Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looking For a Gym

I am looking for a new gym. I was at a good BJJ gym, but I had some fundamental issues with them...
  1. They were belt centric
    • Your worth was measured by your belt. If a white belt tapped a purple, the purple would get upset that you had the wrong belt.
  2. They had a set curriculum
    • All of their movements, BJJ, Kickboxing, what ever had a name and a time to learn it.
    • Very much like a TMA school in this respect (white belts do this blue do this purple do this)
  3. Their kickboxing and MMA was no to very very light contact
    • You can't learn good fundamentals without some contact. You won't know why you need to make your blocks tight if you don't pay for bad ones, you won't understand proper movement unless you pay for bad movement.
    • Light contact breeds a false sense of security. One of the reasons for hard sparing is so that you realize what a good smack to the noggin will do, so that when you are just training you do the proper movements.
  4. They were far away from my house and work.
    • OK, that is not a fundamental issue, but it was a chore to get there.

There are three gyms close to my house that offer Kickboxing or MMA classes, and one very close to my work that offers Muay Thai and BJJ. I really want to focus on Muay Thai, so those places that offer MT classes I have high hopes for. Time and money are very important as well. I don't want to be spending $100 a month for training. I have contacted several of the gyms I am going to try out and that seems to be what the going rates are in this town. Gyms that offer a class by class or a monthly rate are going to be tie breakers.

Here are my choices:
Premier Martial Arts
This one looks to be a family oriented gym. Lots of kids classes, but they offer a Kickboxing class (7pm-8pm Mon-Thurs) and a grappling class.
Instructor claims that he is the Texas State Kickboxing Champion. I say claims, because there are no years or organization stated. Instructor says he is a purple belt in BJJ, but not from whom.
They are about three miles from my house.
  • Very close to my house. If I had a bike I could ride there.
  • Kickboxing and BJJ classes
  • They are a family school, Kickboxing might be watered down
  • Class times a bit later than I want
  • You have to sign up for a 6 month or year contract
  • Red flags on the instructor's credentials. No org on Kickboxing title, and no BJJ credential.

Redline Juijitsu
These guys are primarily a BJJ gym, but they have a MMA (6pm-7pm) class.
The head instructor is a brown belt under Leonardo Xavier.
They are about 4.5 miles away from my house.
  • Well known BJJ black belt credential
  • MMA is fun, and they have active fighters
  • Class times are right in the time I want
  • MMA class might be just MMA sparing
  • No specific MT class
  • I checked them out before, and I thought that if I wanted to train BJJ I would train with the world champion.

No Limits Gym
These guys promote themselves as a fighting gym. They offer MT classes (Mon Wed Thurs 6pm-7:30pm), and MMA classes (Mon-Thurs 8:30pm-9:30pm). Their instructor for MT is a guy who I have had a class with before, and was not impressed. I don't know who their MMA guy is.
They are about 3.5 miles from my house.
  • 1.5 hour MT class
  • Class times are right when I want them to be
  • I know people who train here and like it very much
  • MT instructor is a douche, who really had no concept of combat MT.
  • MMA might be just a bunch of guys looking for "fight club."
  • Classes are set price of $100 a month. I don't know if I want to pay that for the douche MT instructor, for only three times a week, and the MMA classes are too late.

Academy of Martial Arts
These guys are a MT(7:30pm-8:30pm Mon Wed Fri) and BJJ(8:30pm-9:30pm) gym. I don't know what their BJJ credentials are, but they claim they are under Renato Tavares.
They are about 2 blocks from my office, but about 15 miles from my house.
  • School is a member of Thai Boxing Association of America
  • Verified that members of the gym are active MT competitors.
  • BJJ under legitimate BJJ organization and black belt.
  • Class times are way late
  • Very far from my house
  • Close to work, but at different times than I work, and I would return home after 8pm.

I will check out each gym and report back. My gut tells me that it will come down to Redline or No Limits Gym. Redline got rid of their MT class, and the instructor went to No Limits Gym. I don't know the story there, but I will find out.

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