It’s pretty standard for any martial arts school to offer a free class. Here at Guerrilla BJJ in Reno, we do the same – we invite anyone who is interested in potentially joining our program to tour the school, meet the instructors, sit in on a class, and take advantage of a free class (clean gi included!). But before you go to that free BJJ class (here, or anywhere), here’s what we recommend first.
Just Show Up
Reading online reviews and checking out the website and social media is an important first step. That’s how you can compile your short list of schools worth pursuing. But to really understand the dynamics of a given school, you need to see them for yourself. Check the schedule, pick a class time that would probably work for you, and just head on down. The instructor should have no problem with you sitting in to observe.
22 Questions to Ask Yourself
And while you’re watching, these are the questions you want to answer.
- What kind of teaching style does the instructor have?
- Are explanations clear and easy to understand? How many demonstrations are there?
- Are you able to understand what the instructor is teaching?
- How well does he work with beginners in the class?
- Does the instructor walk around and engage with students during drilling, or does he just observe?
- How does he respond to student questions? Does he answer them well?
- How well you think you would you personally get along with the instructor? Do you like his demeanor and attitude?
- Is the instructor patient?
- Is there any change in the instructor when dealing with students at different belt ranks?
- Does he seem to favor the better athletes in the class?
- Does he spend equal time with everyone? Does he offer more direction to those who are struggling?
- How many instructors are in the classroom? Are there beginner classes, and who teaches those?
- Are the students paying attention to the instructor?
- Do they seem respectful to one another? Are they happy to be there?
- How aggressive are the students during rolling and drilling?
- Do experienced students seem to pair well with beginners?
- What is the ratio of white belts to colored belts?
- Is there a lot of student diversity in the class?
- Is there enough room to roll?
- Is the facility clean and well-maintained?
- Does the school look organized and welcoming?
- Is it close to your home or work?
Tell the front desk, instructor, or whoever asks that you’re comparing schools and considering your options. If you get any kind of hard sell – any offer that has some sense of urgency attached, like they’ll waive an initiation fee but only if you sign up today – take it as a sign to look elsewhere.
Once you’ve sat in at a few different schools, take advantage of that free class in the ones you’re seriously considering. Then you’ll be in a good position to find the right BJJ school for you.