Rener Gracie: “If You Feel Like You Have To ‘Survive’ Your School, You’re At The Wrong School”

Photo/Instagram: renergracie

A bad experience at a jiu-jitsu academy can sour the entire sport for a student who doesn’t realize that there better options out there. Unfortunately, many new BJJ students don’t know what’s normal and healthy at a jiu-jitsu academy and what’s toxic and even dangerous, and the time they spend training in an environment that doesn’t suit their needs may turn them away from jiu-jitsu forever.

One jiu-jitsu student found themselves in that very predicament when they messaged Rener Gracie.

“Rener, I’m a big fan and follow your brother and you on YouTube. Gracie breakdown. I’m just starting back with jiu-jitsu. I have gone twice in the past and quit. The school I go to is a tough competitive school that seems more tournament based and I get smashed a lot. I’m not afraid to get hurt but feel like I need to keep up with everyone to get promoted. Some days I feel like a sparring dummy/victim. What do you recommend in how to survive a school like this and not quit.”

Gracie responded:

“If you feel like you have to ‘survive your school’ you’re at the wrong school. Tell me what city you’re in, and let’s work together to devise a plan that will save your jiu-jitsu future. If we don’t figure this out, you’ll end up quitting for the third (and not likely final) time.”

Gracie’s advice has been widely praised by instructors and students alike, with many recalling their own experiences at BJJ schools that were a poor fit before moving onto more suitable gyms.


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