Daily Archives: January 22, 2020

BJJ Academy Culture: The Intentional and the Incidental

I’ve been reading some business/leadership books recently, and a number of them have been talking about culture. The interesting thing is the emphasis that sometimes culture is something you actively strive for, but culture is also created by simply what is allowed or behavior that is ignored/not addressed and therefore passively allowed.

It reminds me of one of the more unreal moments of one of the first UFC events. Two guys are in the middle of the ring, and one grabs a fistful of the others hair and rips it out. One of the commentators says hesitantly “well, that’s not, not allowed” – I think the next event or soon after they addressed this issue and “no hair pulling” was added to the list of prohibited actions.

Culture in a gym is a bit like that- granted, people aren’t getting their hair pulled left and right- but sometimes we strive for a certain vibe in the academy, make a mindful effort to do this and that. This is a reminder that sometimes we also need to take a look at the things we are allowing in the gym – or letting slide because well, it’s not not allowed.

Some could argue that ultimately it’s the owner of the gym who dictates the culture of the gym, but also keep in mind that culture is not created with just one person. Of course there’s the owner or head instructor, but students- particularly higher belts- also play a part in that culture, and they play a part in setting the example of what’s allowed, what’s not allowed, and what’s not, not allowed within the gym.

Just some thoughts I wanted to share- feel free to comment, otherwise have a great day everyone!

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