I saw people praising Therien Jiu-Jitsu on this forum. I don't know if anyone has had any experience with them, but here is mine:
Last summer my family moved up to Ottawa, and I was looking for a place to train in martial arts. I was looking for a BJJ place, but thought I'd check out Therien cause they seemed to have quite the status around here with their huge phone book ads and schools all over the Ottawa area (stupid, I know, but I was anxious to join something right away). I got 2 private lessons (where they just taught me basic kickboxing and some basic breakfalls), 1 group class, and a free low quality gi for $20, which I considered a good deal. At the private lessons, the instructor asked me why I wanted to get in jiu-jitsu. I told him I was an MMA fan, and saw the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I asked if this was BJJ they were teaching. He said "No, our style is Can-Ryu, which means Canadian stlye". I asked him if there were many differences, and he said "they are very similar, except we also add in a lot of striking". Keep in mind at this time I was relatively new to martial arts with the exception of my 2 years of judo when I was a kid. After my second private lesson, the instructor who was with me sent me in a room to discuss payment plans with a dude. I told him I'd think about it. They have flexible payment plans, all of which are extremely expensive. The easiest is to buy the "Green Belt Program". It's about $900, and your membership doesn't expire until you get your green belt. Sounds cool, huh?
I started going to classes 3 times a week, and quickly noticed how repetitive they were. We got tested for stripes once a month (after getting 3 black stripes and one red stripe, you can go for your belt test). By the way, everyone who got tested would get their stripe. I know this because my partner for the test didn't even do the techniques, and didn't care, and the instructors noticed. He was a yellow belt, and got his 3rd black stripe doing nothing.
Every class we did hip throws, ridiculous ground attacks with weak kicks, a basic arm bar, and we hit the pads a little bit. I asked the intructors when we would be able to spar so I could actually be able to defend myself and feel confident. He said "we don't start sparring until we learn the basics". I asked him when we will be ready. He said orange or green belt. (they have a seminar about once a month, and maybe once a year they'll have a sparring seminar).
I decided to try a class on Friday nights cause they had a different sensei. I thought he might be more hardcore.... The guy was about 40, and looked absolutely ridiculous and horrendously out of shape. The entire class, we worked on punching from the horse stance. When I tried putting my hips into my punches rather than just the arm, the sensei told me not to use my body, just my arm. Then, we worked on the wiper block. Which, incase you don't know what it is, it is when someone punches you and you wipe their punch away with your forearm. Would this EVER save my teeth from going down my throat? Nope. This would be my final class at this McDojo.
I tried another dojo in another part of Ottawa. This one was even worse. It was mostly little kids, and they never even did stripe/belt testing. Once again, we worked on ridiculously unrealistic bullshit techniques.
I called Therien and asked for my money back because I needed money to pay for school, and I wouldn't be able to attend University in September because I just got laid off my job and didn't have enough money. They said no, because they are a business, and they have to have money to stay in business. I had only been going there for 2 months, and they kept the $900 I paid because they are "a business".
Therien Jiu-Jitsu is NOT martial arts. They sell donuts in their dojos. They charge outrageous prices for poor instruction of unrealistic techniques. Usually no one even broke a sweat, so it isn't even a good aerobics class.
Even for people not interested in self-defence, there is nothing good about this place. Please, save yourself some time and a lot of money, and stay away from this McDojo.
This is my experience. And after talking to other people from Ottawa on other MMA forums, everyone seems to have a horror story about them or someone they know getting the money sucked out of them by this half-assed McDojo.