Hudson Valley Jiu-Jitsu - preliminary
I did NOT put in ratings since I only went to one class (Muay Thai) and don't consider myself qualified to judge A) that class B) other classes I haven't seen, plus C) I only went once.
The gym consists of wrestling mats taped together, walls matted too. No heavy bags (!?) but there are a couple grappling dummies and a BOB. The bathroom light is broken. Newspaper articles about the school and its competitors, plus MMA promotional materials, line the walls.
Brian Mclaughlin is the centerpiece, he's a successful MMA and BJJ fighter. Brendan ran the Muay Thai class, and seemed to be a competent, experienced competitor. I saw the wrestling class finish up, taught by a small guy who had wrestled very competitively in college (Middlebury?), and a BIG guy who was, Brian told me, a 2-time Olympian in Greco, and had once beaten Randy Couture. Brian's BJJ coach is Rob Kahn, but I don't know who teaches the BJJ classes.
The Muay Thai class started with skipping rope (regular, boxer shuffle, etc), then shadowboxing (this is where the instructor showed me jab, cross, elbow, knee), then pad work with partners (jab, then jab cross, then jab jab cross step knee, then more complex, then 5-and-10s, ie round kick 5x for form 10x for speed/power). We then did cuff-the-jab drills, one-two rhythm drills, and half the guys sparred. I was not allowed to spar, the girl I worked with didn't spar, neither did most of the high school boys there, don't know why.
People were not particularly warm/friendly except for the woman I worked with, who was new also (2 weeks). Instruction was good but not very comprehensive/specific for anyone but the three serious competitors (the Olympian wrestler, a guy with a fight in three days, and another guy). The class was fairly small (10 people), made up of those competitors, the high schoolers, two 20-ish guys, the young woman and me.
I will not be going back, mostly because of the distance, partly because it wasn't so friendly. I sensed a lack of professionalism. I have no doubt that they produce good fighters, however.