials. Great instruction. Great fighter(s) coming out of that gym. How great is it for you?

I don’t think that’s how it went at D’Amato’s gym, and im highly doubtful that’s how it’ll be where you’re looking at. But you don’t know how anything is being run until you walk through the door. The teacher could be great, spend a lot of time with you individually, and have virtually no students (which has pros and cons). He could run a great sized gym and give everyone the attention they need. He could push his teaching of newbies and intermediates off on an assistant. There’s no way to tell from a website.

Credentials should get you in the door. What’s going on on the mats should determine if you stay or go elsewhere.

I restarted karate going on 4 years ago after a 15 year hiatus. One of the places that caught my eye was a school not far from my home. The CI’s teacher has impeccable credentials in the karate world. I know a few respected local karate guys who trained with the CI or under him. They had nothing but great things to say about him. That got me in the door to visit. I didn’t walk in and say “where do I sign up?” I watched him teach a class. About 5 minutes after warmups my mind was made up. But I watched 2 full classes on different nights to confirm what I was seeing wasn’t a fluke or horse and pony show.

I could tell he was an excellent teacher, his students were similar to me in background and goals, and I felt at home. I visited other schools that were great on paper too. They didn’t do it for me.
 
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PiedmontChun

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You should feel seriously challenged, and even humbled by a legit BJJ school / instruction. Can the students, even other white belts, control and even submit you on the ground? That is the "proof" so to speak.
Beyond that, some of the points above in this thread are definitely valid. Some people are better teachers than others, in terms of ability to communicate and the attention they give. However, in a good grappling environment, you are learning from everyone, and learning by doing, so the overall makeup of the class can be important too. A brand new white belt who is alone amongst a bunch of upper belts who don't take time to help a new guy, and treat him like a glorified grappling dummy.... won't help you nearly as much as having more experienced fellow students helping you out. A lot of people take a few classes and quit because it is hard, so keep showing up and showing you are committed, and if it is a decent school - people will help you out.
I would say having some other students at the same relative experience level can be good too, so you get a taste of being evenly matched with someone.
 
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