Written by Emilia Tuukkanen, BJJ Brown belt, BJJ&Nogi European Champion from Finland, living and training in southern Spain.
Summer and holidays are here, and many of us are traveling and going to visit bjj gyms around the world. There is a few things everyone should keep in mind so that visiting is pleasant for everyone involved.
1. Contact the gym at least few days before your trip.
This way you will know of possible summer breaks, changed timetables, visitor fees etc. The gym will also know to expect you, so they might inform their practitioners to come train with you, so you are guaranteed to have training partners despite summer holidays.
2. Check before-hand where you can wash your training gear
If your hotel doesn’t have a laundry room, find out where you can wash your sweaty clothes BEFORE they start to attract flies and rats with their smell. Don’t be that guy who can be smelled kilometers away.
3. Plan your transportation to the gym from your hotel well…
Check the navigator/map/bus- or train timetables before you are already 5 minutes late and have no idea where you are.
4. …so that you are not late
It is not a good look for a visitor to come late, it is disrespectful and also gives you no time to get to know your new training partners and the gym. Being late is always bad but especially when you are a visitor, golden rule is to rather be 30min early than 1min late.
5. Be respectful
If the gym has a habit of lining up according to belts, be sure to be last of your belt rank. Greet professors and coaches, be humble towards everyone and don’t make a point of trying to kill everyone in your first training. Wash your feet, use flip-flops and cut your nails. These rules should of course be applied all the time and everywhere, but again especially when you are visiting a new gym. Take it as a chance of promoting your own gym and team or even country. You don’t want to leave an expression of arrogant, proud, smug & annoying person.
Check out Emilia’s other great articles: Tips for Staying Sane While Dating a Jiu-Jitsu Maniac and Tips on Securing Sponsors in BJJ .