Research. When you know you’ll be traveling and want to train on the road, you’ve got to start with research-- do a Google search, ask about local gyms on forums, or reach out through your social networks. Once you’ve found an option or two, take a look at schedules to see what may work with your plans. You may also want to do a quick search about the gym to see what info you can find.
- Call ahead.
- Tell the instructor you plan on being at class
- Be upfront and honest about how long you’ve been training and what belt rank you have; ask--should you wear your current rank belt or bring a white belt?
- If they have multiple class levels (beginner, intermediate, etc), ask which one they think you should come to
- Ask about any special rules (gi color, patches on your gi--some places will have loaner gis if you don’t meet these rules, so ask--if not, probably better to find a different school)
- Ask about any drop in fees; some gyms will let you try at least your first class for free, but be prepare to bring cash for a drop in fee
Pack the appropriate gear--preferably in your carry-on. Nothing’s worse than planning to train and then not having what you need. If you’d take it to class at home, plan on taking it with you while you travel. Also, if you plan on training a couple of times and won’t have access to a washing machine, make sure you take two gis.
Show up at least 30 minutes early. There will be plenty to do when you arrive--you’ll most likely need to fill out waiver and pay any drop-in fee. Take time also to talk with the instructor--ask about any specific rules when rolling, class format, and if there is a designated free roll time.
Be respectful of the other students; if there is a free roll, try not to throw out any crazy submissions. For example, leg locks may not be appropriate for the class level.
(BONUS) Thank the instructor and other students for being gracious hosts.
What tips would you add? Tell us in the comments.
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