After attending some very meh gyms over the past few weeks, I think I have finally found what I am looking for.
After training in BJJ for years, I wanted to get back to my striking roots. I wanted to find a Muay Thai or Kickboxing gym that would train hard, using the correct tools, with willing and game students to train with, and treat everybody like family.
I found gyms that were mainly focused on the typical martial arts student. What is the typical martial arts student? He is the guy who wants to be a bad ass without breaking a sweat, or breathing too hard, or feel any pain at all. These guys fill dojos and dojangs across the country. BJJ and MMA came on the scene and these guys took to getting tattoos and TapOut shirts all while saying that they were cage fighters. This is the kind of person I found in the new age Karate gyms around town.
I settled for about a year at Lovato's, an excellent BJJ gym. Lovato Jr. is a world champion, and those guys knew how to train. BUT their kickboxing was sub par, they would spar without contact, and had set combinations that they were always doing. That and I had to introduce myself to the instructors every time I would walk in to the place. You were there as revenue for the school so that Lovato Jr. could have a place to train.
I left looking for a better experience. At my former job, they had a boxing class twice a week. It was tough, and the trainer would always greet everybody very warmly. The drills that he had us do were difficult, and taught proper movement and hand placement. BUT then I left that company. The trainer had my phone number, though and called me a little while ago to tell me that his gym now had kickboxing, and wanted to know if I wanted to check it out. I went last night to give it a try.
First thing in the door, the person in the front greeted me warmly, and took me to meet their MT trainer. We talked for a bit, I found out that he trains MT at a place near my work, but their class times do not match up with mine. His class is at 5:30, that works much better in my schedule.
He said that he was mostly a boxer, but when the owner of the gym wanted to expand to offer MT and MMA, they asked him to head the class.
About that time the other guys for the class were showing up, and I met them one by one. There were about 7 guys. They all were very excited to have me try out their gym. I liked the atmosphere from the start.
The trainer told me that he likes to break the workout up in to three minute segments. Fine with me, that is how I run my MT classes too. We started things off by jumping rope, then shadow boxing. Everyone was enthusiastic and worked hard to warm up. We then broke out Thai Pads and started the pad workout. They went 5 rounds of practicing combos that built on one another. First one was a jab-cross, slip a counter cross, hook-cross then plumb clinch 4 slip knees. Next was the same only we added a left then right kick to the combo. Next was the same except instead of the hook cross before the knees we did a left then right elbow. So on and so forth. It was tough, and, though I knew I was out of fight shape, the workout really had me working hard for breath.
After the workout, the trainer said that he wanted to get back in to competition, and wondered if I would participate in his training camp. I said that I had no troubles with that.
All in all it was a good workout with a good bunch of guys. They used pads, not their hands, so I could get some real power shots in the combos. I enjoyed it. The only real problem with the gym is that the guys are very green. All of the guys are boxers, and kicking is new to them. The stance and the whole mindset is kind of alien to them. The trainer is young, 22 years old, and really does not have much experience. The good news is that they recognize my experience and have asked me to help out. I don't have a problem with this, because the guys seemed really interested and excited about the training.
I think I have found a new place to be. I will go to some more workouts and see if I fit. A big plus is that they have some workout equipment, weights, treadmills and such, available for use as well. I can get my cardio and whatnot in on off days. If I can work a money deal out with the gym owner, I am good to go.
Check them out