Local Experience: High Performance Gym

Can’t believe we’re talking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu… I know it sounds (probably) terrifying, but hear me out! The BJJ class at High Performance Gym is of course challenging and educational, but also filled with kind, respectful people who will welcome and assist you through the whole thing! – @thehealthiestrachel
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High Performance Gym


13 North Main Street, Suite B Mauldin, SC 29662


$125-$215 monthly. There are also drop in classes for $20 and class punch cards available.


I thought it may be beneficial to give a basic breakdown of the class structure, so that you feel more empowered to go to your first class. I know it can be so nerve-racking to walk in completely blind! The whole class is done on the mat. Forgive me, as I do not know the correct terminology to use for BJJ!

  • First up is the warm-up which started with jogging in a circle around the mat led by trainer, Clay. Jog turned into sprints, lunges, some different tumbles, etc. If you can’t do a warm-up move perfectly, that’s okay! Just do your best. There’s literally no judgement here. I did think it was cool that everything in the warm up went in a circle with Clay starting the next movement.
  • Next up was what I would call the main event of the class. Clay would demonstrate a jiu-jitsu movement and then everyone pairs up to practice that movement. I was really impressed by how much Clay explained in each demonstration- when this move would be beneficial to use, proper techniques, common mistakes, and why the movement is effective. Another thing that I noticed during this section of class is that there are zero “cliques” or friends that HAVE to be together. People switched up partners and helped each other if someone was unsure. A great benefit to being in a class of mixed levels.
  • Last was what they called rolling. Basically, it’s grappling or sparring. This goes in five-minute rounds and is used as a way to give muscle memory to the movements that you just learned in class. Another huge benefit to being in a class of all levels is that you can roll with levels above you. I could definitely see how this can prevent injury and help everyone learn.

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– The mindset. BJJ, to me, seemed like the yoga of the fighting world. While everything you are doing is obviously intense, the core of it is calm, inward, and enlightening. Clay talked about how BJJ, in America at least, started out in surfer areas so you can feel that laid-back vibe. You will definitely learn a lot about yourself, your body, strengths, and weaknesses.

– The people. The class size is not massive which was nice. There were about seven people in class, one of which was the trainer. One of the main differences here is that they do not separate you by level, as mentioned previously. Everyone practices together. This is extremely beneficial as you will be able to learn faster and there are more people there to help you figure things out.

– The trainers. Clay was the trainer for this class, but James was also in class. Clay is one of few black belts in the state of South Carolina and was extremely knowledgeable. He was also really respectful of all of his students and clearly a badass but really chill about it which is a nice change of pace from the gym world! I actually didn’t even realize James was a trainer until checking out the website after. I definitely noticed how good he was, though, and great at giving instruction.

– The self-defense tactics. I did talk to two girls who were in the class for a bit and thought what they had to say would be beneficial for those to hear that are interested but still on the fence! One of the girls started coming here after being chased while running in her neighborhood. After that, she knew it was time to learn some self-defense tactics. She now has the confidence to know that she can keep herself safe. The other class member talked about her confidence now as well. She now understands what her body can take and what it can do. She’s not nearly as scared of injury now.


– There is a strength and conditioning class as well that looked really great!

– There are also open gym hours that you can go work out on your own.


– Your first class is always free! Sign up on the website.

– Make sure your hair is up nice and tight and stay away from looser or flowy tops!

Check out their website here.


HPG April 2018 Kids BJJ-4

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