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Diesel_tke
3/29/2010 9:43pm,
So I went in expecting the worst and hoping for the best. I read the bio of Master Coughlin on various web sites. I spoke to the instructor, Jared, who is a senior student. He was very inviting and offered for me to come in and check them out. I was a little reluctant after 10 years of kickboxing and 5 years of grappling, but figured I would try them out.

So I went early, as is my nature, and Master Coughlin was there with Jared. I recognized both of them from the website, and was a little taken back to be meeting such a high level master on the first day. I was hoping to be able to practice for a few months that way I wouldn't look like the idiot that I did!! So we talked for a while as he was sizing me up and making sure I wasn't a psycho(I guess). He told me a lot about his history and what he does currently, which was even more humbling.

Master Coughlin showed me some stuff on his senior student, that was very impressive. Not jumping-flying-twist-kicks. When he put his weight into Jared, to demonstrate a strike, Jared flew a couple of feet back. Not chi flying which was evident when you heard a loud thump of flesh contacting flesh.

Then we got down to what I was there for. To see what this Kung Fu is all about. We went through a warm up for them, which is called a work out where I'm from. I was exhausted, and they were hardly breathing! Then we did some techniques, which were awesome! Not what I thought Kung Fu was like. It wasn't secret hidden techniques. I could see the combat application as soon as we started. Very effective.

A lot of the stuff was similar to stuff I've done in wrestling and BJJ. Then striking was directly applicable to any kickboxing that I have done. The training was fun and difficult at the same time. It left you tired and yearning for more.

The only thing that was bad in the whole experience was the knowledge that I could have been training here for years and wasn't. But, better late than never. I'll be going for more training on Wed, and I hope to be there for a long time!!!

PizDoff
3/29/2010 10:14pm,
Cool.

They compete out of that school?
I see you rated Aliveness a 9, what would you change to make it a '10' like when you used to instruct?

JohnnyCache
3/30/2010 2:36am,
tell us more about the grappling.

kwan_dao
3/30/2010 5:53am,
I actually had to check my calendar when I read this.

But seeing as today is the 30th of march, and posting an april-fools joke two days too early would be epic fail... I am sure you are way above such trivial failure.

There can never be too many good kung-fu schools. Someone has to make up for all the bullshit. Rock on!

Diesel_tke
3/30/2010 7:46am,
The main reason I didn't change it to 10 was because there is not an active MMA team competing. And I actually feel that they are more restrained in the sparring. Sparring is done and there is equipment to do it with, but it is not the only focus of the school. It is not done every lesson and it is not done imediately. Master Coughlin does have a group of people that go to his school in Destin on weekends to train in full contact sparring.

But mainly it was just because there is no active MMA team. Otherwise I would have made it a 10.

As far as grappling goes, the teaching is based on body mechanics, movement, and motion. It is not the way a BJJ school does it, with drilling on the ground for hours. The mechanics of why a technique works is shown and then the individual is able to use it with their own body composition to make it their own. I will probably talk more about this when more grappling is done. I can tell you that they think very highly of BJJ, Sambo, and Judo as far as grappling focused training. Also many of the members have competing in local grappling tournaments and done well.

JohnnyCache
3/30/2010 8:18am,
What comps has this school done well in?

JohnnyCache
3/30/2010 8:30am,
wait, did you observe the grappling training? did you HEAR about it? Or did you PARTICIPATE in it?

ignatzami
3/30/2010 8:45am,
Is the school really 10,000+ square feet? That's what a size of 10 refers to. If so, damn. If not....

Is the striking really a ten? Given this definition: 8-9: Pressure-tested, full range striking and proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
10: Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructor

I'm not saying you are wrong, I do not know the school, it just surprises me.

Shadowsot
3/30/2010 9:24am,
interesting, I was thinking of checking out this school in the next few weeks myself.

WhiteShark
3/30/2010 9:27am,
I agree the rating seem high but there is a competition video on their website. Looks like several solid amateurs in Sanda and Grappling tournaments.

ignatzami
3/30/2010 9:48am,
I agree the rating seem high but there is a competition video on their website. Looks like several solid amateurs in Sanda and Grappling tournaments.

But amateur events do not equal a ten. I think the example for a ten was something like ATT Orlando, huge facility, golden gloves boxing coach, Muay Thai fighters with awesome records, etc. etc. etc.

Just bothers me when I see ratings with tens, tens should be incredibly rare.

Rivington
3/30/2010 9:59am,
Gongfu has such a poor rep around here that I think anyone who walks into a school and experiences actual, you know, gong, gets a little too happy and inflates the grades.

Diesel_tke
3/30/2010 10:53am,
I didn't put the gym size as a 10. You are looking at the wrong one. I put gym size as a 6.

As far as grappling tournaments, they have video of their grappling tournaments and San Da competitions.

The instructors have competed in kickboxing and Master Coughlin has verifiable leniage in instruction. To me that means that he is legit and there is no reason to drop that raiting scale. I would not rate a Kung Fu school based on MT or Boxing coaches because it is not a MT or boxing school. The do push hands and compete, San Da and Compete. That is enough for a 10 in my opinion. However anyone is welcome to visit the school and adjust the ratings based on their experience.

Shadowsot
3/30/2010 11:00am,
I'm curios as to what weapons they train with, and how?

Diesel_tke
3/30/2010 12:14pm,
I'm not sure about the weapons. I saw a bunch of them there, mostly bo and some crazy looking staff that had a blade on the end of it. I'm not sure what kind of training they do with them. I will have to ask later.

Bluto Blutarsky
3/30/2010 3:38pm,
Gongfu has such a poor rep around here that I think anyone who walks into a school and experiences actual, you know, gong, gets a little too happy and inflates the grades.

and some people just go in looking for things wrong that they will be harsher too than a "mediocre" boxing gym or something else similar.

it all depends on the individual which is why we should hope more than one person rates a gym to get multiple opinions and takes.