Finding the Right Instructor for BJJ Training

Finding the Right Instructor for BJJ Training

Finding the Right Instructor for BJJ Training

A BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) school is a great place to keep the body fit, learn self-defense, or become an MMA professional. With a good instructor, it is even possible to train and achieve the coveted black belt. 

Unfortunately, getting the best trainer among the many available is not always a walk in the park. With the wrong instructor, you may waste your money and time on someone who may not get you the best results, and who you will most likely end up changing.

Additionally, a bad trainer can make you hate BJJ training, no matter how interested you are. To avoid this happening, aim to pick the right instructor before committing to them.

How qualified is the instructor?

Although there are many BJJ training instructors that you will come across, many start training prematurely. For this reason, when looking for a trainer, qualifications can be a useful metric to go by. 

Belt rank

In BJJ, different belt colors indicate the skill level of the person wearing it. 

The black color belt is the highest level, and the rest of the colors descend to brown, purple, blue, and white. An ideal instructor is one with a black belt. 

A black belt means that the instructor has at least ten years of experience in BJJ. For this reason, they are better positioned to explain the concepts and details necessary for you to develop your skills. 

If you aren’t able to find an instructor with a black belt, a brown belt may be sufficient while you get started. However, an instructor with a lower belt color than this may not be experienced enough to provide comprehensive BJJ training. 

Teaching ability

The ability to train for BJJ is not the same as the ability to teach it. 

This means that while an instructor may have a black belt,  they might not have the skills needed to pass on this knowledge to others. 

You can determine the coach’s training ability by trying out a free trial class - many trainers offer these before you register. A helpful test can be to assess whether you easily understand all the information that the trainer gives you. 

If you find that you haven’t learned anything after the free introductory class, it may be better to look for another trainer with more experience in teaching. 

Personality and attitude

No matter how qualified and good a teacher a trainer is, if they aren’t passionate about BJJ, you may still find yourself losing your motivation to train. 

Passion is the fuel that drives you towards aiming for higher levels. Finding an enthusiastic trainer who is willing to give their best for their students’ success can be a great way to give you an extra boost. 

The positive personality and attitude of the trainer can help to inspire you and boost your zeal for BJJ. This way, you are better positioned to overcome any challenges you might face and to make good progress in your training.

Your personal preferences and requirements

When choosing a BJJ instructor, it can be helpful to consider the following personal preferences and requirements:

Your goals when starting the training

There are many reasons why you may want to take BJJ training. 

For instance, you may want to take part in training to learn self-defense, take part in MMA competitions, be a professional MMA fighter, or simply to have a fun hobby that will help you keep fit. 

Determining the reason for your training makes it easier for you to land a trainer who is best equipped to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you want to focus on learning self-defense, you may want to look for a trainer with self-defense skills in their curriculum. 

On the other hand, if you are training to be an MMA professional, looking for a professional MMA trainer may be a good move. 

Your current level

Not everyone on the hunt for a BJJ trainer is necessarily at the beginner level. 

If you already have some experience, then it can help to seek out a trainer with a higher belt color than your own. 

Additionally, you probably want them to have been practicing BJJ for longer than you - after all, you’re most likely hoping to learn new skills from them!

Your body type, gender, and age

Some trainers choose to only train specific genders, ages, or body types.

This is often based on both their skills and the equipment they use. For instance, certain weight levels are best suited to BJJ enthusiasts of certain weights and ages. 

Additionally, you might not want to be the only woman in a gym full of men - or vice versa!

Some BJJ trainers also specify the ideal age of the people they wish to train. With this in mind, it can help to find a trainer and gym that fits your specific needs. 


Your budget is always a big consideration before making any financial commitment, and your BJJ training ought to be no exception.

Therefore, before you sign a contract with any instructor, you will probably want to consider their rates and compare this to the amount you wish to spend. 

Additionally, remember that the price may not be limited to the enrollment fee or monthly class fee. 

Seminars to attend, supplies that you need to buy, and other expenses are also worth budgeting for. 

No matter how interested you are in BJJ training, you most likely don’t want to enroll in a training course that leaves you without the ability to cater to your other financial needs. 

School or center where the trainer teaches

More often than not, a trainer has a school, center, or gym which they either own or where they are employed. As long as you work with this trainer, you are a part of this gym.

When thinking about whether a gym or center is a good  fit for you, you may want to consider:

Gym location

Being consistent in your gym training is often necessary for you to improve your skills within a short time. 

To sustain this level of training, it can be best to choose a gym that isn’t too far from where you live or work. 

Bear in mind traffic and other transportation-related factors, and aim to select a center that provides a sustainable commute even in the long run. A gym that is an hour away may seem manageable initially but may become hard to sustain if life gets busier. 

Class size

Class size can have a huge impact on the success of your training. 

The ideal class size should likely not be overcrowded, but also not contain too few students. A class of about 15–30 students can be good, depending on the size of the room.

If there are too many students, it can become unmanageable and make it difficult for the trainer to give each student individual attention. On the other hand, too few students can mean that you may lack a training partner. 

At first, this may seem like a bonus since you get undivided attention from the instructor.

However, if it reaches the point where you are the only one who attended the class - and you have nobody to pair up with - you may find yourself wishing there were more people in the class. 

If there are only a few students in a class, this could also be a red flag indicating that the trainer is not equipped to teach BJJ.

Quality of the gym facilities

You will likely be spending a decent amount of time at your new gym, and so considering the facilities can be a good call. 

How is the hygiene of the gym? Are the bathrooms clean and orderly? Checking the showers and changing areas can help you to figure this out.

Are shared items, such as mats, regularly cleaned? 

If you plan on driving to the gym, does it provide parking? Is there a fee for this? 

If your chosen instructor only works at a gym that is in an inconvenient location, has less than ideal hygiene, or doesn’t match your travel arrangements, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Still not sure?

A good trainer can play a crucial role in providing you with quality and professional BJJ training. 

If you need a helping hand, reach out to the team at Wodify today for the best info about BJJ training services.

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