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Is it OK To Train At Other Jiu Jitsu Academies?

Imagine you're in a salsa class, but suddenly feel an itch to try out the tango studio next door. Should you do it? Swap out saksa with Jiu-Jitsu, and you’ve got the dojo equivalent of a daytime soap opera, filled with drama, tension, and the eternal question: to train or not to train at another gym?

So, you're paying your dues, you're showing up for classes, and you're thinking, "Hey, it's my time, my money, I can tango if I want to!" And technically, you're not wrong. But then again, don't you owe some allegiance to your salsa mates? Welcome to the conundrum that is loyalty in the martial arts universe.

Should You Be Loyal to a BJJ Gym?

Picture the loyalty scale. On one side, you've got the 'Dojo Hermit,' so devoted that even uttering the name of another coach feels like a cardinal sin. On the other end, there's the 'Gym Hopper,' so fickle they might switch dojos mid-roll. Neither of these extremes look particularly fun, so how about we aim for that sweet spot in the middle?

Now, I'm not saying you need to chain yourself to your dojo. On the contrary, cross training at different academies—especially while traveling—is like adding extra spices to your Jiu-Jitsu stew. Yum! But be a bit cautious when it comes to dabbling with the rival dojo in your hometown.

Believe it or not, this whole issue is less about where you're landing submissions and more about keeping up appearances. A lot of coaches aren't too keen on seeing their students showing some of their most prized techniques to another gym across town. I mean, it feels a bit like seeing your partner dancing with someone else at the prom—ouch!

But let's be real: it's not where you train, it's who you train with that counts. If you're not vibing with your current dojo or coach, you might need to start looking elsewhere. Loyalty is a two-way street.

Remember, being loyal is not about pretending to love your dojo even if you don't. It's about being genuine in your dedication. It's okay to have training buddies outside of your dojo, just be wary about 'crossing the dance floor' with a rival gym.

Each dojo has its own vibe, and some places like Brazil, they take their Jiu Jitsu loyalty very, very seriously—strictly no cross training in a lot of gyms around there! Some academies require you to wear their gi, while others are a free for all. That's the beauty of Jiu Jitsu, there is no right or wrong way to approach it.

To wrap it up, think of loyalty in Jiu-Jitsu as a dance. It's about having respect for your partner, enjoying the music, and learning to move with grace. When you're traveling, don't miss the chance to tango, waltz, or even breakdance! But remember, respect the dance floor and the masters who guide you.

Jiu Jitsu legend Dean Lister stopped by Gold BJJ HQ to discuss this topic on our YouTube channel. Check it out here: