Article translated from Spanish to English with the agreement of the excellent Spanish language BJJ website PasandoGuardia.com
Photo by Arik Dao.
Many people when they stop seeing a training partner or when an instructor stops seeing his student coming often, ask themselves ‘What happened, why did they stop training?’
Before calling a student a “Creonte” we have to ask what made them leave the academy. Here some of the most common reasons on why a student leaves his academy:
1 – LACK OF CLEANLINESS
It’s true, not all of us are in the same tune, some only want mats to learn without bothering about the rest, but not all of us are the same. There are gyms where the mats are never cleaned, you can find several people’s hair around, the toilets don’t work and you can find unpleasant “surprises” when you enter it. The hygiene isn’t only for the academy but also for the students when its more than 1 person that does not wash their gis etc, simply when everything comes together it’s a strong reason for why some students leave. This is even more common for female students.
RECOMMENDATION: a humble academy isnt’t synonymoys of a dirty academy. You have to clean it daily and make sure your students also do their part.
2- FEW LESSONS
When a student is there to learn, gets addicted to jujitsu and has free time, he will want to train as much as possible. There are still many schools where classes are held 3 times a week and only once a day. Maybe that’s perfect for any kind of people who are satisfied with that, or if unable to attend once you are happy with training only twice. There are students that aren’t satisfied, they are hungry for learning, doing drills, etc .. If his academy is closed he will look for another where he can advance more.
RECOMMENDATION: If you as a teacher can not be there for his work, it is advisable to have an assistant (maybe that student) and start one or two extra lesson with your most advanced student.
3- CLOSE MINDEDNESS
Another reason why students leave the academy is often the instructor may have a closed mind, both for techniques, as well as to what happens in the environment of the current jujitsu scene. One example that recently was expressed to us by a message, was a case where the academy did not open on Saturdays, but the instructor had prohibited the students to go to any open mat and seminars with teachers from other teams.
RECOMMENDATION: “Let the children play” A teacher with an open mind will always have more students than one with a closed mind (unless there is no other school in the city). To the student it is good to ask before you go. Your teacher will thank you.
4- ROTTEN APPLES
Many times in a school there can be a student or a few who often bully the rookies (we have to differentiate hard rolling and bullying) and don’t let go of submissions when someone taps, puts them to sleep or really goes hard on them. This can make new students want to leave the classes or even worse to make them disappointed about Jiu-Jitsu.
RECOMMENDATION: The teacher must know that the behavior of his students are a reflection of himself. If the teacher lets them do that, he probably also does it himself. The teacher should try to keep everything in harmony and the students’ egos in place.
5- LACK OF COMPETITION TEAM
It is true that not all want to compete, not everyone has the dream of being a world champion. But not having a team or class directed to competition can make that student who wishes to do so go where he can actually find it.
RECOMMENDATION: Talk to the students who are committed so that you can lead them to reach that level.
6- CHANGE OF CITY
What can you do, when a person must go, they will. It is always good to keep a good relationship and wish them fairwell to wherever they’re going; it’s good to know there’s a place for them to return whenever they come back.
7- LACK OF FOCUS
Sometimes a person wants to train jiu-jitsu in the same academy where they also have for example MMA, kickboxing, grappling, Boxing, Yoga, Karate, Weights, Kung Fu, Zumba etc .. For some, it can be a dream. There are two types of these schools; where the instructor of each discipline is a specialist in it, or where they just have people who are not specialized and only are there to fill the gap and have as many students as possible. Often students want to specialize in one discipline, that is why they are there.
RECOMMENDATION: just try to have a program as complete as possible with the most qualified staff possible.
8- BUSINESS AND MORE BUSINESS
An academy must be maintained, and the money is sometimes a sensitive topic in martial arts, it can be a mistake to not value your work and just do it for free, because often it will not be appreciated, as it is also a mistake to only think about money. When an academy forbids you to buy a kimono somewhere else other than your academy, charges you for any new belt or degree you earn, create charges out of nothing, and “forces you” to participate paying or selling their product or service, that will be a reason to leave the academy. Some people pay to attend their classes, learn and be left alone.
RECOMMENDATION: charge what you need to, help who really needs it.
Injuries are inevitable, some people will tend to get hurt more than others for various reasons. It may be age, lack of warming up, athleticism etc .. The problem is when it becomes too much. Some of the reasons why it may be excessive is because there is no proper care, such as that the mats have many holes between them (watch your fingers) and are not covered, corners near the tatami unprotected, lack of warming up before sparring, lack of sparring capabilities by the teacher, measuring experience and size (for example a white belt with an aggressive game and lack of technique weighing 100 kg vs a girl blue belt weighing 55 kilos with an injured knee)
RECOMMENDATION: Healthy students are improving students.
10- THE STUDENT
Not everything is the fault of the academy. It can be very good. The professor can be very good, but let’s face it, jiu-jitsu may not be for everyone, or just it is not the right time for certain people and it doesn’t matter how much potential they might have. When a person leaves, it might be that he’s not ready, has money, emotional or any other kind of problems. A teacher should not take it personal. Each academy is diffrent, some might like it while others might not like, therefore as long as there is a positive environment, cleanliness, familiar atmosphere, there will always be progress and comradeship to share this beautiful art that is Jiu-Jitsu!