Posted On:12/14/2009 12:47pm
So despite having been on this website since sometime in 2002 and having trained at bjj reno for almost six years I've never bothered to post a gym review. In large part this is because I've no real interest in connecting my various internet accounts with my real name but I figured that the time had come to post a review.
The head instructor:
Gary Grate is a bjj blackbelt under Charles Gracie who has been coaching and training in the Reno area for a long time. Gary wrestled at a high level during high school prior to joining the Air Force. He also has always competed at a high level in grappling competition, competing and winning at all bet levels and is a frequent competitor in the pro divisions at Grappler's Quest (you can see him tapping Tyrone Glover during one GQ on the first 101 Submissions DVD). Gary is an amazing grappler and an amazing coach who over the last several years has built up an amazing team of guys (e.g. here is Brian Cimmins, GQ owner, about the gym: link). Gary was also the grappling coach for the now defunct IFL Lions and many of the IFL team members now train exclusively here under the bjj reno and Nevada MMA banner. As another example, in a Charles Gracie affiliate tournament earlier in the month our guys took several of the brown and purple brackets they competed in (and many of the blue brackets). This success is really all home-grown too, Gary and the gym got where we are largely just internally. There was no other jiu jitsu in the area for most of this decade (discussed here by a guy who is now a black belt too: link). Gary is a great coach and competitor as seen by his success and the success of the gym.
The only reason I didn't put a 10 down is per the instructions that is reserved for individuals like Saulo Ribiero or Marcelo Garcia.
Besides Gary, all the grappling instructors are great particularly Cody (black belt) and Jason (brown belt) who are great grapplers and phenomenal instructors. Of course, it is really the guys that you roll with that play the biggest part in pushing you to be better and there's no other gym in Reno that comes close in this respect. The level of grappling on any particular day is phenomenal and varied. One day last week there were six brown belts and four purple belts in a normal class (as well as a bunch of blues and whites). That forces a level of rolling that makes you better fast.
The striking instructors are also great. Ryan, the boxing instructor, has an amazing amateur record (link) and a ton of experience as a coach. Casey, the Muay Thai coach, also has a ton of experience as a coach and a competitor (link) and is a phenomenal instructor. He's hugely patient with guys that suck (e.g. me) and runs amazingly well structured training sessions with great personal attention.
The atmosphere is great once you're established there (it can be hard for new guys since there is always a lot of turn over early on). Everyone rips on everyone else and it is a lighthearted place in that regard but everyone also works really hard and pushes their training partners.
The gym is also great. We recently moved to a new location with a ton of mat space, a full ring and a full cage and the facility is split with a crossfit gym. The gym is over 6k sq ft which per the ratings guide gets it a 9.
Regarding the other ratings, based on the posted criteria 10's really don't exist except for Olympic Training Center type locations or the main American Top Team gym so it is 9's across the board.
The only lower than "9" score is the instructor to student ratio. Like a lot of other gyms, we've got a lot of guys now and so to quote the ratings guide, there are "large class(es) but (the) instructor is accessible and oversees most classes". There can be quite a few guys on the mats but you'll always get the coaching attention you need.
Posted On:12/14/2009 6:52pm
Guy Who Pays the Bills and Gets the Death Threats Style: MMA (Retired)
Good stuff. If I'm ever in Reno, I'll drop by.
Posted On:6/22/2011 7:27pm
New commercial. Gary got rid of the fee structure, just 99/month unlimited.
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