Some thoughts on pricing…..

11/01/2019

Let me first say that GB Boise has a lot of exciting changes and events coming up.  We are constantly evaluating the needs and wants of our students in an effort to offer them the best training and schedule we can.  We started a new schedule in November and as always we’ll continue to listen and do the best we can to meet our students needs and desires.  That doesn’t mean we can meet every students wish list but we’ll certainly try to do what’s best for everyone.  

As a program manager and owner I can officially declare that running a school is not easy or cheap.  If anyone thinks any BJJ school owner is getting rich running their school or teaching, they’re terribly wrong.  Most coaches and teachers, I can now see, do this out of sheer passion for the art and a passion for teaching. They eschew making money in other endeavors for their commitment to share knowledge, teach kids a positive skill, and for the joy of watching others succeed.  They love what they do.  

That said, the flooding of America with cheap 24hr gyms has created an unrealistic expectation of what folks expect to pay for training.  These “gyms” rely on thousands of memberships the majority of whom will pay their $15 or $20 a month in perpetua with no thought whatsoever. 

When Ray and I were starting this school a friend in the industry told me he never turned a student away.  He always wanted to make it work for them. Though it is a business that takes money to function, it is also a positive activity that may help that one child from getting bullied and going down a dark path in their life.  It may help a struggling middle aged person feel better about him or herself and rediscover positive things in their life. It may help a depressed alcoholic focus on something besides drinking. It may save an overweight person’s life without them even knowing it.  These are the reasons we do what we do and these are the reasons I haven’t made a practice out of posting our prices like many schools do. However, going forward I have decided to post our prices, mostly because I’m tired of answering the same question, “how much does this cost”.  Well, for most, it doesn’t cost much. But to the struggling combat veteran, or the family of 6 that wants to train…. It may cost a lot. So I try to be there to listen to them and make it work for them. Not just answer the question of how much it costs. I don’t want to turn people away just because they passed over a website without knowing their story.  

It’s obviously important to know how much something is going to cost.  But I’m often disheartened when that is the only question a prospective member asks because I feel they may be missing so much.  They may be missing the friendship and family they need and they may be missing the training that may make a difference in their lives because they want to save $10 or $20 a month.  

But to a normal person or family that wants to get involved in BJJ or get their kids involved in BJJ I always want to ask them when they struggle with a decision on cost, what do they expect to get out of it and how much time do they expect to spend at our school.  If sacrificing a night out on the town once a month, a night in a hotel room, a new video game, pair of shoes etc… is not worth dozens of hours of incredible training, friendship and networking, than perhaps this is not the activity for you. There’s always that unused $15/month gym membership.  
Let me leave you with this article regarding kids, pricing and BJJ, from Tom Callos: https://fargobjj.com/the-martial-arts-for-children-are-lessons-really-worth-the-money/

Why Gracie Barra Boise?

12/01/2019

Why Gracie Barra Boise?  

I saw another local school posting their “WHY ______”   Obviously every school and every business is going to write this.  Why wouldn’t they? Hopefully they believe their business is in some way better or has some advantages over others.  If they don’t they’re not doing something right.  

In my observation no one place is THE BEST for everyone.  Speaking specifically of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Schools in the Boise area, I can say that most have at least something unique to offer and that is the key.  The answer lies in what is BEST for yourself and/or your family. Obviously I hope that we are. But we might not be, and that’s OK.  

I’m disappointed when a prospective student doesn’t ask many questions or try a class.  You can tell almost nothing without meeting the instructors and trying out a class. I always encourage prospects to try other schools.  I know they will make the right decision for them and that’s all we care about. We want them to be involved in BJJ. We hope they choose our school, but they should definitely make an informed decision on more than what they see on the internet and more than just comparing some prices.  BTW, some places are more expensive than us and some are a little less, but I would NEVER encourage anyone choose a school based on price either way. It’s just ridiculous.  

For some, location is most important.  For others, a variety or disciplines offered is paramount.  For some, it’s the people and for others it’s the competition.  

I can’t pretend to be an outside observer.  Obviously, I want our family to grow. But I truly want people to be happy and do what is best for them.  But I will offer the following observations and points on what makes our school special.

  1. We ARE the largest School in the world and we are by far the highest ranked school in the world.  That means GB produces the most winners of any school in the world. While this may or may not be important to you, it’s worth pointing out since some schools put out their status as a reason to join.  Personally it’s not the most important aspect in choosing a school for me. GB does have an unparalleled visitor policy. More schools mean more opportunities to train for free around the globe and meet other people.  GB had over 800 schools. There’s no comparison. http://grapplingindustries.com/rankings/     https://ibjjf.com/ranking/academy-ranking/
  2. Professor Ray is one of the best instructors you will encounter.  Sure it’s an opinion, but you can see it for yourself. He is the head instructor at our school and isn’t just a face on a webpage.  Many schools tout someone they trained under as the face of the school. But if they’re not there to teach, it doesn’t really matter.  Ray’s longtime tutelage under Multiple Time World Champion Professor Otavio Sousa has given Professor Ray a depth of knowledge and his teaching at GB Headquarters in Irvine and Costa Mesa to both kids and adults over two decades has made Ray an incredible teacher.  His passion for teaching kids, I would argue, is unparalleled in the Treasure Valley. But again, see for yourself.  
  3. We give more to our students.  Students really are our family and friends.  Many schools say this but we strive to ensure this is a reality.  There are no cliques or ego at our school. We are a family & a team.  Whether it’s parents nights out, rafting, BJJ in the park, fundraisers, halloween parties, seminars, potlucks, or offering Muay Thai & Yoga free for members, we want to always do more.  Not for profit, but for the love of our community. You won’t get this anywhere else, period.  
  4. Facility.  See for yourself.  To my knowledge we’re the only school in the Treasure Valley with raised mats.  Trust me, it matters. We have a large mat space, a clean facility with workout area, changing rooms, and 2 bathrooms and plenty of space for spectators.  Believe me, that also matters, particularly to parents.  
  5. Fair pricing.  No, it’s not a bargain basement school.  We don’t want it to be. Our prices are more than fair for what we offer.  We work with everyone to make it work for them and their families. We don’t charge for belts, promotions, or other nonsense.  You pay your fee, you train as much as you want. It’s simple.  
  6. Schedule, Structure and Curriculum.  There is no excuse not to train with us based on schedule.  We have classes in the morning, noon, and all weekday evenings.  We follow the GB curriculum for fundamentals and advanced classes and do not deviate from it.  It allows our students to focus and have clear advanced knowledge of what they will be learning in a structured 16 week curriculum.  Many schools just have a coach show up and teach whatever they feel like training for the day. Our kids have fun but they also follow a curriculum and structure.  They are not in our school to play or be babysat. They are here to train, get better, and learn self-discipline.  
  7. Female students.  I haven’t done the math, but I’d bet a dollar to a donut our school has more women and female kids training at our school than any other.  We pride ourselves in living up to the motto that Jiu Jitsu truly is for everyone.