BJJ Poll: If You Could Turn Back the Clock and Start BJJ Again, Would You Begin Your Training at the Same BJJ School?

by Caleb on August 28, 2010

I was thinking the other day about how a certain percentage of BJJ practitioners end up changing schools. There are a handful of reasons why that happens. It’s not an everyday occurence though.

We’ve touched on how many people have changed their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in older BJJ Polls, but today’s poll is a little different twist. For many of us where we started our BJJ journey is a bit like being born – you look back and you have the parents you do because you have the parents you have! Many of us did not do a ton of research before beginning BJJ. We just walked in to the nearest (or only) school and got hooked. And so there we are.

But at some point in our BJJ careers, we have the chance and information to reflect and see that there might be more BJJ around than we knew about, and opportunities for different or better training environments. As such, what about you? If you could turn back time and start training jiu-jitsu somewhere else, would you change things?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

slideyfoot August 28, 2010 at 5:43 am

Given my location and finances at the time, both of which were then pretty good, I’ve got no regrets about starting at the Roger Gracie Academy. It has a well-developed beginners program, a broad range of training partners and a huge timetable, all of which were great for me and my situation at the time.

However, if this hypothetical question doesn’t restrict me to my own geographical area or time period, then I can think of several places I would have loved to have started at. Roy Dean’s school in Bend, Oregon would have been cool, as I really like Roy’s training methodology, his integrity, and his cerebral approach.

Another would have been Kev Capel’s RGA affiliate in Buckinghamshire. That didn’t exist when I started (though I’ve trained there for a few months in the past, and most likely will again in the future), but again, he’s another instructor I respect, due to both his character and teaching ability.

I’m also impressed by Gracie Barra Birmingham‘s structure: they don’t just spend the odd class on certain techniques, but, judging from the time I’ve spent there, they spend MONTHS, repeatedly looking into a sequence of related techniques over a sustained period. Which is really cool.

SkinnyD August 28, 2010 at 6:23 am

There are definitely other place I would heavily consider training in the future, but I had a very personalized start in BJJ and I feel grateful for that.

Meerkatsu August 28, 2010 at 7:54 am

My current place is absolutely the right place for me at this moment in time. But it has no specific beginners program and I wonder if I was a complete newbie, whether the prospect of facing blue, purple and browns every day would scare me a bit. I ticked the yes button in the end because there are so many other positives about the academy that I think I would quickly get over any beginner nerves.

Brian Linzy August 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

I don’t regret *where* I started, I regret *when* I started. If I could turn back the clock I’d turn it way back.

PhilQNY August 29, 2010 at 10:20 am

Being where I was at the time.. with my current academy not yet established I would have most definitely started where I did without any doubt.

BJJ is no different than life. We go through things and experiences and we learn to adapt.. expand.. with a fork stuck in the road.. we choose which way to go.. and how we want to take that path. In BJJ I learned invaluable lessons of life and of myself and still do since the very first step. Every person, place, and event shaped my way of perception since my first day stepping on to a mat. Everybody’s journey will be different, I respect that.

Desa August 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I started in early 2000 at a place with a (new) blue belt instructor. Tendon, ligaments and bones were fracturing, rupturing and snapping almost every session; not the best, or safest of academies but it was the only place.
In my case there were no other choices at the time, and any BJJ was better than none at all.

Frank August 31, 2010 at 6:59 am

I started at a club taught by a blue belt, and for what it was, it wasn’t bad. Still, I can only imagine how much better my jiu-jitsu would be today if I had started training at a serious academy. Regis Lebre was teaching only another 20 minutes down I-95 and was training under a blue belt. What was I thinking?

ninjamurf August 31, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I second Brian Linzy’s thoughts. When I get home I have a big smile on my face, but my muscles ache and my bones creak and I think, “why the hell didn’t I start this 20 years ago?”

Stephanie September 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Brian Linzy nailed it.

I would hands down, no questions asked with out a doubt start at the same school. I would change WHEN I started. =)

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: