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Taking the first step

Taking the first step


So, your friend invited you to come try a class?  Maybe you saw something on YouTube or social media that made you decide to research local academies.  Maybe you are looking for a weight loss option that isn’t boring. Maybe you want to learn to defend yourself.  Regardless of the why, you have decided to take the first step, congratulations! We can’t wait for you to join us on the mats, and support you in your journey of health, happiness and success, on and off of the mats.

I am certain there are conflicting opinions on this, however, when choosing where you want to train, I don’t think it is necessary to check out multiple academies before committing to one.  Obviously, if you are not thrilled by the first one you check out, that’s not the right option and you should go to another, but if you fell at home at the first place you go, then I don’t think it’s worth the time to check out other options.  

If you are taking your first step, you might as well start off with a JUMP START! Click Learn More!



When I made the decision to train, I went to check out an academy that had decent reviews.  It was a terrible experience. It was a 2 hour sales pitch on how tough the instructor was, and how no one trains as much as him and hard sales tactics to try to get you to sign up that day.  I was majorly turned off by the experience and left unsure that I wanted to train at all. Close to a year later I found the academy that I am proud to call home. I’ll never forget the interaction; it was simple and pleasant.  I showed up and was greeted with a friendly smile and a brotherly handshake. I was given clear direction as to what to expect and what to do until class started. I attended the class and was partnered with someone who had been training for a long time so they were able to give me the extra attention I required as a brand new student.  When it was all done, they thanked me for coming, asked me what I thought about everything and left it with “I hope to see you back on the mats bro”. With that I left to go home feeling great about the night. I signed up immediately. Never feeling pressured, or that I was just a tuition payment for the owner.

It takes a special group of people to crush your ego, showing you that you don’t actually know anything about fighting and you’re not a tough guy, all while helping you begin to learn the fundamentals of self defense.  It’s a humbling and empowering experience, as you know if you have already started your journey, and you will soon find out if you are about to take the first steps.

Depending on your “why” there may be some things you want to look for in an academy to help narrow the choices if you live in an area where Jiu Jitsu is already very popular, and the market is saturated with options.

For example, if you’re a female looking to learn self defense (maybe as a result of an attack or domestic situation) you may be interested, and more comfortable starting your training off with a women’s only class.  It might be more comfortable to learn the fundamentals initially with other females and building your confidence in your capabilities prior to testing the techniques out on the guys in the academy. While I fully support women’s only classes, I think there is a ton of value in live training with males, as well as bigger and stronger opponents of both genders.  I think this is important because if self defense is what’s driving you, you need to not just think you can defend yourself, you need to know that if someone 50 pounds heavier than you attacks you, you have a plan; a plan you have practiced many times and are prepared to employ in real life if necessary.

Maybe you are more concerned with overall fitness and learning Jiu Jitsu is a side effect of your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.  If this is your “why” you will likely want to look for an academy that has a structured warm up before each class and offers many opportunities to train live (roll).  While drilling during class can be taxing on your cardio and burn a healthy number of calories, there isn’t much that compares to the calories burned during a live roll.  These rounds can burn hundreds of calories per hour and help you reach your fitness goals even faster.

If your plan is to try your hand at fighting mixed martial arts, then you obviously will want to find an academy that offers that type of training, or possibly consider training at multiple academies if that makes sense.  This might be a good option if there is a really good Jiu Jitsu academy that you love but doesn’t have a solid striking program or vice versa. In this situation you may need to try various academies to find the mix of what you are looking for.  

Regardless of what , don’t let anything get in the way of getting on the mats.  The right academy is out there, and we want you on the mats with us. The right academy will make you feel like family, all while pushing you to achieve more than you ever knew possible.  The right academy will draw you there even when you don’t “feel” like training. The right academy exists, and we can’t wait to have you on the mats with us.


Taking the first step can be the most difficult part of your Jiu-Jitsu Journey. John Danaher can help you go FURTHER, FASTER!!! 



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