It actually hit me.

First time today I realized I am in this for the long haul. All the support and everything is good, but I am always off my butt and doing things right now. Hard to write and hard to stay in front of the computer when I feel there are fliers that need to be given out. 

Stress is sllllooooowly yet surely building up!

Second Q&A

I met my first month goal of sign ups on week 3! Will keep chugging along though. Mayor is coming for a ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow. I am pretty embarrassed about it. Sorry I couldn’t finish all five. I am surprisingly busy!


1. How long did it take you to get to Brown Belt? Why did you decide to open a school as a Brown Belt instead of achieving your Black Belt first before opening a school? I’m sure you know this, but a little detail like that can matter a lot to potential students.

It took me 9 years to get my brown belt. I decided to open up my school not because of my belt, but more because I saw a business opportunity. For me, my classes currently focus on beginner material. Alot of black belt schools usually have a lower belt teaching these classes anyways. So why pay for the premium of a black belt when you are learning from a blue, purple or brown? I offer just brown belt prices so they know what they are getting.

2. Why did you decide to open a school in an area where there are dozens of competitors? As opposed to moving to another area or even to another state/country where there isn’t as much competition?

As competitive as it is, I believe that there is not ENOUGH bjj schools in the area! I think that our sport has alot to grow and I think the more schools there are the more people will do bjj and to me that is whats most important. I think that even if there are 10 schools on a block, if each has a different culture and caters to a certain group of people, I think that all 10 schools can grow. I didn’t move away because I just love this area so much everybody should stop by for the bjj and stay for the awesome food and tea afterwards!

3. Out of the 2500 square feet, why are only 900 of them mat space? Other similarly sized bjj gyms are almost entirely mat space. Just curious why you made that decision.

I have a big dressing room for women, a small one for men, a weight room and an office. The over all area where the mats are can be over 1200 sqft. I just couldn’t afford matting the whole area down(yet!) If I include the parking lot I have over 4000 sqft. What’s cool about my area is that the mats are uninterrupted so that helps alot in terms of efficency. Yesterday I had 6 people train and they used not even 1/3 of the mat.  MUST WORK HARDER

First time teaching TWO classes

Today for the first time, I taught a noon class and an evening class. Tiring but fun. Two people were supposed to come in for a trial, but they no showed. Called and e-mailed them!

The best way to describe my everyday is like having your birthday and your final exam on the same day EVERYDAY!


Will answer some questions tomorrow!

empty classes and other things

I don’t know what happened, but one of my posts for the q&a got completely deleted took like an hour writing everything down in detail too. bleh

first time EVER my evening class is completely empty. Is it disheartening,? A little but I focus on the positives. I had a student come in at noon and he signed up! So it will be slowly picking up no doubt. For some reason, monday were always slow.


Weird….will re-write the Q&A tomorrow!


Thanks Gibran Maciel! Hope this answers a few questions you got!! I love how each number has 2 questions each!

1. How did you pick a location? Did you study if there were other BJJ schools around or did you just open it close to home?

I picked my location a few years back. Me and my (now) ex-girlfriend would hang around this area a lot and I realized that I loved the area and wanted to settle down here. I saw there were a few jiujitsu schools in the area but saw an area that seemed to be a little under-served. So I Just bit the bullet and did it! I used to live 20 miles away from the area that my academy is located. I have since moved to the area as well. What bums me out though is that I am far away from my home academy: 5 Star Martial Arts.

2. How did you figure out a schedule? Is it inconvenient to come in at 9;a and then again at 12 and then again at 6? How does that affect your personal schedule?

Currently those classes are test schedules, I want to see if there are any other times that can make jiujitsu more accessible to people. It isn’t that bad in terms of convenience cause I live only 2 miles away from the academy, I gave up my personal schedule and just do this. On Fridays unless I have privates (Which do happen) I try to sleep in. On Sundays I go around downtown and hand out fliers or try to do some other marketing work. I have committed alot to this so it is very personal. I am currently a one man operation and get some help by an assistant who trains for free. So if I have any spare time, I try to figure out what I can do to make the school grow.

3. Are you teaching the classes yourself or are you paying an instructor? How much does an instructor cost, and how do you find one?

I teach all the classes right now. I have an assistant who volunteers his time in helping me do some footwork in terms of marketing. I don’t know how much an instructor costs, but if you were to hire an instructor I would first go to you instructor and ask for his opinion.

4. Do you spend $$ on marketing or is most of your business going to be generated by walk-ins?

Its a bit of both. I have a store front on 226 W. Main St. in downtown Alhambra. I chose the location because of the foot traffic that comes with it. I wish there was more. I am trying google adwords but it is very very expensive! especially for a beginner who needs to make sure rent is being paid. In all honesty, I think it takes time, but word of mouth seems to be the most effective way to get new students.

5. How long do you expect to wait to go into the black? ( I get it if you don’t want to answer).


I would want to get it in three months. People (owners of successful gyms) told me to wait six months. Not WAIT but work my butt of for six months.

Hope that helped!

Cosmic Training Center
226 W Main St Alhambra CA 91801
Phone: 626-284-4255

Hi Welcome to my blog.


Welcome to my blog. This is my public blog about my journey in starting a Brazilian JIujitsu gym known as Cosmic Training Center in downtown Alhambra. I will answer five questions per post in order they come. Leave your question as a reply. I have a few questions that I will not answer which will be listed in the above links. As the questions dwindle, I will post some funny stories that I have already experienced. Hope we have some fun!

Joseph Lee