Thread: Alliance BJJ NYC
7/30/2007 9:17pm, #1
Alliance BJJ NYC
Alliance NYC is an affiliate of the Alliance family of schools built around Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti, and is closely connected to the academy of Fabio Gurgel.
The head of the school is Fabio Clemente, a 3rd degree black belt who trained with Rigan and Carlos Machado starting in 1983. Fabio won the 1995 (Heavyweight), 1996 (Heavyweight), 2006 (Super Heavyweight, Open) and 2007 (Super Heavyweight) Pan America Championship titles, and placed 3rd in the 2000, 2003 and 2005 Masters World Championships.
The other two instructors are Lucas Lepri, a Fabio Gurgel black belt who has twice won the Mundials, and Babs Olusanmokun, a black belt under Fabio who has been training for 12 years. It's not rare for all three of them to be on the mats at once with a class of 16 or so students.
Classes are available seven days a week, with two 1.5 hour classes each night Monday-Friday (18:00 and 19:30), plus morning (06:30) and midday (11:00) classes Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday, and an afternoon class Sunday (14:00). All Monday, Wednesday and Saturday classes are taught without a gi, the rest are taught with one.
Generally, classes have around 6-18 students. There are no beginner or advanced classes; students of all levels work together in each class. Every class begins with the standard BJJ warm-up of running, jumping, squatting, shuffling, and so on, followed by technical drills in pairs, after which we roll for the last 45-60 minutes in five to ten minute rounds.
Most of the students compete regularly, an activity that's strongly encouraged by the culture of the school. This leads to very high intensity training that would probably be inappropriate for those who are looking for a casual workout after a day at the office (most new students vomit during or after class for the first month or two). However, beginners are welcome, and I've encountered zero attitude or ego from the students and instructors, all of whom are friendly and helpful. Advanced students are happy to give advice, and the instructors are quick to get down on the mat and work a technique with a student who is having trouble.
There is enough mat space for the number of students who attend, but the facilities are not spacious (though they are clean). There's a small men's changing room and a tiny one for ladies (of whom there are few), each with a shower.
This is not a striking school, nor is it an MMA school. It's a traditional BJJ school featuring a very high level of instruction to a relatively small number of dedicated students. The price is high, but it's within the ballpark of other top-end schools in NYC, and there is no limit to the number of classes one may attend per month. A one-year contract is typical; I don't know whether it is mandatory.
Last edited by Jack Rusher; 11/05/2008 2:09pm at . Reason: Marcelo gone. :-(
7/30/2007 10:07pm, #2
Now that was a good review to read. Back up ratings with appropriate points.Surfing Facebook at work? Spread the good word by adding us on Facebook today! https://www.facebook.com/Bullshido
8/09/2009 10:29pm, #3
I visited Alliance NYC by invitation from Jack today. Since Jack couldn't make it himself, he let the instructor know I was coming, and I was welcomed warmly. (Thanks, Jack!)
The majority of what you need to know is in the above review. The instructors are world-class champions and world-class instructors, the training is hard, and it's gi and no-gi BJJ. Everything else is gravy. Here's my subjective gravy:
Class started promptly with the instructor leading the warm-up, which were extensive, dynamic, and fun. It consisted of running, running variants, rolls, army crawls, cartwheels, running while being held back by your partner by the belt, wheelbarrow push-ups, and the like. People worked hard and were encouraging each other.
Instruction was excellent both in content and in delivery. My class (intermediate gi) included a takedown, chained to a guard pass, chained to a variant of that guard pass, to a submission from the end result of the pass, to a variant of that submission. Details were abundant and partners gave appropriate progressive resistance. Both students and instructors had an eye for suggestions (and safety). The instructor had commentary on everyone's progress during each technique and picked up on errors, safety issues, and inconsistencies. He was also attentive for calls for more detailed help.
Rolling partners were called out by the instructor with care. I noticed particularly that the instructor knew everyone (including me and another new guy) by name without hesitation. Other students were friendly, and if not immediately gregarious before class, were amiable after rolling had commenced.
Rounds were timed. People on the sidelines were active in coaching all participants, and the level of skill and intensity was high. There was an excellent selection of music from beginning to end: I believe there was some French or Portuguese rap, plus some good jazzy techno. Better than the average BJJ-music fare IMO; I would love to get the playlist.
After class was called to a formal end, people did some extra rolling, stretched out, talked, worked on strategy and technique, and waited for the shower.
The space was clean, well laid out, and spacious. I was impressed with the accommodations; it had shibumi.
Overall, both my experience and my impression of the school were the same: excellent.What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
9/30/2009 12:01pm, #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
- Sao Paulo (BJJ Motherland!)
I have to say, I only went once to Alliance, on invitation of Jack (thanks again), unfortunately he couldn't make it due to work. Hence I can only talk about what I have seen during this one class.
I was looking into several schools since I planed on staying in NYC for a few months (turned out I only stayed for two weeks but that is besides the point). And Alliance was up high on my list. I went on a Thursday if I recall correct, Advanced class.
I was welcomed very nicely and talked a bit with Fabio (one of the instructors) since he greeted me in Portuguese and I replied, he assumed I was Brazilian which I then denied and we went on talking about BJJ in Sao Paulo etc. He presented me with the options for enrolling and then showed me the way to the locker room, where I changed for my trail class.
I was then to witness some talk about upcoming events and a promotion to brown belt, with the obligatory slapping on the back but unlike in brazil, the guy had to walk the line 5 times, his back looked evil after this but he was happy and so where the trainers/friends. Due to this, the lesson was cut a bit short.
Warmup was good, the regular mix of running, rolls etc. you know it. After that we drilled a transition to the ?cradle choke? (I am not good with names, you grab the collar, run your arm behind his neck, get one hook in, grip his knee with the free hand and trap his arm with your other leg). Unfortunately there were a lot of people and thus mat space was rare. The instructors paid attention and gave pointers where needed.
After the drills we got separated into groups of 5 or 6 (white blue purple and above) and it was time to roll. What struck me as odd was that the whites where going full blast all the time. Not that I mind but even the one girl tried to muscle me :icon_eek: (do I look that small?!) it was funny though. While rolling the coach would give little advice or encouragement to the people.
After class I stayed and rolled with a few more people and drilled a bit more with the girl (her name slipped me) and then talked with lucas about the skill level of BJJ in Germany, Italy and Europe in general. And about training in Brazil etc. Great guy!
I liked the training, the atmosphere (people where nice to me all the time). Where I have to take away is the size of the gym, a school of that class should have more space. The mats and locker room were clean. Not that much equipment to talk about. Instruction is without question world class and aliveness is ensured by rolling.
PS: Jack if you can, say thanks to the people!
10/03/2009 6:50pm, #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
- Deer Park
Where in NYC? I need good training in BJJ.