What is a McDojo? How do you identify one - before getting scammed by one?
As Mixed Martial Arts & Brazilian Jiujitsu grow, there are MANY schools trying to cash in on the sports popularity. The rise of the UFC, Bellator MMA and professional grappling leagues have helped skyrocket interested in legitimate MMA & BJJ training....
However, many karate schools and traditional martial artists have tried to jump on the bandwagon, advertising as "MMA" or Brazilian Jiujitsu" without having the proper training or credentials.
Take a look at this short list on how to identify a "McDojo" before joining any club!
1. There are no MMA, Kickboxing or Grappling competitors.
Any legitimate gym is going to have their students compete. Tournaments help students test their skills against other, resisting opponents. Its a cornerstone of a quality MMA or BJJ school! If no one is competing in MMA, Muay Thai, Kickboxing or Jijitsu.... you are probably NOT at a reputable academy.
2. The Coaches/Instructors Have No Experience in MMA.
Your coach should have competed in MMA (or a the very least be coaching others who compete). Not everyone fights (and that's ok) but if they have never stepped into a cage or ring before, it's a red flag.
3. Their Base Style Isn't BJJ, Muay Thai & Wrestling.
All legitimate MMA gyms have one thing in common, the base martial arts style practiced are Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai (Kickboxing), Wrestling & Boxing, If you are learning Karate, Japanese Jujutsu or some other style of traditional martial art, this is another sign of a "McDojo" masquerading as an MMA gym!
4. They Charge for Belt Tests or Stripes.
Belts in Jiujitsu are earned, not bought!! In both our Kids & Adult programs, fees are never charged for promotions and never should. These promotions are an honor for the student to earn (as well as for the instructor to give) and should not be made into a money grab.
5. Instructors Are Wear Karate, Aikdio or Other Black Belts in BJJ Class.
Many instructors have belts from other styles, and that's ok! Our Head BJJ Coach is also a Black Belt in Karate. But you should never wear your Karate (or other) belt with a BJJ uniform on, Many unqualified gyms will do this and it is misleading to students.
I hope this post helps you in your search for a quality, legitimate martial arts school!
P.S. If you'd like to get started with MMA or Jiujitsu training, you're in luck! You can schedule a 100% FREE Intro Lesson with us here: Free MMA & BJJ Intro Lesson.