Norcross, Georgia: Gwinnettt Judo
I've been at Gwinnett Judo for a couple of months now and it's a solid dojo. There are three instructors here, two of which are former Olympians, and other high ranking senseis visit all the time.
A typical class begins with 30 minutes of warm ups, stretching, and conditioning exercises, some of the highlights of which include 50-60 "judo" push ups, bear crawls, crab walking, rolls/breakfalls, and reverse/regular shrimps. It's not the toughest work out (that would be my school's wrestling team) but its definitely adequate and I did see a leap in my strength and stamina after a few weeks, which is nice.
The next thirty minutes is the stand up portion of class, and training usually includes uchikomis, grip fighting techniques, sweeps, throws on the crash mat, and various drills that work everything together. This part of class is sweet, but I don't care much for the uchikomis. There's usually always at least one instructor watching over you to answer any questions and give advice, so techniques are learned quickly.
After that is a quick water break and a game of dodgeball so everybody can relax a bit.
The last 30 minutes is usually devoted to groundwork. A lot of the techniques revolve around attacking the turtle as quickly and effectively as possible. Most just turn the guy over for a pin, but some will put you right into position for a submission. Of course, pins, armbars, and chokes are practiced, but only by the older members of the group (+13).
Most classes will end with about 15 minutes or so of sparring. Surprisingly, most of it is ground randori and stand up is only done when there's a tournament coming up.
Sometimes instead of sparring it'll be another set of conditioning exercises, and all classes begin and end with the teachers and students bowing to each other.
Most of my gripes have to do with the facility itself. The training mat isn't that big - I would say its slightly smaller than a tennis court, and most days there are at least 20 people here. This would've been a major issue if it weren't for the extra mat we have in the back (which is about half the size), and so far it only gets occasionally annoying when running or doing moving drills. I also wish there were more class days throughout the week (right now its just Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 7).
The kid to adult ratio is the biggest problem. This dojo only offers classes to people under the age of 20, and right now there are only about 6 of us who are over 13. However, during class the groups are seperated and even if there's no one your size, one of the instructors will work with you, however it is obvious this school is not intended for anyone who can legally smoke and drink.
BIG NOTE: This school teaches the sport side of judo and little else. If you come here expecting MMA or no gi you're at the wrong place!
There's not much in terms of quality training in Norcross, GA, but if you're under 20 and looking for quality judo or just training in general, you can't do much better than Gwinnett Judo. If you have kids, this is definitely one of the best places to get them started. The instructors are helpful, the training is good, and the price is right. Highly recommended.
Last edited by thejutsu; 8/09/2007 12:30am at .