Visitor Etiquette At BJJ Gyms
Keep These In Mind To Have The Best Time On Your Visit!
The widespread availability of Jiu Jitsu, even on the global scale, makes it interestingly wonderful to visit other academies while one is travelling on vacation or for work. Even visiting other gyms in your locale can be fun and beneficial as you get to train with new people and learn from other instructors. With that being said, there is some important etiquette to be understood by visitors so as to not embarrass themselves or upset the gym they are visiting.
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The first important part of visiting gyms is that is always best to contact them at least a few days before, letting them know who you are and how long you are visiting for. This would be a good time to ask about visitor fees and specific rules and guidelines. You should also ask about which classes or open mats are best to attend and always ask for the classes that are most populated for a fun experience.
It's important to know that some academies have specific rules about apparel like only wearing white gis, having no patches, or if they only do no-gi. Although these academies are rare, it is best to be prepared and pack the proper gear. When at the academy you are visiting, try to introduce yourself to everyone so as to build your Jiu Jitsu network. This can be especially beneficial if it is a gym you will visit often.
Probably one of the biggest aspects of visitor etiquette is regarding how you roll with students at the gym you visit. If you try to kill everyone, they probably won’t appreciate it very much. Not all academies are loaded with ferocious competitors and it would be abhorrently rude to treat everyone as such.
Finally, and this one is humorously frustrating, is the visitor that tries to teach everyone something while rolling or during a class. Unless you are teaching a seminar or are a highly decorated grappler, there is no need for you to become a visiting self-proclaimed instructor. It is demeaning to the current academies’ instructors and you will probably be made fun of later any way.
Fortunately, most Jiu Jitsu academies are wonderful places and are not dictatorial in nature. Almost everyone you meet will be cool and the instructor’s will be good. I highly recommend visiting for all students for both the cultural benefit but also is a way to improve.