What to look for when getting into BJJ?

#1
Talk to me about selecting a BJJ gym and/or trainer. I currently work as a Corrections Officer in a small county facility but am in the process of transitioning over to a city PD of 60 sworn serving roughly 60k citizens. Other than the defensive tactics training I received in the academy last year (which was the bare minimum required by the state) I have not had any training in DT/Grappling/Suspect Control. I have seen a lot of stuff on social media and the internet about how much of a benefit knowing BJJ has been to some officers when it comes to making arrests, defending themselves, etc, so I decided to get into it to improve my skills and confidence. What are things to look for? What should throw up flags? I have looked into this a little bit but assume I know nothing about it.
 

Grizzly

Regular Member
#2
Here are two good podcats from P&S about bjj:

Based on those and some other podcasts I started BJJ in January. Scott J. was helpful weeding through local gyms as well.

The high points for me were:
1. Has a black belt in the gym (our lead instructor was 2 months from black and was affiliated with a experienced black belt)
2. Understanding of my goals. I talked to the instructors for a while discussing that BJJ Gi tournaments weren't my goal bad guy control/self defense were primary. They were 100% on board with this. The lead guy does bjj work with the local police and they have a strong no-gi class so it fit very well.
3. Location was somewhere I could make regular classes with out destroying the rest of my life. Lets be honest if it is easier to go you are more likely to go.
 
#3
I’ll check those modcasts, thanks. I found a guy that’s close to me that says the instructor has done classes for .mil/leo but his website doesn’t say who or where he got his belt under. Planning on asking him about it when I contact him tomorrow.
 
#4
Almost all legit gyms will give you some type of free trial to check the place out. Some are a week, some will do up to 30 days. In those days things you want to look for:
1. Is the gym clean and do people wash their gi and gear?
2. Does the instructor roll train with students? Maybe not all the students but at least train on a regular basis. Some older instructors may be selective who they roll with, but they should be rolling still.
3. Can the Instructor clearly explain his/her lineage?
4. They don't dismiss Sport BJJ/Modern BJJ and they don't dismiss the Self-Defense/MMA component of BJJ. They should be able to talk, train, and understand all aspects of the Art.
5. Does the gym have an open door policy? The best gyms I have been around, and what I promote at my place, are open door. You regularly see them hosting high-level visitors and have visiting instructors in.