Holistic Fitness MMA - Wimbledon
Hello I signed up mainly for the purpose of sharing my recent experience with this organisation as I don't want other people to waste their time, energy and money going through something similar, please feel free to vet and verify everything I am saying as I am not here to make false allegations or slander anybody. Apologies as this may be quite a long winded post.
So, myself and a friend recently decided to start training in MMA and he recommended this place to us as it was nearby so we dropped in for a class, looking back we were both quite naive and eager to learn and the people seemed quite friendly. The facilities were basic but we thought hey, they're welcoming and appear to know what they're doing so we got down to training.
During the course of the first class we noticed that the instructor was primarily focusing on ju jitsu which we thought was fine at the time, the main drawback being we would be shown a throw then given 30 seconds to drill it before moving onto the next technique and this went on for the whole 2 hour session, the other guys in the class seemed to all pick it up very quickly so we thought it was just down to us being beginners and not wanting to hold back the training of the more advanced students we never questioned it. After the class we paid our money, said thank you to the instructor and went on our way.
2 days later we both received an email from Eric Stokes saying thank you for coming, that he thought we were great students and then went on to explain about contracts and direct debits, this was my first red flag as I work in sales and use these kinds of set ups for pitches on clients on a daily basis but I thought OK he is running a business and not a charity, he seemed like a friendly guy so no harm done.
The next red flag in the email was he said we would be grading in 2 months, now even though I am naive when it comes to martial arts I didn't feel in any way ready to undergo a grading after just 8 weeks and could not understand how he could tell I was ready from just one class. I pushed this to the back of my mind and didn't mention it the next time I saw my friend as he was eager to continue and had enjoyed his experience there.
So we went to our second class...Immediately upon entering and already a bit cautious I noticed that the senior instructor under Mr Stokes attempted to high kick a stationary heavy bag and fell flat on his arse before the warm up. It occurred to me that a guy good enough to be an instructor should not fail so badly at something that seemed quite simple but I didn't want to offend anybody and pretended like I hadn't seen it. The class went fine, we again did the 30 second drills but this time did about 10 minutes of sparing which I enjoyed but ultimately left the class not having learned much due to the speed the drills were rushed through.
2 days later again I received an email from Mr Stokes saying pretty much the same thing as the first time, only this time that there was high demand for his classes in the new year and that we would have to sign up quick to reserve our places. By this point I had absolutely no intention of going back as I started to feel like a customer and not a student. The icing on the cake was Mr Stokes has signed off his email "Eric Stokes 1st dan MMA now even being a noob I am not an idiot, I was well aware that he could not hold a black belt in MMA so I began researching and discovered he did not hold a single black belt in any discipline. Now I don't doubt that he is skilled in ju jitsu as this is primarily what our classes were centred around but this is not what we paid for, we were supposed to be attending an MMA class.
So.. to cut a long story slightly shorter we emailed Mr Stokes to say thank you very much for having us but that we were not ready to commit to any gyms and wanted to experience a few more before settling on the right one for us. We wished him well for the future and thanked him for his time.
The reply we received was childish in the extreme, it was basically thanks for coming but you've wasted my time and money (lol?) you're not cut out for mma and dont ever come back. What a clown and what a total waste of our time, effort and money.
So you can maybe have a laugh at my expense and save yourself some headache in advance by checking their site out as I should have maybe done in the beginning. Unfortunately as I don't have enough posts yet I can't share the link but it is easy to find.
If required I'd be happy to post up the email exchanges between us to prove everything is as I have said.
We have since joined a gym where the instructors have actual proven cage experience and although new to it all are enjoying our time there immensely.
Thanks for reading.