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BJJGround Forum >> how many noobs will quit this year at your gym?


1/1/13 1:51 PM
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angrypirate
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Edited: 01/01/13 1:54 PM
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just what the title says. we have a pretty low turnover rate compared to others in the area. we lost 6 or 7, most didn't make it a month. 4 stayed and another only takes privates for now. im going conservative and saying 5 wont make it. TTT this at the end of the year.
1/2/13 12:47 PM
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RPBJJ
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Id say 50% of the guys that have the balls to come in and try a class stick around a while.
1/2/13 9:56 PM
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Braxmax
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I hope none quit. I'm still at the level that new big/strong guys are fun to roll with and be the hammer. As much fun as I have competitively playing position with the high blues and purples it's more fun to see new students come in and learn. And I have to admit, white belt hunting is fun. I hate to see them quit. Phone Post
1/2/13 11:19 PM
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truehonor
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I am more intrigued by the non-athletic guy who gets dragged in by his buddy (who has since left years ago) and the "dragg-ee" is now a mat rat/ringer.
1/3/13 12:14 AM
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Alumynabjj
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In bjj 90% plus quit and in muay Thai much more yet that is because of bag. Phone Post
1/3/13 1:30 AM
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Rabid Bunyip
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Alumynabjj - In bjj 90% plus quit and in muay Thai much more yet that is because of bag. Phone Post
Explain? Phone Post
1/3/13 2:14 AM
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plasticonoband
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Ive lost count at the amount who have come through the door and left in under a month or two. I have 12 people right now who have been with the club for years. I would say for every one person who stayed 10-15 have come and gone. Phone Post
1/3/13 3:13 AM
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shen
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I'm always interested in this...

People took the time to come in because they wanted/were looking for SOMETHING. They had some idea in their head about what a BJJ class would be like.

But a lot of people don't find what they wanted.

I'm curious what type of experience WOULD have made them stay; if it was softer and more like an Aikido School or more like working out at a gym... who knows?

What blows my mind are the people who come in and really seem to LOVE it, immediately. they are so excited, then you never see them again. --Huh?
1/3/13 5:34 AM
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kying418
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Edited: 01/03/13 5:35 AM
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shen - 

I'm always interested in this...

People took the time to come in because they wanted/were looking for SOMETHING. They had some idea in their head about what a BJJ class would be like.

But a lot of people don't find what they wanted.

I'm curious what type of experience WOULD have made them stay; if it was softer and more like an Aikido School or more like working out at a gym... who knows?

What blows my mind are the people who come in and really seem to LOVE it, immediately. they are so excited, then you never see them again. --Huh?


I agree- I'm also very interested in student retention.

I now get apprehensive when I see a beginner training like crazy. More often than not, this is a sign they will eventually burn out and quit altogether.

I remember reading somewhere (I think on Cobrinha's email list/blog/or facebook), that he prefers beginners to only train 2x a week. I think other schools do this as well- maybe Gracie Barra?

Additionally, I remember my friend (2nd degree black belt with his own academy), telling me about the phenomenon of people quitting right after they get their blue belts...seemed crazy to me when I first heard it, but he was right- I see it all the time.

(Lastly, a general rule of thumb- if beginners constantly post on their Facebook page about going to BJJ training, or talk about how hard they are training, they will quit....similar to if someone brags about how awesome their girlfriend or boyfriend are on Facebook, you know they will eventually break up with them and despise them)

1/3/13 7:22 AM
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green_machine
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Not sure if this is common or just a weird thing that happens to us, but very few people that come in an try class out at our school have any semblance of what BJJ is. They think its like karate or another TMA and are perplexed and uncomfortable with the grappling that we show them and then never come back. So you're going to take the time out of your evening to come and try a class out but you can take 2 minutes to google BJJ and see what it is? About 40% of the new people that come in are like this and say they wanted to try it out "because it sounded cool/interesting" or because a friend told them to, yet they just walk in blind. Bottles my mind every time. Phone Post
1/3/13 8:16 AM
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dojo stormer
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no GB does not limit their beginning students to only train 2x a week.

