21 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Choosing a BJJ School

guerrilla-bjj-renoAfter visiting websites and reading online reviews, you’ve found a few BJJ schools in Reno that are worth checking out. That’s an important step – to really understand a school’s dynamics, you absolutely need to see them in person. So after you’ve seen the schedule, picked a class time and made plans to show up and watch, here are all the important questions to ask yourself while you’re in observation mode at that BJJ school.


  1. What kind of teaching style does the instructor have?
  2. Are all explanations clear and easy to understand? Are there plenty of demonstrations?
  3. Do you understand what the instructor is teaching? How well does he or she work with any beginners in the class?
  4. Does the instructor walk around and engage with students during drilling, or does he/she merely observe?
  5. How does he/she respond to questions from the class? Does he answer them thoughtfully and completely?
  6. How well you think you personally would you get along with the instructor ? Do you like his/her demeanor, attitude and teaching approach?
  7. Is the instructor patient, or does he/she seem irritable or dismissive?
  8. Does the instructor’s manner change when dealing with students at different belt ranks?
  9. Does he/she seem to favor the better athletes or more experienced students in the class?
  10. Does he/she spend equal time with everyone? Does he/she give more direction to those who are struggling?
  11. How many instructors are in the room? Are there beginner classes offered at the school, and who teaches those?
  12. Are students paying attention to the instructor?
  13. Do students seem respectful to one another? Are they happy to be there?
  14. How aggressive are the students during rolling and drilling?
  15. Do experienced students appear to pair well with beginners?
  16. What is the ratio of white belts to colored belts?
  17. Is there student diversity in the class – a mix of genders, ages and ranks?
  18. Is there enough room to comfortably roll?
  19. Is the facility clean and well-maintained?
  20. Does the school seem organized and welcoming?
  21. Is it close to your home or work?

By answering these questions, you’ll have a really good grasp on a school’s approach to BJJ and how it might suit you (or your child) personally. It’s also a smart move to be upfront about your motivations – you’re comparing schools before you make a decision. If anyone from the front desk to the instructor tries to pressure you into making a decision by making an offer with some kind of expiration date (like they’ll waive certain fees if you join today), think about what that might mean down the road.

go for the free class

After you’ve observed classes at a few different schools, take advantage of any free BJJ classes that are offered in the top two schools you’re considering. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be in the best spot to make a good choice. Good luck!

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