Worcster, MA - Worcester Judo Club
This is the Worcester Judo Club, formerly the Worcester POLICE Judo Club. It has since moved out of the Police HQ of Worcester into a new location for more mat space.
It is run by 5th Dan in the USJA Sensei Jeff. (Last name will be found and edited in later) Thus it is a USJA school. It meets 3 times a week, Mon, Thurs, and Sunday mornings. And is a 70:30 Tachiwaza: Newaza styles club.
An 8 since like most Judo clubs we spend around 25-45% of every class with randori and have newaza randori for approx. 20-30% of most classes. Everything we learn we later test with resistance. Kata practice is done either on your own time, or, if you're heading for a Dan rank (where the USJA asks you to know one per rank) then you're given Sat class-time to work on it.
There are new mats that are very well padded but still laid next to each other and accidents can happen in the cracks (which are velcroed). No crash mats so doing a couple dozen full throttle ipon seios for practice is out of the question.
Gym Size: 7
It's a seven because the size is good, but not great. In a larger class we often have to stagger our ukemi lines and when we newaza or randori only three pairs can fit at the same time. So it's a big mat, but only for medium to small sized classes.
Instructor/Student Ratio: 10
There's always a senior black belt who leads the whole shebang everyday and it's almost always Sensei Jeff. Then there's usually (but not always) two to four other black belts of various degrees present. With a class of twelve to fifteen this means groups of four or five per black belt gets you a lot of personal training and help. All the blackbelts are knowledgable and able teachers.
"We train hard but have to go to work in the morning" Is the motto and fits the classes perfectly. Classes run tough and training is kept at a constant quick pace that has everyone excited and happy but never over-the-top crazy where someone ends up seriously hurt. The students are eager and the sensei's lax with the strictness. So while there is the traditional bowing and obvious show of respect to the sensei, he's still "one of the guys" and often groups go out for drinks afterwards. This makes for a bunch of happy and hard training Judokas.
Grappling Instruction: 8
And 8 since it's a 70:30 school and not a 60:40, we spend the vast majority of our time on our feet, but a few of the senior sensei's have crosstrained and during the newaza sections and classes the students get a lot of great tips, tricks, and techniques that keep everyone's ground game a little superior to most other Judo schools at the local tournaments.
No strikes except in Kata so that doesn't count and IMO a school without any weapons training is the schools with the best weapons training.
All in all aside from the price this is one of the best places you can go to train. Jeff will also give discounts if you are a local college student, of which there's plenty of in Worcester (As low as $50). And even at $70 it is still cheaper than the $120 a month of the BJJ school around the bend.
Many Judoka compete and place well in the local Foxboro tournament as well as recently (2006) Tohoku's Chavez Tournament [EDIT: And have placed in the top 4 in Pedro's Challenge]
The Sensei's have recently all entered the Mass Bay Regional or some other slightly more intense tournament but I haven't gotten how they did because I've been on hiaitus.