The judo sounds like a win. You should definately check that out. $90 bucks? Cheap as hell these days.
If you mean the actual Princeton Judo, it's $90 per month with a 3 month contract, and you also have to be a YWCA member which is another $50 a year. Contractless and walk on is possible ($120/mo and $20/class resp.). They have a good rep...I almost took my older son there.
Another avenue is Emily Kwok (BJJ world champ) teaches out of the same YWCA. My guess is she is a bit more expensive.
As I'm sure you are already aware, promising Hung ga stylists are the ones like yourself who see judo, BJJ, and kickboxing and say "Yes, I'd like some more, please" but also maintain their affections for the Hung ga basics. Once you start to see what Hung ga really is (and how simple it is), it is impossible to forget or dismiss. Sifu said "you don't become the Hung ga style, the style becomes a part of you".
As for the others, let them have their flowery fists and embroidery kicks etc, etc. All it takes is to know the difference, and choose the rougher road (apologies to Robert Frost).
There are enough HG schools in NJ you should be able to find a sparring partner somewhere. If you can't, you can come beat me up in Plainfield whenever you like.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 1/02/2013 10:10am at .
@Rabbit: Rest assured I am definitely going back to Hung Ga. Money isn't even remotely an issue or consideration for that one, I am going back. Sifu has told me he's been making changes and really working to bring the school up to be where he wants it to be, and I'd love to help him out with it too if it means helping inject the spirit of aliveness in there once again.
I put on gear and sparred for the first time there - not point sparring but real sparring. I got my bell rung for the first time, thrown for the first time. I'll never forget my Sifu saying "Don't block with your face - lesson #1"
Plus, to me forms are like moving meditation. Moving meditation is good for my brain.
The BJJ at the YWCA is 125/month with a 1 year contract, and 150/month without one with a 20$ mat fee if you aren't enrolled - That actually sounds pretty cool. If I do the Judo Club there, I can also do occasional BJJ for $20 a go. I don't think $50 a year for the YWCA is such a bad idea anyway.
I honestly don't mind a 3 month contract for Judo. 3 months is long enough to know if my situation will change, usually. I'm planning on being in that area for another 2-3 years.
Sorry to hear you have to leave a totally awesome place. I can relate, but in the opposite direction. I am going to university at UC Irvine, and nothing there is affordable (other than the classes there, but none of the few classes that would have any aliveness fit my schedule). I had found a place to train, but then they instituted a uniform requirement and I could only afford the cardio kickboxing classes.
When I go home, though, there is a 10th Planet that is very affordable and with one of the best atmospheres I've ever encountered in my years of training. Whenever I come home on weekends I hit up a free open mat they have every Sunday, but that isn't really progressing me at all so much as it keeps my skill set from deteriorating. Whenever I have a break, though (such as this last Winter break), I get in as much training as I can (only $5 a lesson) and feel incredibly sad whenever I have to leave.
Hope whichever place(s) you find work out for you!