NW Jiu-Jitsu Club-Seattle, WA
I may be moving to Seattle and I was researching some of the schools. Once I came across was NW Jiu-Jitsu of Seattle, WA, http://www.nwjjc.com. I did some checking on his website and it says he recieved his black belt from Dave Meyer and John Will. I checked bjj.org for both instructors and found they are 3rd degree blacks under Rigan Machado. I checked Dave Meyer's website here, http://www.grappling.us. From the looks of things it looks like some sort of bjj belt factory.
I can't go check it out because as I've said, I MAY be moving to Seattle. If anyone trains there or if anyone knows whether or not this may or may not be bullshido please fill me in. This is in fact quite disturbing to me. I did a search and found some things pertaining to the blackbelt course but that's about it. I'm curious about any members experiences with that particular course and also with the instruction at NW Jiu-Jitsu as well. My apologies if this has apeared before. Also I do see that he has a record on Sherdog and I've seen his name in the Grapplers Quest results. I don't mind if he has skill but if he was a brown belt who went to a belt factory to get his black, that is still bad. Just my opinion. This is my first thread although 4th post I think. Be gentle or be harsh, comes with the job.
Looks like a pretty typical BJJ studio. I'm visiting Seattle on business and I trained at Gracie Berra a few days ago with Mamahzino (black belt under Ralph Gracie) and had a fantastic work out. Mamahzino is a very hands on teacher. I highly recommend him. You can check them out at bjjseattle.com. Since I might be getting a new job in a few days that requires a lot of travel, I'm going to start rating all the BJJ schools I go to while I'm away on business.
I've heard good things about it as well. I will have to check it out. I am a bit experimental with my jiu-jitsu so I want to learn some well-rounded skills that include not just the gi but no-gi and possibly MMA. Also if you are interested, MMA fighter Ivan alaverry is suppose to be opening a MMA gym this summer. Check it out at www.ivansalaverry.net.
As for this NW Jiu-Jitsu school, my main issue seems to be the teachers of this instructor. From the looks of their website they have some sort of belt and instructor factory going on. They say on their page that they review candidates and if they don't meet their "strict" qualifications then they don't recieve rank or certification but the only ones who would know of those qualifications are those who test and the instructors themselves. It just seems very fishy to me. I can understand a student getting his rank from the instructor normally and if he wants to be qualified to teach per their instructors requirements do something like that, kind of like "officiall certified to teach under such and such". This place allows you to get instructor certification and belt rank. If I had the money to spare I would try out the blue belt studies and see how well I did even though I have total a year of grappling experience and in my opinion not even close to blue belt level yet.
It's a solid club, I pay mat fees there a couple times a month. I went regularly for a few months before we were broke :20bux: . I've known the instructor since he was a white belt 10+ years ago.
The deal with David Meyer and John Will is more of a quality control thing for their widely distributed students. They have different levels of instructors who are certified to teach a certain amount of the Masterclass curriculum, but any grading under them only happens during seminars or if you travel to them. The system is kind of designed to give striking schools the ability to add some basic grappling. I've always thought it was a little McDojo myself to tell the truth, but both these guys are widely known and respected.
Anyway, Brian's belt ranking is legit and not part of some mail order scam. He hangs with black belts on the mat no problem and destroys lesser belts even though he is about 145#. He will take a superfight at any comp. if he is offerered one.
He and Ivan are friends also and Ivan has trained with him a lot over the years.
I don't know anything about the Gracie Barra here, Samfoo trains there and may pop up on this thread.
I train at the Seattle Jujutsu club, which is run by Aaron Fields. http://seattle-jujutsu.org/ It's JJJ, but don't let that fool you. Aaron is a ground specialist, with extensive experience in Judo, Sombo, Mongolian wrestling and Jujutsu. He's a monster on the mat, but his takedowns are on par with any good judoka or wrestler. His group is a good one. No bad attitudes, just hard work and a lot of talented people.
Ryno speaks the truth. That is the club that I am at primarily going forward for grappling.
I chose JJJ for now because I'm a big believer in the importance of throwing and takedowns, but was not willing to give up the excellent groundwork of BJJ for competition oriented Judo. This club seems about 50% throws/takedowns, 50% ne waza.
I have only gone to a handful of practices, but really like the place a lot. No ego on the mats at all but hard two-hour practices, it is really nice.
There are basically five BJJ black belts in the Seattle area.
Brian Johnson (who runs Seattle Jiu-Jitsu)
Micah Reyes (who teaches at Gracie Barra, Seattle)
Rodrigo Lopez (who teaches at Gracie Barra, Seattle)
Mamazinho (who is the head instructor at Gracie Barra, Seattle)
Marcelo Alonso (who teaches in Fremont and Tacoma)
Here are the respective websites:
Northwest JJ (http://www.nwjjc.com/)
Gracie Barra (http://bjjseattle.com and http://ballardbjj.com)
I personally train in Ballard with Micah, and have trained with Rodrigo and Mamazhino, all of whom are awesome instructors.
None of these places are belt factories or bullshido and they're all legit BJJ instructors. I've heard (and seen, and rolled with) a couple guys talk about how they learned BJJ from some dude in a garage or something, but they couldn't stack up on the mat. If you're going to take BJJ in Seattle, go to one of the places listed about. I'd personally go to the one closest to your place of residence (or... you know Gracie Barra 'cause it's the best).
Last edited by Samfoo; 6/21/2006 8:50pm at .
Originally Posted by Osiris
I'm a huge fan David Meyer. If he gave this guy a BB then I'd say he's solid. Check out his classes and see if you like them.
Ah, the secret is out.
Add another vote for Gracie Barra. I've been training there for 9 months, and the folks are awesome all around. Rodrigo, Mamazinho, Cindy Hales, Micah, and all the rest of the crew will have you doing things you never thought you could. It changed my life, that's for sure. Great people, great training. Plus, we share space with a Capoeira school, which is super fun to watch, if you know what I mean. Check us out at http://www.bjjseattle.com .
If you're looking for something a bit more MMA/No-GI focused, however, check out http://www.ringdemon.net . That's Eric Dahlberg, and the guy is a BEAST. He brings his guys over to train with us sometimes as well. Go to his site and check out his resume. I learned my second favorite guard pass from him. Amazing talent, super helpful.
I've heard nothing but good things about Brian, however. His guys can hang at tournaments, they're super technical, and they're nice folks. All the older guys say he 's great.
There really aren't any assholes in this town when it comes to BJJ. It's sort of a small scene, and everyone knows everyone else, so the **** gets weeded out REAL quick. There's no really heavy school rivalries or anything. Everyone's just super focused on training and improving. It just depends on what part of the area you live in, and what you want to focus on.
You really can't go wrong, as long as you go.
If you end up living near Auburn, check this school out:
I train there and the place is awesome. The MMA class isn't in full gear yet, since it's fairly new, but the BJJ is very solid.