This isn't really an official rating of the school--I'm just an orange belt. I'm posting it here because we have an Open Mat night and I'd love to see if we can get some of the locals to come!
Friday nights, starting at 7:00 AM we're open to the public (10.00 mat fee). We do sparring, grappling, and other kinds of training. There is a senior student (brown belt) and usually one or two other ranking students.
It's a friendly atmosphere and we're very interested in mixing with and learning from other styles and practitioners.
The level of contact ranges from light (no-contact to light contact no-gear) to moderate (gloves, mouth-piece, head gear, hitting hard enough to get a little rocked). We also do "take-down" spars which involve the full range (striking to grappling--and striking during grappling). As that's pretty intense I'd want to know the person I was dealing with (it isn't a ring match--Coconut Creek ATT isn't far away if you're looking for that :) ).
We do standing grappling as well as knee-grapples.
Anyway, that's Friday nights--and we'd love to see more people come by!
As for the school: my basis for comparison is probably limited but it's got a few objective pluses:
1. You can (for example) show up and tell the instructor what you want to work on ("cardio! Hands! Better throws!") and you'll get it class after class.
2. There are NO belt-fees, test fees, or contracts (you are expected to pay each month if you plan to keep coming--but if you move away or quit there's no contract to break). He asks for a 3 month commitment up front. There are zero additional fees to the class.
3. It's a very supportive atmosphere. The classes are fast moving and change up a lot. The class is serious--but way lighter hearted than some of the schools I attended. There's nothing grim about it.
4. It's all in English. The instructor is plain-spoken and will go over stuff until you get it.
5. I happen to be really bad at kata and there isn't any here--That's a personal plus for me.
6. When I did Judo in college I'd go home covered with small bruises from people's fingers digging in. It turns out I'd kinda missed that :)
If any of that sounds at all interesting, come check us out--or just come by for Open Mat night!
Edited to add: I'll also note that we do gui and no-gui grapples (gui is optional after white-belt). I've enjoyed getting to switch it up.
I've trained there also, and I (mostly) agree with everything Marco says. It really is a very, very good school. They have two flaws, from a BS perspective:
- Students aren't allowed to enter competitions of any sort, and
- They do talk about the "street vs. sport" thing a lot.
However, on the second point, their idea of street is not larpy bullshit. There are several LEO's among the senior students, including a corrections officer. Frequently class time is spent asking them to, "Show us something you've found that works in your job."
Their stand up grappling is excellent. They do full open randori almost every class. They also cover ground fighting. Their senior students can easily tap me out (I'm a BJJ blue).
Oh, and they teach plenty of wrist locks and stuff, but they are fairly realistic about how applicable they are in real world situations.
The stand up sparing is, as expected from HKD, pretty focused on fancy kicks. Keep in mind, however, they can actually land some of those kicks, with power. This is not tippy-tappy WTF stuff.
I haven't trained in any other HKD schools, so my perspective is limited, but it would be pretty hard for me to imagine a better one than this.
Adding my ratings.
I'm giving striking a 7, but this assumes you accept the kick-heavy curriculum. If you prefer to throw hands subtract 1 or 2.
Also, the aliveness for grappling is always very good, I gave it an 8 based on that. For alive striking, you need to attend the Friday night open class..
What kind of grappling is taught there?
can you tell us about the weapons and why you gave a 3?