5 Awesome Features that Jiu Jitsu Academies can Offer

I don’t talk about it much because it’s not really relevant to my articles, but I’ve been blessed to have gotten to train at many different schools/clubs/academies/gyms. I’ve had the opportunity to train on 3 different continents and 4 different countries. I’ve gotten to train on some legendary mats with some legendary practitioners of the gentle art. Throughout these experiences, I’ve taken note of some of the cooler features that academies can have, features that make them desirable. Here are some of the features that I’ve seen.


  1. Locker room with an array of showers. I’ve been to academies that don’t have showers at all or that only have one or two showers. When a class has 10+ people this can mean having to wait around for a while to shower. There are academies that have large locker rooms with multiple private stalls.       The gym where I train in fact has 4 separate locker rooms.

locker room


2. Instructors who are themselves world class competitors. For some people this may sound like a no brainer, but I’ve trained at gyms that have instructors who haven’t won anything significant. You don’t NEED to win tournaments to be a great instructor, just look at some of the best instructors available today like John Danaher or Henry Akins, but there’s something special about knowing that the person teaching you has put their skills to the test and prevailed.

John Danaher


3.Multiple programs. Again, there’s nothing wrong with just having a single discipline in your training curriculum, but it’s kind of cool to have various programs available under the same roof. Some people (not me) can get bored with a single discipline and want to mix it up.



4. An actual gym. Most jiu jitsu schools consist of a small mat space, maybe a heavy bag or two, maybe some random fitness equipment. Really nice academies have gyms attached to them. From what I’ve seen, the nicer the gym the nicer the martial arts programs. Though not having a nice gym doesn’t mean that the martial arts program won’t be nice…



5.Mat space is open all day every day.   That I know of, very few gyms trust their members enough to grant them access to the mat space whenever they want it. The place where I train (Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness Center) opens its facilities to its members anytime it’s open. That means that members of the jiu jitsu program can schedule their own training sessions as they see fit. I can reach out to one of my teammates and have them come in and roll with me at 3:15 on a Thursday even if there is no scheduled class at that point.       Having a mat space like that available is perhaps the coolest amenity I’ve ever seen.

Mat Space

These are just 5 amenities that I’ve noticed throughout my time training. What amenities does your gym have that are valuable to you?



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