I've been training at Paul Creighton MMA for 3 months. I have only taken the BJJ classes although I know they have an active and successful MMA class. The quality of instruction is excellent with small adjustments often being noticed and corrected. While asking questions gets you immediate attention and excelent detail. Questions are encouraged and the learning environment is fun and low ego. The second half of every BJJ class is free rolling sometimes with focused drills. You can stop and ask questions anytime during free rolls especially if paired with a much better player.
The only shortcoming of the gym could be its location. it is not central to Atlanta but if you are nearby it is very easy to find.
Overall I'd give the gym a 9/10 excellent training and attitude.
UPDATE: Paul moved to an amazing facility a little bit farther north. This caused me to increase scores on facilities and gym size.
By far the best school in the area. Paul is an excellent instructor that has a true gift for teaching. The idiots get weeded out early so that attitude is friendly with no egos.
I've been training here for over a year now and have nothing but good things to say. Great instruction, great atmosphere. The gym is family friendly and offers a great kids program with very professional staff. They offer gi and No gi BJJ and many guys compete in Naga, Casca Grossa etc. Several members also compete in local amature MMA. It is an ego-less envrionment that does not tolerate jerks/idiots. Everyone is there to learn and help each other out. Teamwork is expected.
The trainers are serious about making you better, and good at. They pay a lot of attention to detail and will always answer questions and offer help. They are approchable, friendly and actually, pretty funny.
There are 3 MMA striking classes, Intro/Beginner/Intermediate-advanced, depending on how long you've been training. The intro class is usually your first 8-10 classes and focuses on footwork and proper technique for basic strikes (Jab, hook, cross and Thai kicks). Its only 45min and there is no live sparring. After a short time you're invited to attend the Beginner's class, but some people choose to stay in the Intro.
Beginners class is longer, and usually starts with warm-ups, drills, a new technique, repping kicks and then live sparring. The live sparring is usually split into 3 "working" rounds, rotating through different partners. Often, they are split into Boxing/Kickboxing only rounds, and then 1 MMA (takedowns + GnP) depending on class size. Sometimes they throw in a round of pure GnP just for fun. Headgear, mouthguard, shinpads, cup and grappling gloves are all available for purchase, but I don't think you're required to use the school's equipment. I don't, but the stuff sold is pretty high quality and fairly priced.
The Intermediate/Advanced class starts after the Beginners, and will often last past 9pm. Usually, participants stay in the beginners for a year before moving up. Pad work, footwork and drills are much faster and complex, and there is more conditioning. Recently, we've been working on a lot of head movement/bob & weave, but different "themes" will pop up from week to week. Takedowns & throws are also more of a focus (we use crash pads), so is blending BJJ with GnP with striking, if that makes sense. Sparring is 3-5 rounds depending on time, and will include at least one round with take-downs/GnP (MMA). Most people stick with the "working rounds", but if someone has a fight coming up the intensity gets dialed up a notch.
The only 2 issues I have with the place is the size (its small, and the school is growing, so mat space is prime real estate some days) and location. As stated, its in Duluth, so getting there from the city can be frustrating.
When I was looking to take up MA, I took the free lessons from most of the major schools in the area. Despite the issues I just mentioned, I picked Creighton with little or no hesitation.
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