Fear and bullets.
Posted On:2/11/2007 1:21pm
I saw an ad in my local free advertiser for "UFC" style training in Northeast Ct. I called the number and found out it was Mike Bogdanski's martial arts center that was hosting the class. My first thought was, "oh god....krotty guys in rashguards...here we go!"
But, after some initial digging, I found out that the class was run by Jim Houghton, a Tang Soo Do black belt and GJJ blue belt under Royce. I am not very well informed on the particulars of Tang Soo Do, but a Royce affiliate is always a good thing.
So Sam Browning and I checked out the class today. My overall impression after watching the 75-minute class could be characterized by the phrase, "pleasantly surprised."
There were only five people in the class, and the gym itself was large, clean and well-equipped. Class started on time, and they got right to it, there was no real conditioning portion of the class. Normally that would irritate me, but in a one-hour class, I want to learn technique...I can do push-ups on my own time!
Jim Houghton is an energetic, pleasant guy, with a high-energy instruction style. He kept the class moving at a brisk pace and covered a lot of different things. It was very much a beginner's level course in MMA, and Houghton made no claims otherwise. There was a lot of basic, technical instruction, and drills to build fundamental mechanical aptitude. there was not much theory or strategy discussed within the context of the class, but given the level of student he had, this was appropriate. This is not a fighter's gym, or a fighter's class; but I think it does an excellent job representing the necessary shift into "white collar" MMA. Puritanism aside, if the sport is to thrive...it needs mainstream participation; and this class seemed to do a great job blending solid technical instruction, with severely toned-down physicality.
Today's class was primarily a striking class, and there was no real grappling done, with the exception of a little GnP basics. It started with roundhouse kick instruction; and I was happy to see that the kicks taught bore more resemblance to the thai variety we know and love than to any silly TKD stuff. I do not know if that is intrinsic to tang soo do, or a product of competent instruction in kickboxing for Mr. Houghton To be honest, the striking instruction definately leaned toward "kickboxing 101" and away from anything taught in most traditional Korean styles. For those of you just chiming in...this is good thing.
Class finished with some one-minute stand up sparring rounds...with light to medium contact. Technical proficiency aside, the participants all seemed to be going at it with some enthusiasm. Nobody seemd too terrified of contact, and several people got into some very spirited exchanges. Not bad at all.
Finally, as class wound down and I began to worry that "aliveness" in this gym was going to fall very far short of what I would like, I found out that after class was open mat. Thank God! In the "white collar" mode, this works well because the individual can choose how much intensity they want, without fear of stigma. If you don't want to roll, simply leave after the instruction is finished.
Believe it or not folks, I am gonna sign up for this class. Drilling the basics is always good, and some of the guys there were very enthusiatic in their sparring, so I anticipate a good workout from them. Class meets once a week on Sundays and lasts about an hour, plus open mat. I will post further impressions as classes progress.
Last edited by Scrapper; 2/12/2007 12:30pm at .
And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".
--Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
Posted On:2/11/2007 1:25pm
I am e-mailing a link to this review to Mr. Hoghton so he can see it as well. Look forward o hearing from you!
Posted On:2/11/2007 1:55pm
I edited the article above to remove some typos.
My comments are as follows:
Mr. Hoghton has very good high kicking skills that he could use in a real fight. *compliment*
The boxing instruction was basic and fine.
He taught one drill which I, and most BJJ people would generally disagree with.
It involved the person on the bottom, punching someone who was in their guard. If one places a tight guard on the person, one can do an ab crunch and then hit someone with punches that cross the midline of their body. While this is a great conditioning exercise. I think it would be much better to immediately go for the sweep rather then attempt to trade blows with the person who is on top.
It would have been a better drill to simply train one or two punches, and then "shrimp" and go for the sweep. This drill would have been more progressive and added more grappling to the class.
The level of contact was determined by the people sparring each other so some of it was spirited and some was very light. Since there were beginners in the class that was understandable. I did not see anyone put on headgear or mouthpieces before the live sparring section, which might have inhibited contact.
The class was very heavily oriented towards striking, full contact grappling was done by two of the students at the end of the class who went at each other with enthusiasm, even though they did only a couple of rounds with each other.
I found that Mr. Hoghton and his class was a pleasant place to train, the students and their instructor had a positive attitude and were friendly, and the class was as advertised.
Posted On:2/11/2007 6:55pm
Agreed on all points, Sam.
Last edited by Sam Browning; 2/12/2007 11:31pm at .
Posted On:2/13/2007 2:57pm
hey scrapper its tim from the putnam mma class taught by mr. jim. i read the article above about our class and am really excited about the fact that you are joining our class. i have been doing mma for almost 4 yrs with alot of underground cage fights such as friends yards, cages built in garages and such. i also was looking for a fight team and asked jim if he was gonna start on and he said maybe later on but if we get together than maybe we can start one, and see where it goes from there. i love this sport and love the contact and most of all i love the respect. sincerely, Tim "The Fireman" Wittmann
Posted On:2/13/2007 3:03pm
hey guys its tim in case you didnt get the last one cause i didnt see it replied. i am currently in the putnam mma class and also excited at the fact that you will be joining us cause that would be nice to have someone else with some mma experience in a cage. i wanted to start a full contact fight team outta putnam but mr. jim said was was thinking about it maybe if we got together we could start a fight team. sincerely, Tim "The Fireman" Wittmann
Posted On:2/15/2007 2:04pm
i am in the putnam mma class and i have been underground fighting for almost 4 yrs i am looking forward to having you in our class sincerely, Tim "The Fireman" Wittmann
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