Trained at Hanger 4 yesterday

Yesterday I went and had a class/light-roll with the guys at Hanger 4 (Ground Zero is closed for two days and I had an itchy gi). It was good to see Tyron's teaching style and especially impressive to see the number of players they had on the mat: the wrestling class looked especially popular.

One thing I always notice when training at different clubs/associations is the different emphasis placed on parts of the game. It is quite subjective to label a particular school as "guard players" or "choke masters" etc but if you've taken the time to train at some different clubs, such distinctions do become evident.

It's a shame there there aren't more opportunities for players from the various clubs to get together and learn from each other - granted there are 101 political, business and ego hurdles to overcome, but the end result could IMHO only benefit the players and the sport. The competition environment is only half the equation - one doesn't so much learn from their opponents during competition as learn how to compete - and it would be great if there was some "neutral ground" where everyone could meet and better themselves.

Ah, wishful thinking...

Some words of wisdom there Dutch.

Normal has caught a bad case of the truth! Very true Dutch.
- Juggs

Good post Jason.

Dutch Law is a Creonte... ;)


Dutch said: " The competition environment is only half the would be great if there was some "neutral ground" where everyone could meet and better themselves. "

Very interesting Dutch.

Just as a side point: does anyone know if the US has handled this issue of liberal-cross-academy-training, or training on neutral ground, at all?

"Dutch Law is a Creonte... ;)"

I am not an animal!

I know Dutch Oven (sorry about that :p ) is from a Judo background. In Judo it's considered acceptable to train in different places (as in wrestling). Alas, in BJJ it is not considered so. It all goes back to Brazil where it all started. The culture of BJJ has come with the technique. Students develop very strong loyalty's to their coach and academies. It goes on from there...

"I am not an animal!"

I believe you, now get back in your cage. ;)


[whimper-on] Sorry Master [/whimper-off]

Yeah it is a shame because there are lots of great people out there who you'd never get to know if you only are able to meet them in a competitive environment.

Before you all get the idea that I am some sort of BJJ Playboy (not that you'd be far off the mark), it's probably worth mentioning that I did/do discuss any/all inter-club visits both with my coach and the other academy prior to arriving on their doorstep.

I appreciate there may be a variety of reasons why some clubs etc wouldn't want visitors, including:

1. If those vistors are dicks who just want an opportunity to beat people up and 'dis' the instructors etc;

2. The club might be working on some sort of intense long-term plan where the appearance of the occassional 'floater' is disruptive;

3. There could be insurance issues (which doesn't really cut it IMHO b/c an experienced-visitor is no different from a non-experienced visitor.

But there is a lot to gain from such visitors, including:

1. Stronger (BJJ/MA) community ties;

2. Exposure to other 'styles', techniques etc for your players without the pressure of competition;

3. The possibility that those visitors may one day wish to train with your team or (even more likely) refer somebody onto your club (I know I've done the same a number of times)basically providing a little marketing or sampling if you will.

I appreciate that there are numerous BJJ instructors out there trying to make a living from the sport and may feel (that their livelihood is) threatened by the prospect of "their" students having a roll at other clubs. But what is the real risk? If your students are getting real value for their investment then they'll be back.



this is a good idea in theory, and one that DJJ supported a while back. We have since stopped offering open mat sessions to anyone not affiliated with Will/Machado. The funny thing is that we stopped having true open mats because of members from your club.

Not wanting to sound arrogant in any way, but we felt that a fair trade of techniques was not occuring, and that we were worse off. Also there was a noticible tension and negative vibe when some of your club members were on the mat ( you not being one of them ).

We did not feel it to be fair to expose our lower rank members to this type of environment. We were more focussed on having a co-operative feeling on the mat where our lower ranks could feel comfortable training with anyone.

Furthermore, one of our members was approached by someone who trains at you club, and said " You should come and train with us, when we were at DJJ we kicked everybodies arses at open mat, that's why they don't have it anymore" ( which is total crap on all points )or a statement very similar to this.
His response " No thanks, I'm happy with the gold medal I got at the Pan Pacs".
This was told to me by a club member I trust.

