If you look at many of the Jiu Jitsu monster factories in Brazil, many are unassuming spaces with nothing more than aged mats, a tough and wise Black Belt and a legion of students who train hard each day to advance their skills. While this works for most schools, many schools are adding extra ammenities and features to their gym in order to attract and retain students. Here is a list of 10 amenities that students want at a BJJ academy.
Showers: This is huge in both avoiding nasty skin infections and also cleaning up to go towork after a morning or lunch time workout. If a school did not have showers, students working out before or during work hours would be much more difficult. Students would have to rely on washing themselves off in front of a sink, make a trip home or to another gym to shower, or go to work smelly or sweaty. Having showers at a gym is a major convenience for your members.
Parking: If you live in a major city, parking at any office complex, shopping center, or park is a premium. Having easy and free parking available will help students get to class on time, reduce the anxiety of driving around the perimeter of the school looking for parking, and be a major competitive advantage over a competing gym that has very limited or no parking spaces available to students during peak hours.
Laundry Service: Ever leave a gym bag with a sweaty gi in your car during the summer? It can leave your car smelling pretty funky. More BJJ gyms are offering laundry service to their customers for an additional $30 to $50 per month. Imagine walking into your gym before each workout and being handed a laundry bag with a fresh, clean gi, rashguard, and belt and then being able to throw your sweat soaked gear into a bin at the end of the class without having to worry about washing it. Pretty cool perk to have at a gym.
Online Videos of Curriculum: Sometimes life gets in the way of BJJ. More and more BJJ academies are posting videos of their curriculum online so students can either catch up or review the techniques taught in the classes at home. This can be as basic as the instructor filming the techniques while teaching a class and posting it on YouTube or Facebook or giving students free or discounted access to an instructor’s online site.
Caffeine and Snacks: Students are likely exhausted after a long day at work and a tough commute through rush hour traffic to the gym. Having caffeinated drinks and healthy snacks like protein bars and fruit can help energize a student prior to class.
First Aid Trained Staff: Accidents will happen in contact sports like martial arts. Having a staff trained in first-aid and CPR will give students piece of mind in case a worst case scenario occurs. Also, having a defibrillator at the school is a plus just in case a student in class does go into cardiac arrest.
Big Screen TV: Dan Lukehart of Brea BJJ has a huge big screen TV mounted on the wall of his academy. He uses the TV to breakdown video with students and to demonstrate how techniques are used by high level competitors. The use of video during classes is starting to grow in BJJ and having a big screen TV comes in handy for both class and viewing parties for BJJ events like ADCC, EBI, and Polaris.
WiFi: Handy perk for parents waiting while their kids take classes. Nowadays, many parents will use their phones and iPads to pass the time or catch up on business. A strong wifi signal is a nice perk for parents who are the key decision maker in wear their child trains. Keeping the parents happy while their children train is very important in the success of any kids program.
Weights and Kettle Bells: Once a strong BJJ program is established, other classes and amenities such as a Versa Climber, Aerodyne Bikes, weights, kettle bells and plyometric equipment can make a gym a one-stop shop for the students’ training and fitness needs. As students advance and are looking to improve their strength and conditioning, having classes and equipment can be a key differentiator and benefit for students who want to push themselves to the next level.
Ice Baths: If you go to any training room in the NFL or college sports, athletes are taking the plunge into ice baths after rigorous training sessions in order to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery. If a school offered $10 ito $15 ce baths, which consists of a large plastic tub from a hardware store, ice from an ice machine, and water, it could be a major perk and revenue stream for a school.
Can you think of other amenities schools your school should add?