Oddest vibe from school...

The other day I go to this MMA school to watch their BJJ class. This school has different classes for kickboxing, MMA, BJJ, etc... I go there just to observe and when I go in, I ask if the head instructor (he doesn't teach the BJJ classes, but teaches other classes) is there. I am told by the person at the front desk that he is. I ask if I could speak to the head instructor when he has time (I wanted to say hello, introduce myself, etc..) The lady at the front desk says that if I want to speak with him, I need to make an appointment and most likely that appointment will be 2 weeks from now! She gives me the instructor's wife's business card and said that I should contact her to set up an appointment. I'm thinking, "What the heck?"

So I ask if it is OK for me to just sit down and watch their BJJ. She says that's fine. As I sit there, I see the BJJ instructors pass by and not one of them says hello or even acknowledges my presence. I'm thinking to myself, "For all they know, I could be a perspective student. This sure is an odd way to deal with people." I sit and watch class for about 45 min. and no one says a single word to me. I would have expected the lady at the front desk to say something in an attempt to sell the program or something, but nothing.

At the same time of the BJJ class, the head instructor was teaching some other class. He finished teaching his class and sat down on a bench only few feet from me and doesn't say a single word. As he gets ready to leave, I took the initiative to say hello. I speak with the guy for about 3 min.. As I am speaking with the guy, the lady from the front desk passes by and sees me talking to him.

After speak to him, I go to leave and as I pass by the front desk, I say thank you. The front desk lady completely ignores me. I guess she's pissed off that I broke the sacred rule of making an appointment to speak with the head instructor.

The vibe I got was really like a "if you are not part of our cliche, you are an outsider" type of feeling. This was really the oddest vibe I have ever gotten from a martial arts school.

Just two weeks to talk to a guy who teaches a BJJ class...?

That's not TOO bad --I've heard of people waiting months just to speak to a Purple Belt.

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Was it Cung Le's? I've heard a similar story about that place if it was.

What school?

I would love to train there.

I hate talking to people.

Words make me angry.

Yeah, out these folks.

Needing an appointment is odd, but other than that I wouldn't be terribly bothered if nobody talked to me. I'd feel like I was being rushed or pressured to sign a contract.

Some of the parts are fine, but as a whole that really does come off as strange.

yeah, ive gotten that vibe at a few schools.....Whenever im outta town i try to get some training in at different schools to enjoy a little change of pace (at least)....But soon as the rolling starts they go competition hard like their trying to prove that I shouldnt had stepped on their mat. very strange, wish it wasnt like that.

Given that kind of experience, I have to point out that when I was in Victoria and checked out ZUMA I had a wonderful experience, nobody tried to hurt me or prove anything, I had people talking to me right away and no pressure to sign up. They're a great benchmark to judge all schools by.

Yeah, it sounds wrong.

I train at a couple of schools for historical reasons. One's a TMA school where the head guy is also a brown belt in BJJ wher I stated MA decades ago, the other is a non trad school with 6 BB's with the head guy a 2nd degree where I go for the good stuff.

I'm a purple and often take BJJ classes at the brown belt's school when he isn't there. God's truth is, this doesn't always thrill me to bits, I don't make any money out of it and while I know I should talk to everyone that comes in the door sometimes I can't be bothered going through the same old spiel, and lining the prospect up for yet another run through basic BJJ philosophy and positions instead of training myself.

I know I'm a sinner and going to hell for that ;)

I like teaching and don't mind supporting my instructor's business, but if it's for free and unscheduled I feel I can occasionally pack a less than perfect attitude. I'm happy to be a stand-in instructor, less keen on being a salesperson.

OTOH, the head guys at both school talk to EVERY new guy that comes through the door. Frankly I don't know how a head instructor with your guy's sort of attitude could make money for very long.

Shen heel-hooked me as soon as i stepped on the mat at Reys. Torn my knee apart.

Not cool dude, not cool.

Mr. Jen,

Did anyone know who you are? If they did, they most likely were intimidated by you. That is the really weird part (imo), b/c I would think many of the guys would love to roll with a legit bjj bb (or at least talk to you).

Either way, at min. they need to work on their people skills, as that is very strange indeed...

Maybe they thought you were a salesman?

What's really funny is that I've seen salesmen walk into the BJJ school where I train, and my instructor always tries to repeatedly sell them on trying things out.

John Turner,

They had no idea who I was. Plus, whenever I go into other people's schools, I never wear any BJJ t-shirts or anything that may hint that I know any martial arts. Even when I eventually introduced myself to the head instructor, he had no idea who I was. I've really kept low key in the past few years, especially in the local BJJ scene, so unless someone frequents these forums, they most likely wouldn't know who I was.



I didn't really care that they didn't talk to me, but since I used to run a school, I thought it was odd not to even say hello. When I had a school, I didn't want to appear to salesy, but also felt the need to be friendly and to make a perspective student feel comfortable.



Please e-mail me to make an appointment in 2 weeks and then I will tell you which school it was. :)



The interaction between the students and teachers was normal. The head instructor acted normal when I spoke to him. Like I said, I felt like if a person was not a student or an instructor, they were an outsider and I felt like the head instructor wouldn't even say hello unless you were a paying student.


One of my students had went to check out that school in the past and he got the same vibe as I did, so I don't think it was that they thought I was some sort of salesman.


The school had a lot of students, so that vibe seems to fit the personalities of many people. I just doesn't fit my personality and felt it was odd since I hadn't never been asked to make an appointment just to introduce oneself.

Maybe it's hollywood starting to infecting their concept of their place in the world.

BenBJJ - Shen heel-hooked me as soon as i stepped on the mat at Reys. Torn my knee apart.

Not cool dude, not cool.

I'm not saying it as a excuse, but I heard a foreign accent and just reacted.

thats pretty unacceptable. i mean, the head instructor isnt like a specialist doctor. even if the head instructor was a big name instructor and has a lot on their plate, with travelling seminars and other projects which takes up their time, if they have time to be at the academy on a day to day basis, then it isnt much of an effort to spend 5 mins talking to potential students.
a 2 week advance booking is bordering on comical, at the min, just giving a mobile number if the guy isnt there would have sufficed imo. u can catch most people on a mobile number.

any reason why u decided to stop by the school?

Bolo -  since I used to run a school

Huh? No more?