Rener Gracie announced the other day that any person who’s wanted to try BJJ but been put off by toxic culture at another gym will get free training for the entire of August at any “participating Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center around the world.” Of which, there are currently 157 set up stretching all the way from Bangkok to the United States and from Australia to Iceland.
He shares his motivation for the offer as being a new student of his by the name of Albert. Apparently, Albert was looking to start BJJ and decided to to test the waters in two clubs, Gracie’s and an unnamed local club. At the other club, Albert says the only instruction he was given was “don’t tap” which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you should be telling a brand new white belt.
Albert says he wasn’t told about any safety measures or given any indication of how to actually grapple, he was thrown in with the more experienced attendees on his first day and he says the whole thing felt “hostile” to him. “He wasn’t trying to give me any tips” and “he was trying to take my head, make me tap as much as possible”, again these are things you’d pretty much hate to experience on your first day in a BJJ gym.
Rener says “If you’ve never done jiu-jitsu before, don’t go to a school and have a terrible experience, and think that that’s it. There is hope, and there is a better way.”