Blue Springs, MO - Blue Springs Jujitsu
Blue Springs Jujitsu (or BSJJ for short) has been a becon of hope for martial arts in my experience with them. The school is really upbeat without being too hippy-esque, and houses some real quality grapplers and fighters with experinece including collegiate wrestling and k-1 boxing experience. A real variety of students attend classes there too, including high school wrestlers and ex-tkd nerds, like me. =D
The head instructor, Wayne Marble, is extremely proficient at what he does. He holds black belts in Judo, Jujistu, and Missouri Jun Fan Gung Fu, and, though he doesn't list it in his credintials, spent quite some time training in Brazil under either Rickson or Royler Gracie (I've never personally spent too much time talking about it with him.) The man also isn't some kook that opened his own school thinking he could teach. Wayne teaches at UMKC, here in Kansas City, and is well on his way into getting his doctorate in educational administration.
I've never had a bad experience at Blue Springs Jujitsu during my time there. I joined coming off of 5 wasted years of ATA TKD, so i know bullshido, and this, most deffinately is not. The school is primarily a judo school with a strong emphasis on newaza, and a focus towards submissions over pins. I have yet to take part in kata of any kind, and from what i understand, the school has a very BJJ way of doing things (I have never participated in a brazilian jujitsu class so i do not know exactly how one works.) Your average class at bsjj consists of around 15-20 minutes of warming up (jogging, shrimping, break falls, sprawls, etc.) followed with around an hour of drilling old and new techniques, and finishing with randori.
Competition is kind of a big deal at BSJJ. The school competes in judo and jujitsu tournaments in our area regularly, and even posts bulletins by the door of any big tournaments within the nearest few states (right now i know of a flyer for a no gi BJJ tournament in South Dakota we're trying to get a few guys to go to.) The school also harbors a few MMA fighters with average records, but nothing too amazing. If it's an mma gym you're looking for, BSJJ is probably not for you. Though the school offers kickboxing classes and no gi grappling with striking, it is not really the best place for an MMA fighter to train, might I recommend the new Miletich camp right up the road?
The atmosphere in the school is really nice too. The upper level guys tend to be really cool about stuff and never seem to be overbearing. The olders guys have a pretty tight knit relationship with each other and get along real well. The younger kids seem to be really competitive and all try, to everyones dismay, to have the biggest egos they can. Luckily childrens classes are separate from adult classes, yay! Classes are offered six days a week and Wayne tries to hold a BJJ seminar about once every two months from a fairly well known competitor, usually straight out of Brazil (Eduardo Pessoa is going to be in the gym for a four hour seminar on saturday, Nov. 11) because he knows the best grapplers incorporate at least a little Brazil in their game, just no waxing please.
I would really recommend BSJJ to anyone thats looking for some quality grappling instruction without the whole inyaface way of doing things. It may not be the biggest gym in the world, but it sure does spawn some damn fine grapplers. Come on by if you're ever in the area, its not too hard to find and theres a class going on every day save sunday, so check us out.