they can train as many times as they want in the fundamentals classes. it usually takes a beginning student 3 months to be able to do the advanced classes.

too many noobs start and quit. lost count of the guys who get to blue belt and just quit.
1/3/13 8:53 AM
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tmgrtl
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I've seen guys drop after a couple of weeks. It kind of amazes me that a person will invest in a brand new gi, lock into a contract, roll a few times and then disappear.
1/3/13 9:01 AM
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SlapUsilly
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From what i've seen in my years in BJJ (14), most people will make it to blue belt or very close to it and quit. And its not a thing that is talent related. I've seen very talented people quit when they get that belt and I can't wrap my head around why this happens.

Fewer make it to purple and then quit, but it does happen.

I also think that the ratio of 10-15 quitters to 1 that makes it past blue belt is correct.

1/3/13 9:26 AM
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aed333
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between bjj and muay thai, literally hundreds of the noobs will quit. some people come in to try a class, sign up, buy all the gear and lock into a contract and NEVER come back.

Of the people who actually come back, almost 1/2 will not make it past 6 months, or will quit around the time they hit their first plateau.
1/3/13 9:37 AM
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A_Butler
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Prolly a lot because class was DEEP last night. I've never seen half the people that showed up and we have a relatively small gi program. Phone Post
1/3/13 9:54 AM
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IBTAPNU
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kying418 - 
shen - 

I'm always interested in this...

People took the time to come in because they wanted/were looking for SOMETHING. They had some idea in their head about what a BJJ class would be like.

But a lot of people don't find what they wanted.

I'm curious what type of experience WOULD have made them stay; if it was softer and more like an Aikido School or more like working out at a gym... who knows?

What blows my mind are the people who come in and really seem to LOVE it, immediately. they are so excited, then you never see them again. --Huh?


I agree- I'm also very interested in student retention.

I now get apprehensive when I see a beginner training like crazy. More often than not, this is a sign they will eventually burn out and quit altogether.

I remember reading somewhere (I think on Cobrinha's email list/blog/or facebook), that he prefers beginners to only train 2x a week. I think other schools do this as well- maybe Gracie Barra?

Additionally, I remember my friend (2nd degree black belt with his own academy), telling me about the phenomenon of people quitting right after they get their blue belts...seemed crazy to me when I first heard it, but he was right- I see it all the time.

(Lastly, a general rule of thumb- if beginners constantly post on their Facebook page about going to BJJ training, or talk about how hard they are training, they will quit....similar to if someone brags about how awesome their girlfriend or boyfriend are on Facebook, you know they will eventually break up with them and despise them)


These for sure.

1/3/13 9:57 AM
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Gus77
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There are just so many noobs with the how long to the blue belt (or blackbelt!) attitude as soon they start, they get frustrated and quit because they have the wrong reasons for training. Others may think they are though and get their ass handled to them on a regular basis.

I ask anybody that owns a gym, to ask the begginners why they want to start and later see the pattern of who quits and who sticks around.

I have a friend that tells me that his wife says to him that she don't understand why anybody would ever want to train grappling for anyreason ever, because it is disgusting. I completelly understand her, lol.
1/3/13 10:16 AM
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liquidrob
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You gotta lock those noobs up in the 3 year "Black Belt Club" program, that will keep them coming back for more, offer a free trial class after the down payment
1/3/13 10:29 AM
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Judo Scott
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The blue belts and to a smaller extent purple belts that quit shortly after earning their belt are more interesting to me. A new guy is trying it out and if he discovers its not for him then good on him for giving it a go.

A guy that got his blue belt though... 18 monthes give or take of training if your working hard and then you quit??? wtf?? You don't know shit yet and you're bailing?
1/3/13 11:16 AM
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htownbjj
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This topic fascinates me. Too bad it's hard to get a really honest exit interview to know why people really leave.

For those that have high attrition -- I wonder if live rolling is an issue?

At our school, we've become very conservative with newbies. Typically, they can only sign up for 2X per week, the classes are 45 minutes and there is no live rolling. They may get some positional sparring, but no "kill or be killed".

