Urbana System Center
"Urbana Sistem Centar", Zagreb, Croatia, Europe
For my first contributory post to Bullshido, I decided to review a dojo where I used to train before moving to another city.
As stated in the short synopsis Urbana Sistem is a self defense system developed from effective and street proven techniques of several martial arts like Ju Jitsu, Aiki Jitsu, Arnis/Eskrima/Kali, as well as Boxing, Wing Chun, etc. This system was developed as a summary of more than 30 years of training these martial arts combined with the experience gained from doing security work and close protection. Goal of this system, and reason for it's making were to create a simple but extremely effective system, easy to use for regular person (without having to train several martial arts full time like most professional bodyguards and security personnel). Urbana System is a part of Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu Renmei (one of the biggest European realistic martial arts federations).
Dojo itself is located in a residential building, with a separate entrance, and is equipped with good quality equipment - well-maintained mats, kicking pads, stand-up punching and kicking bags, rubber knives/guns for beginners, and steel knifes (with dulled edge) for advanced practitioners, and eskrima sticks.
It is big enough for 15-20 persons to train comfortably, and has a gym section with a variety of equipment like bench, bicycle, ergo-meter, stepper, etc.
Generally there are 8 - 15 persons, with the chief instructor, at least one more instructor, assistants, and more experienced students are always paired with less-experienced ones since most of the techniques are combat techniques (there are drills and base techniques for beginners).
Instructors are patient and always try to give every student as much individual time as possible, especially paying attention to newbies. Trainings are always hard, with lots of practice, especially those for the advanced group (which tend to be on the painful side).
Striking training is focused on the training element in the beginning, until you get a grip on basics, after that sparring starts, especially among the advanced practitioners. Strikes use all points on the body (knee and palm are preferred, but not exclusively used), as well as pressure points and locks when the situation demands it or the opportunity for one arises.Ground-fighting instructions are based on what situations you get into, and are oriented towards making as more damage as possible to your opponent, and/or to submit.
Weapon techniques are Arnis/Eskrima/Kali based, with addition of combat knife lessons, as well as pistol disarms. Practitioners are taught to use all available weapons both offensively and defensively, and are trained extensively in the use of both knives and sticks (and all other weapons/every day objects that can be used as such).
My opinion is that this dojo is worth your time and money, and will push you for a good training session almost every single time you go. There is a special demo team of instructors and students, that can be joined for international seminars and demonstrations, which travels around Europe teaching this style of self-defense.
I tried to be as short in explaining as possible and as accurate and objective as possible, if you need additional info I will gladly provide it.
What competitive fighters do you have??