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How to Pick The Right BJJ or MMA Gym

Finding the right gym isn’t always easy, but you need to take the time and do it.

Your training environment will play a massive role in your development as a fighter, long-term motivation, and consistency. Find the right gym, and you can become a fantastic BJJ or MMA fighter.

To that end, we’ve outlined some of the most important things you should consider when looking for a good BJJ or MMA gym. Let’s dive in.

1. Convenience

Whether we like it or not, convenience plays a role in our long-term adherence. The more difficult it is to do something, the less likely we are to be consistent. In contrast, by making something more accessible, we are more likely to keep up with it and be successful.

Here, you need to look at:

  • How close the gym is to your home or workplace

  • Are the working hours suitable for you

2. The Instructor

When researching for a potential gym, it’s important to know who your instructor is going to be. Specifically, you should consider the instructor’s belt rank, reputation, and competition record.

Your instructor should have at least a black belt. Under normal circumstances, going from white to black belt takes ten years, which means the person has put considerable time and effort.

Next, we need to consider the instructor’s reputation. What are they known for? What reviews do they get online? What do people say? These are all important things to consider when choosing someone as your instructor, be it in MMA or BJJ.

And finally, what’s the instructor’s competitive record? There are plenty of outstanding coaches with a modest competitive history. But if you aspire to compete yourself, this is something to keep in mind.

Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Jeff Martin
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Santa Clarita

3. The Other Students

You can have fantastic sessions with various training partners - both smaller and bigger than you. But your prospective gym needs to have students with a similar build to you.

People of average weights and heights find the right fit quickly. But if you’re larger or smaller than average, you might find it challenging to fit in. For example, if you’re incredibly tall and heavy, and the closest person is 50 pounds lighter, you might find yourself bored after a while.

4. And Finally - The Atmosphere

This is more of a subjective factor, but one you need to consider. As you walk into a gym, what does your gut say? Do you find the atmosphere uplifting and motivating or intimidating and discouraging?

BJJ and MMA training should be fun and encouraging - that’s the only way for you to fit in and enjoy the process truly. If not, you’ll quickly lose motivation and begin to ask yourself, “Why do I even bother?”


Picking the right gym can be difficult. There are many options to choose from, and you might find yourself drifting aimlessly for months before you truly find a gym you enjoy going to.

If you live in the Santa Clarita area, come down to Dream Martial Arts and Fitness. We offer a friendly atmosphere, fun classes, guidance in various disciplines, and options for all ages.

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