Does this sound like the type of attitude you speak of?? And from your own club. This type of attitude just reinforces the reasons not to have cross club training. I have since emailed Rob regarding this, and frankly have been to lazy to reply to his answer.

What I have mentioned above is not the only case of bad attitude and comments that have been made by senior memebrs of your club as well. People underestimate how far comments and murmurs can travel in the small community of BJJ.

So when badmouthing, ego, and 2 faced attitudes disappear, yep, we will be in.




I understand your position on this, as I know Jason does also. However, the type of attitude you speak of is pretty common amongst all clubs, as can be seen every time there is a "which is the best club/instructor" type post on here. Don't you think it would be better to just ban individuals, as it is unlikely that this type of attitude will never disappear.

I actually haven't ever visited any other gyms, apart from Paulo's once, when i was in Sydney last year and which i really enjoyed. Time permitting I would like to visit more gyms in the the future, including DJJ.

Thumbs up for open mats and open attitudes!


Agreed Alistair,

we do no within reason. If anyone calls up and wants to train, we always consider it. Don't get me wrong, I am open to the idea of open mat sessions, but when people cannot follow the spirit of it's intentions, then it is dead before it has begun


Ouch! Do you want to reconsider that post?

Cam, I'm not sure if your response was actually necessary... hardly constructive nor addressing the 'spirit' of the thread.

I'm not going to try and defend others actions and the perceptions they create/cause as ultimately they are big kids and can take care of themselves & as I wasn't party to the incident(s) you've described it would ultimately be of little use. It sounds as though you've taken appropriate actions/steps (e.g., your subsequent communications and limiting who you allow on your mat) and I cannot fault DJJ on the hospitality shown whenever I ventured onto your mat.

But at least you seem to agree that cross-club training is valuable if it is "controlled" (much like I mentioned in my last) and thanks for your thoughts.

Hi Jason,

please don't take offense, as it was not directed at you personally. The same goes for when you have visited, I have always found your's and Hansel's attitude to be what we desired. My post was an example of where it can lead, when good natured clubs open their doors and the carp are let in.

Unfortunately many suffer at the hands of the few who have no understanding of what their attitudes can truly do.

As I said, when this type of attitude disappears, the doors will be opened once again. Perhaps if you ( and select others )want to come and train with us, give me a call and we can chat



My experience of open mats is that the guys insecure enough not to be able to control their mouths or ego's don't generally participate for fear of 'losing' on their own mat or to an outside student. When they do as Cam describes I think just recinding any further invitation to be involved is enough, or if you're visiting another school then don't go back.

On that basis it might be better to have the open mat as an invitation only situation and make it compulsory to be invited each time you visit or host other club members.

We used to have this kind of arrangement at Hangar 4 with GZ and other clubs, Orca etc. Seemed to work ok back then, no real problems I can remember.



ps. Jason visited H4 nearly every time we had an open session and was always an example of respect and regard for the club and members.

ps. One way of making sure this is managed effectively is by not having regular open events. That means the host club announces the open mat and specifies an rsvp, anyone responding who isn't welcome can be advised prior to the day.

$0.05 (we don't have 2c any more)

If you get one person with a bad attitude then you put your top wrestler (fighter) against him, he will either learn to pull his head in or leave...Well it normally works in boxing.

Does anyone know what JD's view/policy on 'visitors' at Extreme is? While we are at it, what about PDB?

I used to train at PDB's academy in Thebarton when I visited SA regularly for work a few years ago.

Sean Black and the guys there were always totally hospitable (even lent me a gi when I got caught in Adelaide unprepared) and seemed happy to have an extra guy on the mat regardless of affiliation.

Got invited to train at Xtreme by JD a couple of times also but never got around to training there.

Have never trained at a Melbourne PDB club so can't comment.