When I lived in Ukraine, I was running an English club for Ukrainian English teachers. There were a few dedicated people who came, but overall my attendance dwindled and finally I cancelled the club. While the club was going on, however, I would always run class, even if only one person showed up.

When I started jiu jitsu, I went a lot, and often went during lunch time. Attendance was not high, and there were a few times when I was the only student, or only one of two. It was a  disappointment when the instructor then decided not to teach, and instead just let us roll. I really wanted to learn!

This month I attended two weekend events. One was the monthly recurring women’s only seminar given by Heejin Lee, the only female black belt in Korea. Only two students showed up, and I really thought she would cancel the event. To my surprise and happiness, she still taught the both of us.

Seminar? More like private lesson!

Seminar? More like private lesson!

The second was the new class for native English speakers. It’s something that started up within the past month. It’s every Sunday from 4pm to 6pm at Apgujeong, and it’s designed for helping fill in the gaps for those of us learning BJJ in Korea who don’t quite get all the fine details during class. It’s not a traditional class – more of a Q&A with an upper belt. I’ve gone twice. The first time, it was just me and a white belt, along with the hosting brown belt. Then the following week, it was just me. I’m going again this Sunday!


Secret tip: if you’re the only person to show up to training, you get a free private lesson!! I was the blue, he was the brown. Awesome training times were had. #bjj #jiujitsu

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I freaking loved both things. The women’s only seminar ended up being a $20 private lesson with a black belt! The English speakers Q&A ended up being a free private lesson with a brown belt! You can bet your sweet self I’ll be going back for more. I almost don’t want to tell folks about my sweet setup because it is freaking amazing.

If you plan to have a class, have the class. A great teacher can tailor things for that specific student, and you get some valuable one on one time. That’s the genius of having a class when only one or two students come. You create a situation where the student finds the time incredibly valuable, and as such, they will hopefully be more likely to come.  If, however, you cancel, your students are even less likely to show up. This is NOT to say that classes don’t naturally dwindle away – but don’t decide to cancel the day of, when someone has already shown up.

Jiu Jiu’s Question: If only one or two people show up for a class, how does your gym usually handle things? Do you feel that those classes are more or less valuable for the students? Has this happened to you? Tell your story!

Did you know I’m on Instagram? I’ve started posting pictures again! You can follow me here: http://instagram.com/jiujiubjj