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BJJGround Forum >> The end of drop-ins?


3/6/13 11:38 AM
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fryingarmbar
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On vacation for a couple of weeks, looking to train a little. I call the first well-known affiliate gym and get told that they don't do per-day fees and I have to pay half a month's rate. This would be fine if i was here primarily to train but I'm on vacation with my family and I'm playing it by ear and just want to train a couple of days. I explain this and ask if they can make an exception considering I've trained there before (when I was in the area last winter I trained consistently for a 1.5 months or so until I was injured) and am only in town for a little while. Nope.

I call the next well known gym and am quoted $50/day. Is it me, or does that seems excessive? In the past I don't think I've paid more than $30/day and in some more remote locations within Spain and PR, I wasn't charged at all. And it's not like I'm a bb and those places were just happy to have me. I was a blue and their guys were way better than me but they were just that hospitable.

It seems like these 2 gyms really wanted nothing to do with a drop-in. Is this normal now? I understand you'll always pay a premium when paying for a shorter period of time but I would think you'd still want some out of town business to promote good will, word of mouth, etc. Phone Post
3/6/13 11:54 AM
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TrumpetDan
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I dont charge a drop in fee for out of town guys and love drop ins. If you are ever in so cali, stop by.
3/6/13 12:06 PM
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X_Rated
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Even $30 seems steep to me... I've paid mat fees from $0 to $20 don't think I'd pay more than that if I just want to roll. If somebody awesome is teaching class I'd pay more

3/6/13 12:12 PM
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gusto
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i would need more info before critiquing
3/6/13 12:18 PM
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fakezaga
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I travel a lot for work and try to train everywhere I go. I always call ahead.

For some reason, I often get "We have a mat fee of X, but we'll waive it for you."

I don't know why they do it, maybe because I take the trouble to call and chat for a minute. I have it down to a very quick one liner about who I am, what I am doing and my lineage/affiliation.

I have never paid more than $30 (in California,) but I look at it as an averages thing. I have probably paid an average mat fee of $10/less since so many places let me train for free.There was an academy that was going to charge $50 and I would have been fine with it, but timing didn't work out.

So, I don't think it is a trend away from drop ins - just variation from place to place. I am just a mediocre purple, BTW.
3/6/13 12:19 PM
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BayviewJiuJitsu
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Where are you? I have dropped in at Marcelo's in NYC and Drysdale's in Vegas and neither was $50. Who is charging $50 for essentially 1 class?
3/6/13 12:19 PM
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LetsTalkItOut
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This is interesting. In Rio I have been charged once which is really cool. But isn't it typically first class always free?
3/6/13 12:24 PM
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Hillary
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I know Carlos Machado school in Dallas charges $50 per day, and I think Renzo's used to be $40 or $50 when I went there.

I've been to a ton of places, and the average mat fee was $20. If it was waived I usually bought a tshirt (I've got a coach who's cool and gives zero fucks about that).

My school is right along I40 between TX and TN so we tend to get a healthy amount of drop ins, and we get a mixed bag of low and high ranks with experience frequenting the nearby airforce base. So we love drop ins, always welcome. Maybe you just caught some bad luck.
3/6/13 12:27 PM
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BJJER
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There are a number of Associations that are completely against it and some instructors definetly do not like it either.

For the most part the instructors that do not like it I believe have had bad experiences with outsiders coming in with a chip on their shoulder as if they are going to prove that the school they come from is better. This creates an environment where things can get out of hand and somebody gets hurt. Once that happens to you as an instructor, it changes your perspective. \

Some like Checkmat have a NO drop in policy because they think they have "secrets" that nobody should know and don't want to share with the general public.
3/6/13 12:29 PM
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puppet
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People drop in at rgsf all the time. Phone Post
3/6/13 12:50 PM
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djsolar36
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It's not necessarily that gyms don't want guys dropping in. I think you have to take into account the monthly fees at these gyms as well. If your gym charges $150/month or more, then they can't charge less than $30 or $40 for a day pass...otherwise, students could just pay the mat fee on the days they train (if they only train a couple of times a week) rather than signing up for a monthly membership. I've seen that a lot in schools located in bigger cities that charge in the $150 to $200/month range.
3/6/13 1:08 PM
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bonez05
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thats what you get for dropping in at Gracie Barra.
3/6/13 1:09 PM
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fryingarmbar
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I'm currently in S Florida but not trying to put the specific schools on blast.

When I've been charged, $20 has been the average elsewhere.

