Reasons You Left Your Old Bjj School

For many of us, our bjj academy is a significant part of our lives.
Our sanctuary from the cares of daily life, where we go to test ourselves and our limitations, meet many of our closest friends.
The bond between instructor and student can be special and last a lifetime.

But not always so.
Sometimes students feel they need to leave their bjj academy and not always under the best circumstances.
They may not be comfortable to explain to the owner and instructor of the school why they needed to leave, but on a very interesting Bjj internet forum post, some students of bjj posted why they left bjj schools.

* The comments are from individual posters in the thread

1) My instructor left, I went with him. Fortunate enough my contract ended same time.

2) Left my first school when the instructor stopped turning up and I ended up covering loads of classes.
Decided I’d rather be at a school with a reliable instructor.

3) Left after getting blue belt due to relocation for a new job.
I still keep in touch with my first professor and his assistant instructor.

4) Became good friends with the instructor and was in the so-called “inner circle.”
Left after the relationship became more one-sided (what I could do for him). We had a heated discussion but are friendly when we bump into each other at tournaments.

5) The instructor left and closed the school.

6) The head coach likes to make it all a work out and heavy on cardio which is cool but I work out on my own and go there for the instruction on skill and technique not to lose weight.
It’ll be boxing class and the bjj right after which isn’t bad but he wears us out so much in the boxing class it’s hard to go right into bjj with a clear mind to grasp everything.
I wish he’d focus more on the skill training then the fitness.

7) Followed my gym to various locations until it finally moved too far for me on the other side of town.
Literally. I went there for a few months but it was just not financially viable.

8) Not enough classes, some clashed with work, and the classes started rather late for my liking.
I spoke to the instructor around adding more classes but he wasn’t interested

9) Was sick of teaching because he was out doing whatever. Sick of the pandering to brazos that didn’t care.

10) Moved far enough away and people were leaving as the bjj program took back seat to other more lucrative classes for the owner/instructor.
We had a monster squad too but everyone was looking to me and other Browns for input and fine tuning.
But that aside, if you’re the lead guy you MUST be there and roll if injury free. People left and competitors nearby saw an influx of competitive blues and purples.

11) My instructor had two locations . He rarely showed up out my location saying he was building the other location.
He was actually not at either location .he was out cheating on his wife

12) Everyone got hurt, very little was taught. Just hard rolling with untaught spazzes.
Recipe for injuries and attitudes. But it was 1997 and I couldn’t find anywhere else, so I stuck it out for something like 8 months.

13) Everyone was super nice, but information was hard to come by.
“Oh that guy knows the americana, ask him when he’s here.”
“Oh that guy knows side escapes, ask him when he’s here.”
And if you really want to learn, sign up for the semi-privates when the visiting instructor comes next weekend.
Again, everyone there was super friendly, but I wanted objectives, curriculum…a plan.

14) I was a broke college student, so it was impossible to shell out for visiting black belts regularly when I was already paying tuition.
I didn’t last more than a couple months.

15) My instructor that I was with for years ended up not teaching very often, never rolled because he was always hurt, constantly asking for money from his students to help him pay his bills, and slept with a number of members of the gym.

16) Old gym didn’t have nogi or mma classes. Talked to my coach and he recommended another gym. He was super cool about it.

An interesting glimpse into the REAL reasons why students leave a bjj academy.

Q: Why did you leave your old bjj academy?

On Jiu-jitsu Times A Reader Question: Instructors Behaving Badly


  1. What about not enough training partners? Sometimes an up and coming school can have a great teacher, but no students to roll with and test your technique… Is this bad to go to a school with not as great of a teacher, but a room full of knowledge from other upper belt students?

  2. when the graduation time started,passing from green belt to blue belt ,my instructor said that I needed to lose my fear of choking and blacking out,and that was one of his requirements for the graduation.
    I’ve earned my blue belt in another gym.

  3. I left because things changed. We used to work hard for promotions, and now they give out stripes and belts based on attendance cards. The promotions happen too fast and most of the students are over ranked. Other local schools were crushing us on the mats. I even heard one of our black belts was getting tapped by blue belts somewhere else. To me they lost their credibility and as a result, the core group of students left to go to other schools. I have always second guessed my belt ranking and have seriously considered wearing the belt below it when I start at the new academy…

  4. The owner was never there. He probably shows up around 3 times a year. When he was there classes were awesome but 3 days out of 365 is kind of ridiculous. Once the main instructor moved the gym became very MMA based. So if you didn’t fight or roll like a fighter you would always hear comments about your BJJ. When you preach fighting and self defense BJJ but you never teach it became less of a sanctuary and more of a problem. There was also no curriculum and lower belts had to fend for themselves. I learned more from MGINACTION than from coach. So we decided to leave, but we were fully open and honest about why we were leaving. The environment at the school has changed since then but after visiting other schools out of town and under a new professor for a while it’s hard to go back once you know how a Jiu-jitsu school is supposed to run and how awesome and welcoming the environment can be.

  5. 12 and 13. No teaching, hard rolling, everyone injured. I felt like bjj was neither sport nor self-defense; just plain therapy. Not what I was there for.

  6. i once told my ex instructor what some of our ex students and i felt on how we could better our training methods well he got defensive and said “they are wrong and i am right” couple months later at a tournament he yells at me in front of everyone at the tournament for no reason after i said ” hi” saying “wtf are you doing here” and that was my first tournament….than weeks later one of our newest students kills a man and robs him and tries to cover the murder. i have quit that place. i once use to love that gym, but now looking for a new place to train.

  7. #2 and #4 are prompting me to consider leaving. Kind of nervous about telling my instructor. He’s let me train for free during a period of unemployment, but his attendance is inconsistent, at best. There are plenty of other gyms with reliable instructors.

  8. other students only wanted to roll with people they knew. After being there for over 6 months nothing changed. When I asked an instructor how I can get better with private lessons he said “train at any other school that’s not competing with ours besides that I really don’t care what you do.” Needless to say I found another place to train and couldn’t be happier.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here