11 Aug 2010

  • Posted by Steve Spencer
  • Utah Jiu Jitsu Schools. How to choose the right one?

    Rather you call it Jujutsu, Jujitsu, Brazillian Jiu-jitsu, or BJJ, one fact we can likely all agree on is that there are an increasing number of solid Jiu Jitsu schools here in the Utah area.  The additional options, skill sets and insights really are a benefit to all of us.  But how do you know which school is really right for you?

    Well, for starters you have to ask yourself what you really want from Jiu Jitsu.  There are a few key areas that I think this is important:

    1- Atmosphere

    2- Level of competition

    3- Getting to the ground


    Different people crave different things from a Jiu Jitsu school.  Some crave the adrenaline and hard hitting action they can find at some of the MMA schools.  Others prefer a very child friendly, fun environment.  Still others may just being looking to get into shape, and develop some skills, and want to build camaraderie, but in a less competitive environment.  You need to understand what you really want from a school, and visit some of the schools to see which of these they really exhibit.  In my experience this will be key to you really sticking with it when you have those times when you are struggling (which we all have at times.)   Having a team that meets your psychological needs is key.

    Level of competition:

    Now, this is not exactly the same thing as rather or not the class environment is competitive.  It is more about what your intentions are with your skills.  You have to ask yourself what your goals are.  Do you want to get in shape?  Are you just looking to rough your brother in law up once in a while?  Self defense?   Or do you want to be able to compete effectively.  If you just want to get into shape, and limber up, than most any of the schools will be fine.  If you want to be competitive, then I would suggest that you look at a school that has instructors who have really competed at a national or international level.  Earning a black belt and learning to teach is very different than competing with the best and knowing what moves actually work well in the heat of competition.

    Getting to the ground:

    Most of Jiu Jitsu is on the ground.  But getting there in a dominant position is important as well.  It surprises me how many Jiu Jitsu schools start on the ground when they practice rolling.  but when they go to a competition they start on their feet.  If you want to be competitive I would suggest you either find a a school that teaches take downs well, or supplement your Jiu Jitsu with some other training that does.  Wrestling, especially Greco-Roman style or freestyle are good for your takedown game.  Sambo is another great option (although I don’t think we really have any Sambo schools in the valley.)  As most of you probably already know, I’m partial to Judo as a good form for getting the game to the ground.  I know that both Hidden Valley and Lehi teach both Judo and Jiu Jitsu.  If anyone is aware of any others that teach both styles, or mix in Greco or Sambo, please let us know.

    If you look closely at these three components when choosing your school, you should find yourself with a teacher that has the skills you want, an atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable and motivated, and a lot of people falling on the ground with you on top of them.

    Best of luck :)

    One Response to “Utah Jiu Jitsu Schools. How to choose the right one?”

    1. [...] Spencer It seems like even places that used to call themselves Karate, also now claim to teach BJJ.  How do you pick a good Utah Jiu Jitsu School?  This article might help. This entry was [...]

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