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What Makes a Quality Training Facility?


I did some searching around and it doesn't look like there's a thread on this so I thought I'd see what you all thought.

I'm moving around January and I have a couple choices of where to train. I know some people who train at one place so as of now it looks like that's where I'll be going as well.

My question to you is what do you look for in a quality training facility? What are some things to check for to make sure you're training at a quality place? I realize this will probably differ from discipline to discipline and even among certain people, but it might give newer people, including myself, an idea of what to look for.


I would think that finding a place that is under a reputable teacher would be tops on my list. And not just some guy who bought a tapout shirt.

the facility itself doesn't have to have much for me. i started off being trained in a basement. Now (with the success of mma) my trainer has upgraded to a top notch facility and he is partnered up with some great talent. and is now too expensive for me :frowning: haha


I guess to clarify I mean not just the physical building itself, but also in terms of teaching styles, behaviors of instructors, structure of classes. Stuff like that too.


I agree totally. For me its how good the trainers are and how they interact with there students. I workout at team quest in oregon and its a horrible facility....just a huge barn with mats. No ring, cage, and super old equipment but the coaches and training partners are alot more serious about there training than other places I have trained around the usa so thats why I stuck here.


What exactly are you goals? I think that makes a big difference.


I have recently gotten involved in MMA and I just want to be the best possible fighter I can be. As far as I know the place I'm looking at training is building an all new facility due to open Jan 1st so it should be cool. As far as I know the owner/head trainer fought in the first few UFC's, but I'm not sure if that's true or someone just made it up.

Really I just wanted to know when you guys go to a place what do you look for to say that it's a good gym or a shitty one.


Excellent coaches.


Depends largely on you but i would say:

Excellent training partners... with similar goals. Guys that become your best friends.

The environment... imo can't be too uber clean... thats great and all I prefer an old school feel.

PERSONAL attention from coaches... nothing like it.


Speaking as a total noob myself this is what swung it for me when I was looking for a gym, but that might be an element of personal choice. I tried out a boxing gym that everyone said was excellent- real spit and sawdust place, nothing but bags, a ring and a chin up bar, and obviously a good work ethic among the fighters.

But there was one coach and about 20 guys, so if you weren't sparring at any given moment you weren't going to get any attention. This might not be a problem for someone with a bit of experience (which it sounds like you have), but for me it was a non-starter.


If that's what you're looking for you want to find the gym that actually has produced some fighters from SCRATCH. If they're consistently producing badass motherfuckers then they can turn you into one.

Militech camp was the best example of this...


Militech camp is to me the example for all MMA schools. They have continually put out great fighters time after time. Thats exactly who we have tried to mimic our gym after. Quality trainers, good fighters, with a very close knit family feel. If you can find a gym that makes you feel like you belong within the first 2 weeks and you are getting good instruction then I think that is the place for you. The "BIG" gyms very rarely can do that.


This doesn't really deserve a new thread, so I'll put it here.

I need some advice on a gym I went to tonight. I was put off by a number of things but I want to make sure that I am not just being a pansy.

Firstly, it is an MMA gym first and foremost, and I am not sure if they have any specialist grapplers. So I spent half an hour watching a boxing session before talking to the only two guys who showed up for the class. Both were older guys, and I am pretty sure both were bouncers. After waiting 45 minutes it transpired neither of the grappling coaches were coming, because one had to work elsewhere and the other was due in court over a fight he had at the weekend. So the guy I had watched boxing, a pro MMA guy, came over to talk me. He was a really nice guy, and explained that what they did was sort of "freestyle grappling". He said that BJJ was a bit too "fussy", and that what they did was more like streetfighting. The two guys who were there to train also trained at vale tudo sessions.

So it sounds to me like this is not the sort of place I want if I want to become a successful amateur grappler. Am I wrong about that? It didn't have the slick professional feel to it that Gracie Barra Derby does, and though that doesn't stop it being a good gym, it didn't feel right for me.

Any thoughts (not least on what "freestyle grappling" is)?


It doesn't sound like I'd train there if you have choices. If the trainers aren't dedicated enough to show then it's probably not going to be a great place to learn. I think by freestyle they mean that they have no set system they follow. They probably take a little bit from all the grappling arts. This could be good due to the wide number of things you could learn, but in the context of everything else it sounds like it's be horribly organized.

In response to the post that started this I started training at an MMA facility and I love it. The owner is very competent and he's bringing in great instructors. Everyone there is like family and even though it's only week 2 I really feel like I belong. Plus it's only 75 a month and I guess he works out stuff with some of the fighters to allow them to pay tuition through things like selling tickets to fights.


i think coaches and training partners are equally important...equpment is not really all that important to me.

one of the reasons why i like training BJJ at my gym, is because the other guys go out of their way to help new people learn, but the coaches are pretty good at enforcing technique.

on the flip side, the reason why i get annoyed training kickboxing (diff coaches) at my gym is becuase so many people in there are putting on a show, or acting like they're a bunch of badasses.


Do we disagree then that BJJ is too "fussy"? It seemed odd to me that none of the mma guys were there for the grappling, they all went home after the boxing. It seemed they just did the striking classes and the vale tudo classes. Or maybe they new in advance that the coaches weren't coming.


It depends on your goals.

For me, I like sport oriented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So I'm looking for a place with good instruction, personal attention, class times that work for my schedule, and preferably a friendly, competitive environment.

More mat space is a plus as well. My school is small and maybe only 8-10 people can roll at a time safely, but all the other stuff is there so that's why I'm a member.

One other thing, some schools I've visited seem to have limited class or mat time. Like 1hr vs. 1.5-2.5hr classes (if you include open mat). Short classes would be somewhat of a dealbreaker for me.


From what I understand, MMA gym or MMA classes tends to mean poorer technique and greater intensity. Obviously, if the people running it have good backgrounds this might not be the case, but I wouldn't spend my time at a school like you described.