Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense Academy
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense academy is located in Boardman, Ohio (just south of Youngstown).
The owners are Tony Rinaldi and Brian Mlinarsik, both 4 stripe brown belts with 15 years of BJJ training experience each. They are affiliated under the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association (www.pedrosauer.com).
While Brian and Tony do the majority of the teaching, they also have a few purple belt students that rotate teaching on Thursdays (Bill 4 stripe purple, Derrick 3 stripe purple, and Nick 1 stripe purple). Another brown belt (Blase) teaches on Sundays. Yet another 3 stripe brown belt (Mike Grossman) hosts imprompto MMA classes on the second mat on Mondays and Wednesdays. It should also be mentioned that Tony often teaches private lessons to students that ask usually doesn't charge his regular students.
Classes are offered 6 days per week. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday classes are gi training with Tuesday and Saturday classes being the primary MMA days. Kids classes (run by Tony) and women's training (run by purple belt Ruth Rivera) are also offered at earlier times.
The BJJ classes offer instruction from 730 to 830 followed by an hour to two hours of open mat time (the schedule states class goes till 9pm, but people are always there later). Tony gives extremely detailed instruction, an example is below: YouTube- Guard pass part 2 of 3
MMA classes are run in a similar format. The first hour consists of drilling in striking, takedowns, and mat work. The second half of class consists of live drilling. While it is an MMA class, the vast majority of the students use this time to practice submission grappling. There are only a handful of serious mma fighters who train at the gym regularly. This is likely because there are relatively few MMA events in the area. Here's a link to the most recent fight results from the school. http://ohiobjj.com/academy-fighters-...hts-july-17th/ It is noteworthy that all fights were on the amateur level. So while there is a fight team, it is certainly not the main attraction of the school. Here is Matt Campbell's fight:
YouTube- matt campbell vs john rodriguez
Conditioning is not focused on here as much as in many schools. Warm ups consist mainly of a light jog around the mat, some shrimping, then a light stretch. The school does have a very modest weight room. It consists of a bench press, Jump stretch equipment, kettlebells, a squat rack, and an elliptical.
The atmosphere is light. Joking and harmless pranks are common. Almost every student that stays more than a day gets a nickname. Formalities are virtually non-existent. It brings to mind the days in a football locker room. Language in the adult class is often well...adult in nature.
The mats are disinfected and mopped every day. This is a big deal as MRSA, round worms, and warts are common in these types of gyms. There are large male and female changing rooms but no showers.
In summation, The Brazilian Jiujitsu and Self Defense academy is a decent sized gym with clean facilities and quality instruction. It is poised to have 3 black belts within the next year and 8 within the next 3 or 4 years. Instruction in BJJ is strong with several experienced instructors to work with. MMA instruction is good, but hardcore fighters may not find it to their liking.
If anyone is in the area and wants to stop by to rate the school as well...we look forward to it.