A beginners guide to BJJ: What to look for when searching for a gym

Written October 31

Finding the right Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) gym is crucial for your learning experience, safety, and overall satisfaction. Here are our top ten considerations when looking for a BJJ gym:

1. Instructor’s Credentials: Research the instructor’s credentials, including their rank, lineage, and competition experience. A well-qualified instructor is essential for proper training.

2. Facility Cleanliness and Safety: The gym should be clean, well-maintained, and equipped with proper safety gear. Hygiene and safety protocols should be followed diligently.

3. Class Atmosphere: Visit a class if possible to gauge the atmosphere. It should be supportive, respectful, and encouraging, fostering a positive learning environment.

4. Class Schedule and Flexibility: Ensure the class schedule fits your availability. A gym with various class times offers flexibility, allowing you to attend sessions according to your schedule.

5. Student Body and Skill Levels: Consider the diversity of the student body in terms of ages, genders, and skill levels. Training with a diverse group enhances your learning experience.

6.  Focus on Fundamentals: A good gym emphasizes fundamental techniques, ensuring that beginners receive proper foundational training before moving on to advanced techniques.

7.  Injury Prevention and First Aid: Inquire about the gym’s approach to injury prevention and their knowledge of first aid. A responsible gym should have safety measures in place and staff trained in basic first aid.

8.  Inclusive Culture: Look for a gym that promotes an inclusive culture, where everyone is respected regardless of their background, gender, or physical abilities.

9. Trial Classes and Membership Options: Many gyms offer trial classes. Take advantage of this to assess the teaching style, class atmosphere, and whether you feel comfortable. Also, check the membership options and pricing to ensure they fit your budget.

**10.  Reputation and Reviews: Research the gym’s reputation and read reviews from current and former members. Online platforms and social media can provide valuable insights into the gym’s quality of training and the experiences of other students.

Remember, choosing a BJJ gym is a personal decision. Trust your instincts, visit different gyms if possible, and ask questions. The right gym will provide a supportive and enriching environment for your BJJ journey.


Just beginning BJJ can be overwhelming for a lot of people. Attending your first few classes can be daunting not to mention remembering all the fundamental BJJ techniques. We have put together some quick cliff notes on the top 10  moves that will assist you as you start your practice.

Note it’s essential to practice these techniques under the supervision of a qualified instructor to ensure proper form and safety.

1. Mount: The mount position is when you’re on top of your opponent with your knees on either side of their torso. It’s a dominant position where you can control your opponent’s movements and strike if allowed.

2. Guard: The guard is when you’re on your back with your legs around your opponent, controlling their posture. There are various types of guards in BJJ, such as closed guard (legs fully wrapped around opponent) and open guard (feet on opponent’s hips or thighs).

3. Side Control: Side control is when you’re on top, perpendicular to your opponent, controlling their upper body. Your chest and hips are pressing against their torso, making it difficult for them to escape.

4. Mount Escape: When your opponent is mounted on you, one fundamental escape is the bridge and roll. You bridge your hips upward, trap one of their arms, and roll them over your shoulder, reversing the position.

5.  Guard Sweep: From the guard position, a sweep involves off-balancing your opponent and taking them from the top position to the bottom. Common sweeps include the scissor sweep and the hip bump sweep.

6. Rear Naked Choke: This submission involves wrapping your arm around your opponent’s neck, securing the hold with your other arm. It restricts blood flow to their brain, leading to a choke if applied correctly.

7.  Armbar: An armbar involves controlling your opponent’s arm, extending it, and hyperextending their elbow joint. This is a common submission achieved from various positions, including the mount and guard.

8. Triangle Choke: From the guard, you can trap your opponent’s head and arm using your legs to form a triangle shape. By applying pressure with your legs, you can cut off their blood supply, leading to a choke.

9. Kimura Lock: The Kimura is a shoulder lock that involves isolating your opponent’s arm, usually from the side control position, and applying pressure to their shoulder joint. This technique can be used to submit or control your opponent.

10. Scissor Sweep: From the guard position, the scissor sweep involves using your legs to off-balance your opponent and sweep them onto their back. It’s a fundamental sweep that helps you reverse the position and gain the top control.

Remember, consistent practice, proper technique, and attending classes under the guidance of experienced instructors are essential for mastering these BJJ moves effectively and safely.

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