BJJ: Respect your space, Respect your people

Photo by: kaijinmma

So! Men and women, boys and girls! Come one come all and rejoice in the awesomeness of … Wait for it… A clean and looked after training center!! No-one training with communicable diseases, no-one talking over instructors during classes because they “know better, no-one calling out higher belts mistakenly thinking this will gain the right of passage for promotion…

No water bottles on the floors, clothes left behind or (ew ew) mouth guards dripping sweat lying around. And do you know why? Because of the concentrated effort of the committed members who dutifully clean up after themselves. GASP!

And over here, you will see, INSTRUCTORS coaching! You may be there to support your child, loved one, family member etc etc etc. but please! For the love of all that’s sane, do not yell out instruction. There’s a reason we have coaches on the mats. No folks, this isn’t Barnum and Bailey’s it’s an honest to goodness BJJ academy.

Maybe I exaggerated quite a bit, but as I am a type-A OCD personality pointing out the importance of certain A,B,Cs of behavior which should be a no brainer, in my eyes, seems necessary.

No, I don’t own a gym. But I DO train. I appreciate that I have a clean, organized and orderly training center. I’m thankful that we have knowledgeable and dedicated instructors. Having basic respect for your training space shows that you have basic, at least, respect for your training partners, instructors and the owner. Serious.

In the words of black belt and Owner/Head Instructor of Triton Fight Center, Piet Wilhelm:
“I want to address a couple of things. I know some of you who run a BJJ academy can relate.

1. Training area is a designated area for training and PARTICIPANTS. If you are a parent or a spouse, your designated area is the WAITING area. If you would like to coach your child I suggest you mat your garage up and coach him yourself, but while you are at a training facility allow COACHES to coach. If you don’t trust your husband or wife to train with someone of the opposite sex and you have to look over them like a hawk, you have deeper issues that go beyond the mats and you should resolve them at home.

2. ANYTHING left over night will be thrown away. This is for sanitary reasons and having a sense of responsibility. If you can’t pick up after yourself here I assume your house probably reflects the same.

3. If you or your child has ring worm, staph, mersa, herpes, and other skin diseases that I can’t spell or pronounce keep your butt at home till it clears up. Covering it up with a piece of cloth is no different from having unprotected sex with a dirty sock. It doesn’t work!!! It doesn’t mean sit on the side of the mats or the lobby. It means stay home!!!

4. If you think you rate being promoted remember it isn’t a right. It is a privilege and it is at the discretion of the instructor. NOT the ibjjf, not some other instructor’s way, and most certainly not YOUR way. You pay tuition to be assessed and evaluated by that school or academy to make the determination as to when you are ready. Getting promoted in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just like any other profession. It is my profession. I didn’t go to law school and I didn’t set myself up to be a doctor, but if I did I would be evaluated and I would probably have to take a few test that I would have to pass.”

So please people, remember that where you train is the result of someone’s blood sweat and tears; their turning a dream into a reality; and imagine how you would feel if people continuously stomped all over it. Respect your space, your training partners, instructors and overall community.

It will make BJJ life run smoothly. I promise.


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