The Center Martial Arts
You'll note I haven't filled out the numerical scores; I have only been attending for a week and don't feel I can give a fair assessment yet. I will be out of town for a week and a half, then I'll take some more classes, and then I'll update this. If you want to know why I posted this early, skip to the last four paragraphs. EDIT: I should mention that I'm a beginner, with a (spotty) year of mixed kickboxing and no-gi experience, and that I'd really love some input regarding those last four paragraphs.
I have only one concern here; again, skip to the last paragraphs. Otherwise, they roll full-force except in the beginner BJJ classes (they also have advanced and all-belt classes), so good marks there, except that I believe they ban leg-locks. I haven't taken the MMA class (YET), and we didn't spar in the first Muay Thai class I took (although I'm told they usually do), so I will update this when I've taken a couple more classes. I believe the aliveness is quite good, as I'm told they spar in most of the stand up classes, and they certainly roll a lot.
Also, I said "yes" to fight team because I met at least one guy there who had been in a recent bout (I believe amateur MMA), but I'll check how much of this there really is.
Probably near-full marks. Ample headgear, shin-pads, gloves and even a few gis (Atama) are available for the needy, as well as Thai pads, two banana bags, a body bag, a tear-drop bag, and an uppercut bag. Everything looks pretty much new and name-brand.
Quite good marks. There are two matted areas, with enough space for maybe eight or so pairs rolling at a time, as well as a smallish but nice-looking cage. There are changing rooms and bathrooms, but no lockers or showers. Everything, again, looks solid, clean and new.
Varies; the beginner BJJ class had maybe seventeen students and one instructor, while I took a Muay Thai class with only six other students. The higher-level grappling classes are probably less crowded, as should be the MMA class. Will update.
I met no 'tude or angry TapOut poseurs; there were mostly friendly college-age-looking dudes, one or two similarly-aged girls, and two kids in the beginner BJJ class. The instructors were helpful, attentive (correcting technique, etc.) and learned names, even in the crowded BJJ class. Fellow students corrected my technique helpfully as well. All in all, a very nice atmosphere. Well, except that the owner wants you to bow to the mat in BJJ class and says "osu" a lot, which I don't love but can hardly complain about.
Uh...gis are a weapon sometimes?
Very good. The BJJ (and MMA) instructor, Luigi Mondelli, has had competitive success if Google serves me well, but more importantly is a good teacher. He learns names, explains techniques clearly and repeatedly from different angles, and runs an all-around solid class. He starts with stretching and warm-ups, then with individual drills like shrimping, then partner drills like triangle from guard and guard-passes (in the beginner BJJ) or arm-drags to take the back (No-Gi), and then rolling. He picks the rolling partners, which I took as another indication of how he pays attention to the individuals in his classes.
I haven't tried the karate class and probably won't. I will update this when I try the MMA.
OK, there are two Muay Thai instructors, both of whose classes I've tried. The first, Hitalo Machado, has an MMA record of 5-3, with all wins by submission...kind of weird for a Muay Thai instructor. That said, I liked his class a lot. He started with standard warmups (jogging, etc) and focused on combinations to the Thai pads, mostly punches and kicks with a little clinch-kneeing. There were a couple of other cool drills as well, such as trying to sweep-kick the partner as he high-kicks (lightly, since we didn't have our shin pads on for some reason). We also did some shadowboxing, as well as a few partner drills in which we were held back by an elastic band while moving forward and throwing combinations, or while throwing knees and pulling in a medicine ball to simulate the opponent's head (tiring as ****). The class was not so small, maybe fifteen people, but I still got a reasonable amount of personal attention.
The other Muay Thai instructor, described as less MMA-oriented, is why I wanted to hear some input from you guys; hence, this early review! I can't remember his name, even though I met him today, which is a shame since he isn't on their website and I can't check his background. He must be newer. I don't want to sound like I'm shitting all over this guy: he gave good personal feedback (telling me about how I was leaning too far into my jabs, among other things) and ran a reasonable class, with bag work and partner drills: jab-cross-kick type of stuff, as well as "fight for the plum" and "teep-check the angle kick" drills.
Here are my issues with the second guy that I would love feedback on. First of all, he swung his hand down when he demonstrated a kick and told me to pivot my lead leg in a jab, both of which I'd been warned against before. (He's not Thai, incidentally). He also said "Muay Thai is a flowing art", which is neither here nor there but came off to me as weird. Those are minor complaints.
The bigger thing was, he didn't have us wearing shin pads or even Thai pads for the partner drills, which meant it was essentially no-contact. He said the shin pad thing was to toughen our shins up, which I'm fine with, but he also said it was so that we didn't use the pads as a mental excuse to kick with the foot, which I thought was bass-ackwards. Since we were going light-as-**** contact, kicking with the foot didn't hurt at all anyway, while kicking with the shin hurt a lot because, when you go slow, the other guy can check your kick every time! I thought, OK, at least this guy spars every class. I was right...sort of. It was also light-as-****, also without shin-pads (two of us wore headgear), and beyond that, I got chewed out for punching too fast! Not hard, mind you, I wasn't putting anything into my punches, just too fast. So the whole thing looked very silly to me. I asked whether we would eventually do full-contact, and he said yes and seemed to indicate that it depended on the individual (although everyone was told to go slow today), and said that I wasn't ready.
So...are these ever sensible training methods, for beginners or in general? Am I being an over-eager noob for complaining? Should I stop going to this guy's class if this keeps up for a few weeks, or is he likely to make good on his promises to up the ante? I'd appreciate any (reasoned) responses. Thank you Bullshido, I love you, good night!
Maybe if I edit this to be interesting or terrible enough, someone will comment.