I always think the technical vs competitive is a misnomer.
Those clubs that brand themselves as 'technical' often have shitty technique, those that brand themselves as 'competitive' also usually have shitty technique.
The clubs that genuinely produce good competitors teach good technique, because that's what you need to produce genuine competitors.
This is in contrast to the clubs that claim they are 'competititve', but all they do is bust out drop seoi nage merchant kids who make the cadet squad and then quit at 17 due to bad knees and boredom.
To answer earlier questions, yes it is still held at Brockham Rugby Club and yes there is some low ceiling but with only a dozen seniors it doesnt really matter too much. If you are young and want to compete then this place probably isnt for you, unless you want to add an extra lesson in but if you are over 30 and want a place where you are unlikely to be tossed around by young guys with huge ego's then it should suit you.
Oh yes - yes I think I have been there - a sort of L - shaped room with the mats on on only one length of the L right ? - a couple of pillars in the room too ?
Ok I have only been once possibly twice - is it BJC ? It was not Ynez who took the class - I think the woman was in her 40s or 50s. Anyway I only went once or twice about two years ago so this was my take on the club, bear in mind it might of changed a lot or the days I went might not have been typical :
I was warmly received. There was only about 8 students and there was some practice of traditional Jujitsu techniques as well as Judo. There was almost no randori which is why I didnt really want to go back as I was looking for cardio and basically - Randori is fun. In this way I dont think the club trained in a very alive way - to me minimum 15 minutes randori is essential in any class unless its some sort of seminar/tutorial.
The students ,even brown belts, were quite out of shape and I dominated them easily in the little Randori we did except for one high level BJC champ who was visiting who wiped the floor with me.
Now from the sounds of it its changed quite a bit since I was there - but if I go again I would be extremely dissapointed if we spend the whole session doing Uchi komis with only five minutes Randori.
I have to stress I am still not entirely sure this is the same club - I think I had to get off at Betchworth station.
P.S> I am 38 and am currently training along side a couple of olympic hopefuls and many people half my age (and a couple older thank God ) -but I give as good as I get an recently won a gold against a 17 year old - hurts a little bit but keeps me fit - I will obvioulsy never be in the olympics but just because you are over 30 doesnt mean you have to turn into a useless fat git with no conditioning !
Occasionally you will find a well balanced club that has both good technique and challenging cardio . Id say the Budokwai was one example.
My solution so far has been to go to two clubs - one insane meathead cardio club to get fit and try my techniques out in ridiculously competitive enviroment where shia and randori blur into one, and the other a more relaxed club where you can at least get a grip and practise your throws.
bearing in mind I have not been to Dorking club in 3 years with the points I raised and they have changed instructors in that time. If you got off at betchworth rail station then that is the right club would have been a bit of a walk/cycle from there though!! not bad at 38
I personally would still choose Crawley club run by John Pluckrose as it better combines technique and competition and cardio. When I was at Dorking 3 years ago I found a lot of the time for practice got eaten up with an instructor trying to explain what you were doing wrong and by the time they had finished the class moved onto a new technique. They did do randori and generally it was quite good. The one thing they didn't do was use a crash mat to practice throws on which I like as it allows full speed throws with full committment and less injuries you then get accustomed to being thrown by a new technique before using it on normal matting
I will admit that Graeme and I had a clash of personalities and I did find he could be quite patronising at times, yes he was senior to me and that earns a certain amount of respect but it still seemed rude.
at 31 I cant say much no insult or patronising intended
good ukemi is useful but some throws such as tomoenage can be better practised first on a crash mat