Visiting Other Academies While Traveling
One of the best things about BJJ is that you can find academies all over the world. Traveling away from home doesn’t require you to take time away from training. In fact, visiting other academies while you are on the road is a great way to meet cool people who share your interests all over the world. I never leave on a trip without packing my gi and belt.
Here are a few steps to take when training abroad!
Step 1: Get Recommendations on Schools to Visit
A few days before I leave, I usually post on Facebook asking for recommendations on schools to visit in the city I am traveling to. If you have a large network of friends who train BJJ, it is more than likely a few of your friends will be familiar with that city and will be able to recommend specific schools they like. Don’t do social media? Just ask your training partners or coaches if they have any recommendations. While you don’t need to be referred to a school to visit, it always makes me feel more comfortable walking into a place if I know it’s been recommended by people I trust!
Step 2: Call to Ask About the Schedule and Drop-In Fee
Most academies do post their schedule of classes on their website, but it’s always good to call ahead and confirm the class times. This is especially important if you are traveling during the holidays, because many schools will have a modified schedule. It’s also a good idea to ask ahead of time if there will be a drop-in fee to train. Not all academies charge drop-in fees to travelers; when they do it is usually on the order of $15-$30 per day.
It should also be noted that a few of the more traditional schools might have rules about what color gi you can wear, with some schools only allowing white or blue gis. Ask if there are any rules about the uniform so you know which gi to pack!
Step 3: Prepare to Represent Easton
Remember that any time you visit another school, you are an ambassador for your home academy. Arrive on time, be respectful, and above all else be a good training partner. When you are a visitor to another academy, this is not the time to try to smash your training partners or “prove” yourself. While it is fine to roll hard with people of your same size and rank, it is best to let your training partner set the pace. You should travel with your gi but leave your ego at home.
Step 4: Train!
This is the easy part; you already know how to do this. Have fun and enjoy the gift of jiu jitsu!
Step 5: Meet People
The best part of visiting other schools is the opportunity to meet other BJJ practitioners from all over the country (or world!). So stick around after class to chat with people. Connect on social media and invite them to visit Easton if they are ever in Colorado. You are helping build a global jiu jitsu community!
Step 6: Write A Review
After visiting an academy, I always take the time to write them a review on Yelp and Facebook. This is a nice courtesy to the school that welcomed you in to train.
Enjoy your travels!