Here’s What You Need To Know Before You Move To Another Gym

Photo/Pixabay: abelleee

I often peruse the Reddit-gram-book for inspiration, looking for jiu-jitsu discussions that speak to me on a personal level.  Two hours ago, a redditor white belt who goes by Rio-sa8 posted this question about whether or not they should move to another gym:

Advice on whether I should change Gyms or Not? from bjj

“Okay, here’s the deal, there’s gonna be a new UFC Gym opening here in Perth, the costs are far cheaper, and it has a great facility plus a large Gym Area. I’ve been training at a very small gym the past 4 months, and have become very close to my instructor, who I don’t want to leave, our BJJ classes are very very small, around 2/3 people average every class, and it seems that it’s only me and this other guy that regularly show up. The downside is my Gym’s facilities are not great, they’re pretty bad to be fair, there’s a very small Gym area, and there aren’t many classes, the price is super expensive at 42.5$ a week compared to the UFC gym at 30$ a week

I dont want to leave my master tho the cheap price, along with many different classes and a good gym facility at the UFC gym really allures me. What should I do?”

I will do my best to answer this based on my experience.

For starters, let’s be clear: there are no “friends” in business.  You can feel close to your coach, but if he is charging you more money for less service than another option, it is entirely your right to assess that other option and make the move if it is in fact better for you.

If you rely on a gym’s facilities to determine which gym you pick over which you pass by, you may be missing out on hidden gems in jiu-jitsu.  The quality of a gym’s facilities is a valuable factor, but if you’re interested in learning the most refined and technical jiu-jitsu, focus less on the changing area and more on the quality of the instruction.  If you’re showing up and there are 2/3 people in every class, that means that you are receiving what is essentially a private lesson every class, and if the instructor is worth their salt that means you are going to progress much faster than in a class where the instructor may not even know who you are.

Make sure that you assess the legitimacy of the UFC Gym’s instructor before you move.  Off the top of my head I know of at least three very legitimate black belts who teach at UFC Gyms, but there was this video floating around a while back that makes me always leery of a UFC Gym:

Bottom line: check the instructor’s credentials before even considering a move.

On a personal note: I teach both at my gym and at another gym. When I teach at my gym, classes usually have over 15 students; when I teach in the other training environment, I have three to five people on average and am able to pay a lot more attention to each student.  My intentions are good, and I want to help everyone in the bigger class, but my time divided among fewer people means each person gets more of it.  On the other hand, the variety of training partners and mixed levels therein is a valuable feature in and of itself, and of course the facilities are a very tangible difference.

It’s a tough situation for sure.  I’ve trained in holes in the wall and I currently train at the nicest training facility in town, but I know that every training environment has its advantages and disadvantages.  Take an honest look at the situation.

One option is to check out the other gym, see what the vibe is like there, see how the class flows there, and research the instructor.  If all seems better than your current training environment, speak with your current coach candidly.  A move can be uncomfortable but it can also be very necessary for growth.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here