Once you have narrowed your selection, the time for the biggest step in the decision making process comes into play. Sit in on a class, greet the instructor, meet with the students and most importantly, ask questions. Pay attention to how well they relay the positional information and details, just because a person is a great competitor does not mean he wil be a great instructor. Get familiar with the structure of the class and try and become familiar with the order the class opertates in.
While teaching etiquette and knowledge may be one of the most important factors of selection, what good would those be without structure? Having a strong curriculum is an essential aspect of how and what you learn. When the instructor is teaching are the students engaged? When the students are drilling or sparring are they competitive, family-oriented, and laid-back? Depending on what you look for in a school, these are characteristics to keep an eye out for.
Aside from the people that make up the school, how clean and organized is the gym? Understandably, not every school you go to will be pristine, with white mats or white walls, but it’s a facility that forges blood , sweat (lots of it) and maybe even tears (not really). Quality matters when choosing a gym where you spend 99% of your time on the floor. The quality of mats, bathrooms, changing rooms (hopefully separate), and even showers (big plus if available). Don’t be shy to take a look around because after all, a clean and hygienic facility will contribute to the quality of your training and health.
Finally is the cost of the training; try to find a gym that fits in your budget while not lacking in proper instruction. Some facilities will advertise low rates year around and might have great instruction but not all the emenities of a larger gym. If you’ve done your research, observed the facility and have found a place to train, then ask yourself if the gym is worth the cost. It’s up to you at this point to figure if the value of your choice of school is going to be a bargain or not.
Make a wise choice and most importantly, take your time. Jiu-jitsu should be a lifetime investment so be patient and wise in your decision of your school; This could make all the difference in your journey. Regardless of your background, an initial investment for identifying an ideal school, whether starting out or moving to a new one, is to take the time to research and patiently, observe.