Aiki Academy [American Top Team Affiliate], North Branford CT
Class schedule available here:
Looking over the schedule you will see we run 70+ classes a week including fitness, self defense, grappling [gi and no gi], striking and mma classes. This is made possible by our two floor facility. Both floors fully covered in tatame mats for comfort while grappling or being thrown.
Chief Instructor Dennis Hill teaches the Combat Hapkido and Sambo programs, also holding black belts in Kempo, Judo. Sambo lineage through Joseph Vigdorchik and we are an Affiliate Member in good standing with the American Sambo Association. He also was awarded his BJJ Blue belt recently through Luigi Mondelli of ATT.
The Judo program is run by Master Sid Kelly 8th Dan judo, who also holds a 6th dan in Japanese Jujitsu. He is a two times world masters gold medalist (1999 - 2003) and a one time world masters bronze medalist (2002). Sid was a British international player from 1965 - 1967 and coached an under 21 European Champion Gold Medalist. Sid was the captain of the NHC team, winning the British area championships. He is a certified USJA coach, certified USJA Rank examiner and certified USJA Kata coach.
Aiki Academy is now affiliated with Best Way Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / American Top Team Connecticut which is located in Danbury. Luigi is a Master Black Belt / MMA Team Manager. He has a very impressive BJJ background including:
2009 2nd place US Nationals
2009 Panamerican Champion
2008 World No-Gi Champion
2008 Panamerican Champion
2007 Panamerican Champion
2006 Panamerican Champion
2004 Panamerican Champion
2002 World Champion
2004 North American Champion
2003 North American Champion
2001 2nd National / Brazil
1999 Rio de Janeiro State Champion
We also have a robust fitness program including kettlebell work outs and kickboxing classes [bag or thai pad classes available.] There is a lower cost for people only interested in a fitness program.
We have an extremely active Kids and Teens program with an excellent track record in Naga competitions. All youth classes are no-gi except for the judo class. Youth program also includes Kickboxing classes with sparring.
Explanation of Scores:
All grappling and striking classes include sparring. We are a no ego school so no one is forced to go hard and everyone is more then willing to go to your preferred level however there are a number of people who enjoy rolling or sparring very hard that are available to work with.
Two floors of Tatame mats in excellent condition, a full array of kettlebells and other fitness items [no big machines], boxing mitts, thai pads, spare shin guards, belly pads and kick shields. 8-9 RevGear brand standup bags. Most gear in good condition, bags replaced regularly. Small pro shop available.
Two floor facility with plenty of matted space to roll or work in. Several thousand square feet, I have to ask exactly how much, will update when I do. Separate sex changing rooms on both floors. A toy room for children to occupy themselves and a comfortable waiting room.
Fitness classes tend to be quite large but all other classes are reasonable and well staffed. Typical classes have 6-8 students, larger classes often have an additional staff member on hand. Teachers have no problems spending individual instruction time with each student regardless of class size.
The school is hands down one of the friendliest most inviting I have ever attended. The environment is 100% ego free, anyone with a big ego will not last. Everyone is helpful an new students are made to feel very welcome.
Striking is taught primarily by Ken Gonsalvez, a former golden gloves competitor and life long boxer who was instructed by the late John Rice. Classes include a good deal of sparring with boxing gloves, shin guards and head gear for full contact. MMA classes include both hard sparring with gear and light sparring with MMA gloves. Live rolling is done in every grappling class and can make up 15-30 minutes of a class. Level of aliveness is also based on who your partner is. We do not do forms : P
Our instructors speak for themselves. See the New website for information.
Our Combat hapkido class includes basic knife and stick fighting drills. Live practice with foam sticks and rubber knives covered in red paint is as serious as it gets.
I'm Sure I've forgotten plenty I should have written but the website is quite detailed and I'll update this as needed