Which MT gym to join?
I recently moved to Germany and decided to take up a sport-based martial art. After searching the web I found two gyms close to where I live (Dortmund). Unfortunately, I dont know what to look for in a good gym. The first is called FutureKicks ( www.futurekicks.de ). They have MT classes five nights a week (even though their schedule says they only have it twice) and a 'Kampfteam'. I attended one of their MT classes last week. The lobby had a small bar and a sitting area and the training room was fairly large and entirely padded. One wall was mirrors and the other was heavy bags. There was a ring in one corner. It was taught by a older Turkish guy. The class started with a mix of cardio/strength training (jumping rope, running around the room punching the air, different sorts of pushups, etc.). After a bit of that we began training technique. For this everyone put on gloves and shinguards. The first part consisted of imitating the combinations demonstrated by the trainer (right, left, right low kick, etc.) After that they began 'half-sparring.' One person would do 5 techniques at about 1/2 - 3/4 speed on the other, then they would swap. For this part of the class, I was paired with a buff older woman. The trainer would watch us exchange techniques for a bit and then tell me what to do to improve my form. After this, there was a bit of intense cardio/strength training to end the class. The class size here was small, about 8-10 people. Everyone in the class was fit and strong.
The other gym I visited is called 'Fighters World' ( www.fighters-world.de ). They teach MT twice weekly, BJJ twice weekly, and 'Crossboxen' (shoot boxing) twice weekly as well. I went to one of their MT classes last night. The lobby was huge. There was a weight room (I'm not sure if my membership lets me use it... Fighters World is a small part of a broader fitness gym), saunas, numerous racquetball courts, and an open area with mats, bags, and a ring. This class was taught by a young Hughes-esque fellow. I was very disappointed with the people here. There were a few 14-16 year old runty kids, a few chubby women, some fit 18 year olds, a couple of fit 30-40 year olds, and a couple of ridiculous Turks (Germany doesnt have many wiggers, they have young, stupid Turks and, for lack of a better word, tiggers) with typical eurotrash spot bleached, spiked mullets. There were about 15 in all. This crowd really turned me off. None of them looked like they had ever been in a ring. I was more fit than almost all of them and Im not in that great of shape. They all had on different sorts of long pants and long shorts; I only saw one pair of MT shorts. The BJJ and Crossboxen classes here have different teachers (one of which even speaks English). MT class started with different sorts of jumping jacks and other simple exercises. Then we began technique training. The beginners were put on heavy bags to learn the basics while the rest of the class practiced high-kicking pads. The trainer would help us individually on the bags for about 15 seconds each. Every few minutes the would interrupt to make us do exercises (different sorts of crunches, wall sits, push-ups, walking in a crouch, and a ridiculous amount of crouching and then jumping up with our arms up.) Towards the end of class we all laid down with our eyes closed for about 2 minutes. Then a bit of stretching and we were done.
Which do you think is better? I know I haven't experienced the Crossboxen or BJJ yet, but based merely on the MT (I will have to pay for 5 classes a week at both gyms, so all of the training needs to be sound). Im equally interested in both MMA and MT so the most important thing for me is the quality of the training, not the classes offered. If neither of these courses sound good, I am definitely open to trying out a new one, I just cant find any since I dont speak any German. If I left out any important information please ask, I want to make sure that I end up at a worthwhile gym.
Thanks for your help, I really need it.
Go train at both if the training is similar pick the one with people you like. Location is very important too. When you are training any excuse to stop going when things get tough seems like a good excuse. I like to get rid of excuses like "Its too far." when I'm picking a place. Also, if you like your training partners you are more likely to stick with it an show up to practice.