Movimento BJJ, Chicago
Israel "Izao" Reyes
770 North Halsted, ste 203
Aliveness (not sure - there usually is sparring and thought towards competition, call it 8)
Equipment (very well maintained 9)
Gym Size (decent and very clean. bathrooms also spotless 7)
Instructor:Student (Sunday probably not representative 8)
Grappling Instruction (from my perspective, excellent for the newbie 8)
Atmosphere (Professor Reyes and students were very welcoming and inclusive 9)
Overall (Psyched to see this school grow)
It is definitely worth a visit!
Did the Sunday class there and had a great time.
Since it's been more than 10 years (13 years. dammit. time flies, but it was necessary and well spent) since I last trained BJJ, I'm fuzzy on all of the terminology, so please cut me some slack on that :)
Prof Reyes is really cool. Very friendly, and his demeanor is reflected in the atmosphere of class. They were welcoming (and VERY PATIENT with the old, slow, out of shape newbie) and friendly.
Located at Chicago and Halsted (SW corner, entrance on Chicago; free parking across the street), it's easy to get to from the loop/west loop, mag mile (Chicago bus) and points west (about 10 minutes from Chicago blue line stop)
The facility is decently sized (8 running paces long, 5 wide), and the zebra mats are very well maintained.
There are male and female changing areas, and there is ample room off the mats for your slippers, too.
Place was spotless. Classes run about 90 minutes.
On Sundays, the main focus is drill.
He is a believer in conditioning in rolling, so we spent 15 minutes or so with basic conditioning and to loosen up.
Bear crawls, crab walks, and partner carries were part of the "get the blood moving" work.
Our first drill was sweeping/catching the ankle in a standing clinch. As the newbie, I was paired up with a very patient, very nice, relatively new beginner who had experience in JKD. We worked about 25 times per person.
Next was collar choke from the guard. Prof Reyes broke everything down very well. His reputation of being an excellent teacher is confirmed. We did 25 each, with the final five with pressure.
Next drill was an arm lock from the guard. This one was not clicking for me. I've lost the feel for moving on your back. But I muddled through thanks to coaching and patience. Again, about 25 per, and we worked the final five a little more.
The final drill was a sweep from the guard. Grab the gi seam behind the elbow, pop your hips and get a hand on the opponent's knee, pendulum your opposite leg, and you've reversed. We did that 50 times each.
Professor Reyes kept an eye on everybody and gave feedback on movements and technique. He ensured that the basics were followed, and that we understood the concept and the movement.
He also gave insight to the usual questions, "why do I grab here, when [another place] seems easier?"
Pricing is on par with Chicago
Thumb's up. a very positive experience.
(present, unsure of how to rate it even with FAQs - as described to me, it'd rate 8 or so):
Other days there is sparring. Today, students worked it at the end of class. High energy, great spirits. I'll eschew the rating, since I'm a newbie (again) to the BJJ world
Everything is very well maintained. It's been open there since Nov 2011, so it is all very new, but considering how clean it was, the impression is that maintenance and appearance are important!
Decently sized. Much bigger than the MT room at Degerberg, for example. Bigger than that Aikido studio on Lincoln that's next to Tank Restaurant up in Lincoln Square. Not as big as some of the others in Chicagoland, but good sized and there is good, efficient use of space.
Sunday classes might not be representative. Professor Reyes gives lots of attention and coaching.
guess 7-8; today was 9-10
With the understanding that this is the newbie talking.
He broke things down very systematically and easily. He would jump in to show you what to do, even have you do it to him so he was sure. In comparison with a previous experience, years ago, his newbie instruction is definitely a 9-10
You feel welcome. This is probably a prerequisite for any good BJJ school these days. Students are obviously happy there, and they also seemed interested in if the old newbie was learning and having fun
WORTH CHECKING OUT
Chicago is a leading city in terms of very well known BJJ schools. Within a few minutes' walk of Movimento, you'll find Balko, Pow, Emrald, Brazil 021... In other words, TONS of places!
Since Movimento is new, it may not be as known as those other places. If my experience there today is any bellwether, I would think it will be well known, soon.