Gracie Barra Northern Ireland
Classes are held 4 times a week at the Valley Leisure centre (3 gi classes, 1 no-gi class) and once at the Queen's University Belfast Physical Education Centre, which is a gi class.
The instruction is good, despite lacking ranks higher than purple belt. Graham, the usual instructor, gets techniques across clearly and is willing to help students with specifics as needed or answer questions if necessary.
Graham doesn't award rank; this is left to our frequent seminars from GBUK black belts like Roger Gracie, Mauricio Gomes, Braulio Estima, etc. At present the club has 3 purple belts, around 20 blue belts and 30 or so white belts; the numbers are usually between 10-20 students on any one night.
Classes are £5 a night at the Valley, or £60 for 4 sessions a week for the month.
Classes usually begin with a warm up, followed by a king of the hill style guard passing excersise, then a technique is introduced and drilled, then we spar. Many of the students stay on after class to continue rolling for a bit longer.
The class has several members who fight in local MMA shows, and several members who used to fight in MMA, including Graham himself; it was my experience that club members were more than willing to help me prepare for pankration matches by sparring with strikes after class.
Last edited by Das Moose; 3/12/2007 11:06am at .