-Clean. Silly, maybe, but you end up with your face pressed into mats that everyone else is rolling on and sweating on. I also didn't want to be grossed out in the bathrooms, and I wanted an actual women's area for changing. Shocking, right?
-This is more geographically related, but where I live, there is a strong culture of "machismo". Pretty much, it means being macho or manly. And that was something that I did not want to find predominately in the gym.
-And then, really, it comes down to specifics: what specific training you want (ie, what style? what sport?) and the intensity etc.
One of my biggest concerns when looking for a gym was finding a place that would work with what I already knew and not force me to drastically change the basis I already have. See, specific arts often have specific requirements. For example, Muay Thai punches are done a certain way and if I were to take a Muay Thai class, then I would definitely expect myself to do it the way taught.
But MMA is different. It's the combination of all these various things. It's more flexible, at least in my mind, especially when it comes to strikes. I've found that the more I do it, the more reasoning I have for what I do (the way I stand, how I throw). I'm also a big proponent of physiology and anatomy playing a role and trying to keep your body safe. For example, there's a certain hook that really wonks out my shoulder. It's something that I'll keep in my mind, but it's not going to be something I use frequently because a) my shoulder is still not totally right yet and b) statistically, it's more likely that I'm going to damage myself (my shoulder joint or my hand) instead of knocking-out my opponent.
I'm glad to report that the gym I found (thanks to a friend) has worked with what I know. I'm pretty excited to have found it. Since I was asked, I'll post sometime later an example of what training involves.
Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone! It's time for me to get back to some writing...