It can be a bit unnerving and intimidating to try out a martial art for the first time or to find a new gym if you’ve moved somewhere new. You want to find the right community and also there is a commitment of time and finances so making sure you have confidence you made the right choice will also decrease anxiety.
Some will come ready with a list of questions, while others will just ask to sit in and watch a class before officially going in to start. There are 5 things to consider on whether or not a gym might be the right fit for you.
PRESSURE SALES TACTICS
Gyms that offer ways to get to know the community through trials are a good way to find out if the programs and people fit your taste. Having these trial periods offered with no immediate sign up or pressure sales tactics to sign up straight after the first session are a good way to understand the tone of the gym.
-We’ve heard some horror stories!
Any good BJJ and martial arts gym should respect that the decision to commit to a BJJ gym membership is one that needs a bit of consideration. Gyms that either offer no trial options or are just push you to sign before even attending class are ones to be wary of. Use it as a warning sign that they are likely unable to hold onto their students and must resort to more aggressive methods of retention. This is the same with gyms with big contracts where they lock you in for 12 months or more and have large penalties for breaking contract.
It is important to consider whether or not a gym suites your needs before signing up to something more committal. At Kaizen, we offer a three-class pass, a casual-class pass and ten-class passes (which runs over the course of three months). This provides you with greater flexibility if you’re looking to try the martial arts programs on offer like Brazilian Jiujitsu and Muay Thai but also get to know the community and Coaches,
People are the heart and soul of a gym. The people ARE the culture and here at Kaizen Lab Jiujitsu we are blessed to have a community of friendly, welcoming and helpful members and Coaches. The last thing you want is to walk into your first class and find they are stand-offish, arrogant and selfish in their training. Sharing a training space with people who you don’t get along with makes training a chore and also difficult to want to commit your previous time to. These people at the gym are like extended family and are people you will likely be spending time training and talking with quite a bit for the future. They are the ones who will be building you up, supporting and encouraging you to keep going. Don’t settle for less.
SAFE TRAINING ENVIRONMENT
Brazilian Jiujitsu and Muay Thai especially are physically demanding combat martial arts and require a focus on safety in a training environment. A few good things to understand are if the Instructors or Coaches mentored and supervised by the Head Coach during class to ensure members as well as Coaches are performing the drills safely. Do the Coaches demonstrate and explicitly mention how to participate and drill a particular technique safely and continue to supervise the class.
Particularly with having members of all different backgrounds, Kaizen Lab Jiujitsu Coaches emphasise participation by each member in a way to ensure comfort and safety while training. As we all know, BJJ and Muay Thai are martial arts typically dominated by men, which is why we also have a culture of allowing women to decide who they feel comfortable training with and if they are new, assigning a buddy system to ensure their training experience is a positive one. We also provide a ladies-only class on Thursday nights for any women that feel more comfortable training between themselves (we also strongly encourage this for women who need some warming into the Jiu-jitsu landscape!).
HIGH LEVELS OF HYGIENE
Martial arts training is no tea party. It gets sweaty and hot very quick. You and your training partners are in close quarters for most of that time and so you want to ensure there is a culture and close observation to personal hygiene on and off the mats. Each night, between classes at Kaizen, we are washing our mats to make sure we provide optimal hygiene at our gym.
Any good gym should also strongly encourage proper hygiene maintenance amongst our gym goers as well to ensure we are setting a higher standard where all members can feel that cleanliness is valued here. This could include the use of proper equipment such as wearing clean uniforms such as Gi’s and training apparel for Muay Thai. The use of your own gloves and shin pads for Muay Thai are also the norm as sharing such personal equipment and apparel in the long term is not encouraged.
FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE REVIEWS
Reviews are an important aspect of deciding a gym as it tells you what the community and other visitors have to say about the establishment. Sure you get some skewed perspectives occasionally but what you also get is a great understanding of the experiences from the reviews. Look for what people are saying in common about the place and from there you can start to gather an opinion. At Kaizen Lab Jiujitsu we have worked hard to obtain a 5-star Google and Facebook reviewed gym. We pride us on our positive gym culture, knowledgeable instructors and welcoming atmosphere, among other things. It’s all about what other people are saying!
Thinking about trying out our gym? Book our three-class pass to try both Muay Thai and Brazilian jiujitsu classes. We’re in the gym during classes if you have any questions or feel free to send any queries through to our email firstname.lastname@example.org.