The $50/day fee seemed steep but it bothered me less than the "half-month or nothing at all" from the first place. I trained there last year and everyone was great and I thought they'd be more understanding to the situation that I was just trying to squeeze some training in. They know I'm not from a rival gym trying to learn secrets or w/e because they have all of my info on file. Oh well. Just bad luck like some of yall said. Phone Post
3/6/13 1:11 PM
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fryingarmbar
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djsolar36 - It's not necessarily that gyms don't want guys dropping in. I think you have to take into account the monthly fees at these gyms as well. If your gym charges $150/month or more, then they can't charge less than $30 or $40 for a day pass...otherwise, students could just pay the mat fee on the days they train (if they only train a couple of times a week) rather than signing up for a monthly membership. I've seen that a lot in schools located in bigger cities that charge in the $150 to $200/month range.
Couldn't they get around that by stating one can only do X amount of drop-ins within a certain period of time and then if they want to continue they have to get on a more formal schedule? Phone Post
3/6/13 1:12 PM
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Sugarfoot
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With competitions becoming the focus more and more, they may not want unwanted distractions and/or a spy in camp. Sounds crazy, but plausible. First class is always free where I train with instructors permission for potential clients. Phone Post
3/6/13 1:13 PM
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Hugh Jaynus
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fryingarmbar -  I'm currently in S Florida but not trying to put the specific schools on blast.

When I've been charged, $20 has been the average elsewhere.

The $50/day fee seemed steep but it bothered me less than the "half-month or nothing at all" from the first place. I trained there last year and everyone was great and I thought they'd be more understanding to the situation that I was just trying to squeeze some training in. They know I'm not from a rival gym trying to learn secrets or w/e because they have all of my info on file. Oh well. Just bad luck like some of yall said. Phone Post

Sorry to hear about that. I train at this place: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Underground-Jiu-Jitsu/176458642365869

Marcelo Garcia's old students from when he was in Florida. You won't be charged a drop in fee.
3/6/13 1:37 PM
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slowandweak
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Whenever I go on vacation and want to train I will send the school an email asking them about their school and saying I just moved into the area, and thinking about getting back into training. They always invite me over for a free class. Works like a champ. Then with the money I saved for training for the day, I buy one of their team shirts.
3/6/13 1:41 PM
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grillznice
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I tried to drop in at the mendes bros school back in October and I was emailing the main guy at the desk Griffin, he wasn't very responsive on the questions I had but the drop in day d
Pass is 60.00 and you have to wear a white gi with no affiliation patches
And I wasn't allowed to go to the beginner class since I'm not a member. I wanted to check out their competition class at noon one day but due to the lack of communication on griffins part, I wasn't able to plan on stopping in. I felt 60.00 is fair if you did the 3 classes they offered that day but I only wanted to attend one session in the afternoon.
3/6/13 2:26 PM
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KingBodhi
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I've traveled a lot in the past and trained at quite a few schools. Most were cool and didn't charge me anything or charged very little. When Relson had is gym on Queen St. Ron Shiraki was super cool to me and let me train unlimited times per day for three weeks for only $50.
Marcelo didn't charge me at his pre-flood gym, Renzo didn't charge me, Fabio Clemente didn't charge, and I passed on the one's that seemed like they were gouging me. This was all years ago, anymore it seems so many guys are charging excessively.
I keep it simple, if people are dropping in it's $10 per day. if they are staying multiply days I pro rate it, but most times it's free. It's always free to Carlson Gracie Team members from anywhere.
3/6/13 2:31 PM
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FirstScratch
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I've only encountered a few places that have held me to paying a drop in fee. Usually once I get to the gym and start chatting with them and they realize I'm not an asshole they tell me not to worry about paying. The most I've paid though is $40, and that was for unlimited classes for a week. Wasn't really worth the money though as half the class time was conditioning. At my home academy we rarely charge anyone. Phone Post
3/6/13 2:38 PM
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Sober
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I wouldn't pay any more than $20 just to drop in on a class. maybe that's just me though. I've also never trained at a school that had a huge drop in fee. also, I don't really get the "we're worried that competitors are going to come in and spy on us" excuse. I think anybody that feels that way is overly paranoid. #1 this isn't 1990 any more...there are no secrets. anybody with internet access can get high level instruction on any technique #2 any knowledgeable person can watch a team in a couple of tournaments and figure out the strengths of their game. no need for the cloak and dagger stuff. just b/c I know what somebody is going to do doesn't necessarily mean I can stop it
3/6/13 2:39 PM
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Baroquen Record
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50 bucks to drop in for one day sounds outrageous to me.

unless you get to roll with marcelo or something equal, but just a regular class? no way
3/6/13 2:45 PM
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Liyon
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sunderground - I've dropped in at Marcelos, Cesars, and Ralphs. Called ahead. When I tried to pay a mat fee, all I got was a smile and "on us..."

Talk to the right people and not the new blue belt minding the desk (at Gracie Barra. hahahaha)


Pretty much all schools will give you a "free" day to see if you want to train there. Dropping in like you did would probably constitute as a free day of training.
3/6/13 4:36 PM
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jonbroster
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I often take a gi with me when I'm travelling for work. The most I've ever been quoted for a single session was £15 @ Checkmat in London (or £25 for the whole week, which was pretty cool for 6 sessions).
GB Swansea - first time free, next time £5.
Carlson Gracie Essex - free.
Alliance Derby - £5.
Alliance Nottingham - £5.
I just emailed a guy in Berlin and he told me that visitors are always free.
Nice, welcoming atmosphere in all these places. Phone Post
3/6/13 5:03 PM
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X_Rated
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I gotta head to England Phone Post

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