T3h R34l Gangnam Style!
Posted On:1/20/2011 11:47am
I've been training here for almost a year now, but I waited to post a review because I wanted to feel like I had a good amount of experience with all aspects of the school first. Really all I can say is that this is a tremendous school. It is run by James Clingerman. He's a BJJ black belt under Mario Roberto. There are also a number of instructors under him for the various classes. All instructors have competition experience of one sort or another.
The school offers training in BJJ (gi and no-gi), Kickboxing and MMA. They do have a competition team that competes in both grappling competitions and amateur/pro mma. They have both morning and evening classes as well, so it's easy for most people to find a class that fits their schedule. They also offer kids classes.
A typical BJJ class is an hour and starts with a warm up of some aspect of wrestling be it simply establishing good standing positions, takedowns, throws, etc. This is usually taught by our resident wrestling coach and lasts 10-15 minutes. After that James takes over himself (unless he's out of town or a guest instructor is present) and starts teaching. He'll usually teach 2-3 moves out of the curriculum with repeated drilling. He and usually at least 1 other instructor do a great job of walking around during drilling to make sure everyone is doing the move properly. This usually lasts about 30-45 minutes. Most days there's about 15 minutes or so left for live rolling. Some days though we do a lot more rolling and less drilling.
A typical kickboxing class involves a good 15 minutes or so of warm-up and conditioning to start. This is then followed usually by a lot of pad work drilling combinations. Sometimes the class is split up towards the end into groups for beginners and more advanced students. The beginners will continue to drill and the more advanced students will do more alive training, be it sparring or more alive drilling.
The advanced BJJ class will typically tends to be a little more open. There's usually time to get questions answered and drill some techniques if students want, but this class is much more focused on rolling.
Lastly, the MMA class is only attended by invitation only. This class truly encompasses all aspects of MMA. Some days we'll drill only one area, be it wrestling, some aspect of BJJ, kickboxing/Boxing, etc. Other days we'll do more of a circuit where each station focuses on part of the game. Then there are days where we'll just do rounds of MMA sparring. This usually involves wearing 8oz MMA training gloves and shin guards with moderate to hard contact.
This school puts a lot of emphasis on competition as well. In order to progress in rank attention is paid to 4 areas. These are (in no particular order) time in, knowledge of technique, ability to roll well in class and performance at competition. Students regularly compete in grappling competitions and MMA fights. James also runs a series of events called the Extreme Grappling Open
Ok, moving on to the categories
This got a 10 because everything this school teaches is about aliveness. All classes involve some aspect of fully alive application. Most BJJ classes involve at least a couple rounds of rolling, and the advanced class is much heavier than that. The MMA class has a lot sparring as well, and this is where most of the Kickboxing aliveness is as well.
This got a 7 just because some of the equipment is a bit old and worn. There's nothing unsafe about any of it. It's just not brand, spankin' new. If students don't have their own gloves or pads they can use gym equipment that is kept thoroughly dry and clean. They even have a handful of ALWAYS CLEAN gi jackets for new students to borrow for the evening if they can't afford to buy a new gi just yet.
This got a 7 simply because the size of the qym size is adequate, but can be a bit crowded at times during large classes. It's definitely not something that prohibits learning usually.
This got a 10 because it is always easy to get the attention of an instructor to help out if necessary, and they are all very knowledgeable. You never feel like you have to wait or aren't getting the necessary attention.
This got a 10 also because the group is extremely welcoming. They make it a point to make sure new students feel like a part of the group and get as much attention as they need. Everyone is there to train hard and have a good time. Egos are checked at the door, and being a place where kids are language is generally kept in check as well. I can't imagine anyone not feeling comfortable there.
The striking instruction is rock solid. All of the instructors have competed at some level and are truly knowledgeable of both Boxing and MT. The only reason I didn't give this a 10 is the requirement says "Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructors" and I can't say for sure that the instructors are actually "A-level competitors". That to me is a pretty lofty statement.
I gave this a 10 because James is the real deal. He is an extremely knowledgeable black belt in both Gi and No gi with a brown belt in Judo as well as a solid foundation in wrestling. He has competed and won at a a high-level. In addition there are instructors at the brown and purple belt levels that compete regularly and do well while also being very good instructors. Lastly our Wrestling coach Aaron Johnson has a wealth of experience and is a phenomenal coach. I honestly feel that all aspects of grappling are covered and covered VERY WELL here.
One thing I also need to add is that this school is very, very clean. They take to heart the issues that can happen with this type of training. Mats and equipment are kept very clean. To the best of my knowledge there have been no outbreaks of Ringworm, Staph, MRSA or any other skin infection. This is a very big deal to me. There are a lot of dirty gyms out there.
In conclusion all I have to say is that this school has something to offer anyone looking for good, realistic training. Since starting here I've not once felt that anything I was being taught was sub-par or suspect. I would recommend anyone in the area check it out.
Posted On:11/14/2011 4:52pm
The Fight Hub Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
That is awesome!!!
Posted On:3/22/2012 11:31pm
Not to put your school down, it sounds like an excelent place to train. But, isn't it a bit biased seeing as you are a student there?
Posted On:3/22/2012 11:34pm
That's how reviews work. You know, people play the games, read the books, drive the cars and train at they gyms they review.
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