I have been an athlete all of my life playing just about every sport involving some sort of ball, but in terms of martial arts, I am a newbie.
This gym was my second (and probably final) attempt at getting into Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I had previously taken a handful of introductory lessons at another gym in the area, but my experience was not great. When you are an absolute beginner, the social anxiety of drilling with strangers who are also much more experienced than you can be daunting. While I felt like an outsider at my first gym, Fairfax Jiu Jitsu has always been a friendly and welcoming environment.
Coaches Mark Jones and Sam Kim are both extremely friendly, charismatic, and knowledgeable. They really make the experience fun, while emphasizing growth and determination. Jiu-jitsu can be stressful, but it’s easier to push through frustration and difficulty when you feel part of a team. The colored belts are also very friendly and helpful. There are students of just about every age, gender, and ethnicity. If you’re a competitive person, students from FJJ perform very well in tournaments and the Coaches take a very structured approach to preparing students for them.
In terms of the facility, it is much larger than other gyms I have visited. This allows for a large number of students to train at the same time. There is always someone to drill/spar with, allowing you to really dive deeply into jiu-jitsu if that is your desire. They have a weight room, multiple large mats, and striking areas as well. Everything is well maintained and hygienic. In addition to jiu-jitsu they also offer Muay Thai, and Capoeira classes. Additionally, I believe they are moving to an even larger/improved facility in the near future.
I highly recommend jiu-jitsu to anyone. The benefits are far greater than simply learning how to defense yourself. While that is reason enough for many people to start, the personal growth opportunities, both physical and mental cannot be understated. There are social benefits as well. As a 30 year old who works full time in an office setting, it becomes increasingly difficult to make new friends. Jiu-jitsu is the perfect way to expand your social circle, while improving yourself in every way. If you struggle with depression, there is no better cure than jiu-jitsu. Intense cardio leading to increased dopamine production, novelty through learning new techniques on a continuous basis, and a sense of community.
If you’re a friendly person, I highly recommend Fairfax Jiu-jitsu as a great place to start.