The beginner class is not "soft" or "easy", the guys sweat a lot and it's pretty high energy. We just avoid having them get crushed (physically and/or emotionally) at first.

These steps seem to have made a big difference.

After a certain number of months, depending on the student, they can upgrade to more days per week. We then ease them into live sparring.

I actually think their technique is better when they start rolling for real because although they kinda suck in transitions (what they've been missing) they also haven't developed a lot of bad habits that come from trying to survive (like muscling everything or crazy spazzing).

I've trained at a lot of gyms, and have seen "throw them in the deep end on day one" all the way to the more gentle approach we take at my gym. I do believe the retention is much higher with the gentle approach, and there's not a lot of downside. Within six months, all the whitebelts are rolling for real and doing OK.

Anyone have any thoughts on the role of live rolling in student retention?
1/3/13 11:23 AM
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htownbjj
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Judo Scott - The blue belts and to a smaller extent purple belts that quit shortly after earning their belt are more interesting to me. A new guy is trying it out and if he discovers its not for him then good on him for giving it a go.

A guy that got his blue belt though... 18 monthes give or take of training if your working hard and then you quit??? wtf?? You don't know shit yet and you're bailing?

Maybe getting the belt proved anticlimactic to him. When he began he saw the bluebelt as a talisman with magical powers, because all the blues kicked his butt.

As he approached it, the excitement of getting the belt was still keeping him going. The magical powers of the belt probably weren't a factor as much because he was seeing that bluebelts (and near bluebelts) still get their butts kicked. However, just getting the belt would be an accomplishment so he keeps going.

Once he gets the belt, now it's humiliating to get tapped by a whitebelt (which still happens from time to time), plus all the whites are gunning more for him -- adding to the pressure. Plus he's still having trouble with blues, and the purples are killing him.

So he says after all this work and sacrifice, I'm basically still getting my butt kicked and now there's even more pressure than before. In my mind, this person doesn't see the big picture and has gotten caught up in victory alone. But I think this situation is pretty common, especially if the instructor doesn't preach about ego, personal growth and all that stuff.
1/3/13 12:31 PM
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kying418
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htownbjj- you bring up some great points.

I think starting beginners slowly, without live rolling (and limiting the amount of days they can train), is the way to go for student retention.

I suppose the only negative would be hardcore beginners that may want to train at other schools where they can roll asap.

When I started my school, I had every intention of having beginners and advanced classes, and not letting my beginners roll for 2-4 months (other than situational training).

I soon became impatient with it (80% of my students were beginners). I eventually just combined both classes, and let everyone drill and roll asap- matching people up accordingly.

However, if this was my main source of income (versus my hobby), I would still seperate classes, and treat beginners much more "softly".
1/3/13 5:01 PM
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Poncey
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dojo stormer - no GB does not limit their beginning students to only train 2x a week.

they can train as many times as they want in the fundamentals classes. it usually takes a beginning student 3 months to be able to do the advanced classes.

too many noobs start and quit. lost count of the guys who get to blue belt and just quit.
I know a GB that does, but through inference (ie they have 2 fundamentals classes a week and that's all they're allowed to go to until they are a 4 tag white). Phone Post
1/3/13 5:11 PM
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dojo stormer
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^^ well that's fucking dumb

All the gb that I know and trained at have fundamentals on every night in addition to advanced classes. These are full time Bjj gyms right and not a quasi fitness gym offering a mix of styles?

One of the reasons I left my first gym was because they didn't have a full time Bjj timetable as they offered cardio kickboxing and stick fighting and mma.
1/3/13 6:18 PM
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shen
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Edited: 01/03/13 6:51 PM
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BTW, last week, I just gave a new guy a newish gi -he couldn't afford a gi but REALLY wanted to take the BJJ class-- he LOVED the 2 BJJ classes he took.

--Last night I went in to teach and the owner told me he already quit. LOL!

Man, I should have seen that arithmetic coming:

Excited student + no money for gi = quit

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