Posted On:12/30/2010 1:29am
I train in the area and have stopped by Bruno's a couple times. Good place, slight variation on the rankings I give the place.
The gym moved to a new spot in Latham (very close to Albany). It's in a strip mall on a main road (good accessibility, parking available right next to gym etc.).
Gym: Plenty of space for the class to roll with no giant columns in the middle of the mats or anything. Changing rooms at back are mostly curtained off cubes of drywall. Two bathrooms. Place to put stuff in changing room at back or up front in cubby holes. Absolutely zero worries about getting stuff snatched. Mats are wall to wall in the space they're in and on the actual walls as well. Room to roll around freely.
Actual classes: They were good. Bruno seems to do variations on the usual Gracie school warm-ups, with improvised takedown practice and then a technique shown multiple times, with full explanation, and Bruno walking around making corrections during implementation phase. He did two or three techniques each time and had interaction with just about every student there.
Rolling: He's a BB for sure. There's at least one brown belt and at least two purples. Several blues and many whites at various stages. Usual general rules of courtesy and timed rolls, with instructor assigning who rolls with whom. For me, it was very cool to roll with new people of varying skill level. Rolled with Bruno in the middle of the first sparring section and got handled (as expected). Gave this an 8 because 10 in my head is like Jacare and Fabio Gurgel down at Alliance Atlanta or something. Bruno's good, but he's not on that level (so, so few people are) and none of the gyms up here are massive pits of future world champs. Seminars by world champs come by, but it's generally the every day instruction and practice that gets you where you are.
Atmosphere: Bruno himself was very welcoming. I have a friend who rolls there, and that's why I came over for a couple sessions. All the people I rolled with were chill and deserved their belt rank. Most people were under 30, but there were a few people well over and way under that age. There are a couple people working the front desk, so things go smoothly with paperwork there.
There were several kids (about the 12 to 14 range) at the mixed classes I went to. They seemed to have fun and picked up stuff alright. The instructor's son (2 or 3 years old) was at both sessions I was at and he was having a blast on and off the mats (fooling around and waiting for his father to be free again).
Classes: Multiple times almost every day. Look up the schedule and see what fits.
MMA/Striking: Hung around for a bit of open mat time. They did some open MMA sparring and striking work with pads and protective equipment. I grappled on one end and they were working on the other end. Looked fun and with reasonable technique. No weapons were used.
Tuition: I'm not sure. Can ask the front desk people and it's probably right in the range for the usual rates.
Originally Posted by Fearless Ukemi
Recently, Bruno has been training Matt Hamill in BJJ
All true. Hamill's a great guy who lives kinda far west of Albany and comes in to train occasionally. Bruno brought Romulo back again in November.
All in all, good place to train. I still prefer my instructor's gym for a few different reasons, but Bruno's a good guy and you'll be grappling competently after a while with him.
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