My parents live in the Hampton Roads area, and I tried checking out a few places to get my MMA fix. Eventually, after walking into a few schools (and walking right out due to disgust in attitude and/or training) I got a head's up from a Kali friend. He said that although he doesn't train in MMA, he'd recommend Hybrid Academy to anyone wanting a good, alive, training regimen.
I called, left a message, and they got right back to me. I explained my situation, not being from the area, and with less than a year in MMA. I asked about the Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) class and they said to come on in and work out with the guys there.
There's plenty of equipment, and I think the entire floor is matted. Good stuff in my book.
The guys I met were awesome, inviting, and happy to be there. They weren't meathead douchebags like in some of the gyms I've visited (or theoretical pansies afraid of alive training). They were calm, positive, technical, and above all else, fostered an extremely friendly attitude to me, the newcomer and stranger.
The workout was great, and I walked away happy to have met such great people, as well as gaining some knowlege.
Buck Grant, the owner, is a down-to-earth guy who actually competes in MMA, which is pretty awesome and gains more of my respect.
While I waited (and stretched) prior to the CSW class, I watched their Muay Thai class, which seemed pretty intense, but looked fun. I'm not a fan of spending hours kicking a bag, so it was nice seeing some alive-ish Muay Thai striking drills with the pairs of students I saw there. I'd like to check out the MMA class the next time I visit. Hybrid is my new home away from home.