Jerry Laurita Teaching BJJ in Avondale (Phoenix), AZ
I recently decided to start looking for schools at which to train that are closer to my home. The closest school to me is Laurita Martial Arts, so I decided to look around on the INT3RN3T to find out anything I could about this school and the instructor.
The website for this school is the following:
It is owned and operated by Jerry Laurita, a Black Belt under Joe Moreira. I googled him and the first search result was the following thread that was started in 2005 about a promotion spearheaded by Jerry Laurita:
After reading through this, I decided to make this thread to ask a few questions that I had.
Where to begin...
A quick synopsis of the thread above is that Jerry Laurita is marketing a program that will give people the ability to teach BJJ by watching videos in as little as one week. It was started when Samuel Browning received an email promoting the program. Throughout the life of the thread, BSDaemon contacted a few parties, including Joe Moreira, to get some clarification, this problem was brought up and discussed on other boards like JJGear and Sherdog, and flame wars ensued. BSDaemon wasn't able to get in contact with Joe Moreira, Jerry showed up to one of those boards to defend himself once or twice, and that was it. Oh, and there was a gong sau in there somewhere between a BJJ purple and a BJJ brown. It seems like the issue was dropped.
The following website is the site for the IBJJA - the organization that Jerry Laurita formed and belongs to that is used, seemingly, primarily for marketing the program:
This website has changed its wording dramatically since the thread above, and no longer contains some of the verbiage that it once did - specifically the part about "one week and you're an instructor".
So, the official Laurita Martial Arts website lists a few instructors, almost all of which are involved with BJJ.
Tonight, I will be visiting Laurita Martial Arts because I am interested in attending the BJJ classes that are taught there. I am not going there to call anyone out, or anything like that. The problem is that I don't really know anything about grappling, despite having 9 years of consistent training in the martial arts. I'm here now for a neutral opinion on the school, instructor, and business pracitces.
1) Has anything new come of this investigation that was done quite awhile ago?
2) Does anyone know anything about the abilities or qualifications of Jerry Laurita in BJJ?
3) I'm assuming the Joe Moreira is a legitimate instructor and Black Belt?
4) Has anyone trained with Jerry Laurita, and can give an accurate and honest opinion about his teaching abilities?
5) The school is under CBJJ - what is this, and is it legitimate?
And, lastly, I'm sort of thinking that training at a place, and gaining rank there, might actually hurt my credibility as an instructor later on if the credibility of the insitution that gave me my rank is questionable. No doubt, the marketing of BJJ instructor videos in this case is definitely questionable. What do you think?
Last edited by Tangent; 11/13/2007 12:30pm at .
I haven't heard anything really bad about Jerry Laurita specifically, and Joe Moreira is a well known top notch guy. I'm sure Jerry's all right generally.
However, if you are asking for opinions on this, I looked it up on a mapping program, and Laurita's is exactly 13.2 miles away from Megaton Diaz at www.teammegaton.com.
Rather than burning all those valuable calories trying to wonder, why not just save time and go train with Megaton? He's an active world class competitor - fought in Mundials this last year, has a top-notch school that wins tournaments all the time, and is a known entity.
Can I get an amen anywhere from the house?
Well, Megaton's place is 27.5 miles from my house. The reason that I'm considering Jerry's place is because the place I currently train at is 27.6 miles from my house, and it takes me at least an hour to get there in rush hour traffic. This is all according to google maps, of course. So, though it is in a slightly different direction, I doubt that it will take significantly less time to get to Megaton's to make it worth considering. Granted, I haven't actually tried to drive there yet, but I've had my fair share of Phoenix traffic, and it blows.
Originally Posted by chingythingy
If you do end up going with Laurita instead of Megaton, you'll probably get quality instruction directly under Laurita and his advanced students. Down the line, though, just make it clear that you earned your rank directly under him and not through some distance learning thing.
Originally Posted by Tangent
By the way, the CBJJ is the Confederacao Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu, the head BJJ organization in Brazil presided over by Carlos Gracie, Jr.
Let us know how your session went...
Well, I made two stops last night. The first was at a Muay Thai gym operated by Paul Metayo, who coached Alex "F-14" Gong.
As soon as I walked in, I had a great feeling about the place. Paul was a really great guy and was very direct - he just asked me if I was looking for MT, and upon my positive response he produced a sheet of paper detailing class times and prices for everything. I aasked if I could come back in tonight to take a trial class, but I already know I'm going to like it. The only downside is that his gym is somewhat small, but it's still really great.
So after that, I went to Laurita Martial Arts. Jerry has a good facility, and it's in a good location. I walked in and the students were stretching out while preparing for the class that was about to start. Jerry came out of his office at class time and started them up. He came over to me, introduced himself, asked my name, and wanted me to fill out some guest welcome form or something. I basically put my name on it and gave it back, and asked about his program.
So, first of all, they offer an introductory lesson program which is $20 and includes two free lessons and a free uniform. Ultimately, I don't like this, because every single school I've ever visited has offered a trial lesson for free. I don't want to pay $20 for two lessons, decide I don't want to go there, and only have a uniform with a big-ass patch on it representing the school that I decided to walk away from.
I got this pitch from the secretary and turned it down. When I talked to Jerry and gave him back that form, the first thing I asked him was how much classes would cost me. He sort of thought about it for a minute, and then told me about the introductory program. I said that I know about that, and wanted to know about the cost for the actual classes. He said that after the intro program, we could talk about it. What? I just want to know how much your classes cost. He asked me when I would be able to come in for the intro classes, and I told him that I didn't know for sure, and that I would call him back to let him know ahead of time. I told him that I had to go, but again asked him for a pricing structure for his BJJ. He told me that the "average" cost is "about" $125 per month.
Christ man! Why can't you just tell me how much the classes cost? Are you that unconfident in your classes that you can't tell people how much you're gonna take until they're already somewhat invested? I just want to know how much I have to pay! On top of that, I asked if that cost was for just BJJ, to which he replied that it was.
Now, I don't know how much Megaton charges, but I DO know how much Gustavo Diaz charges in Tempe, and it's less than $125, PLUS they have other classes that you can also take for that same cost.
So now, I don't know what I'm going to do. I really want to grapple, because that range is easily my worst right now and I need a lot of work. The only school that's close is Laurita's, though, and not only is the instruction surely not as good as Megaton's or Diaz's, but it's also not competitively priced. What do I do?!?!
Where are you at in a general area? Yes, I know Phoenix but cross streets even 5 miles away may help.
I basically live on Dysart just off the 10, so think of the corner of Dysart and McDowell.
Originally Posted by It is Fake
Man, your choices do kind of suck. You need to move.:)
Originally Posted by Tangent
How serious are you training, hobby, fitness, or MMA fighter?
The reason I ask is training is relative to what you want. Myself, I've been more concerned with price because I doubt I'll compete. Where as if I was trying to be an amateur, I'd travel further.
$125 a month isn't out of line for BJJ at a good school. He's probably got multiple pricing structures depending on the number of times a week, length of contract, etc.; I don't know why he wouldn't have a printout listing the various options, but so the **** what. the twenty bucks for the introductory classes isn't even worth thinking about, IMO; it's probably just a nominal charge to keep every 16-year-old tapout-shirt-wearing UFC fanboy in Phoenix from overrunning his school. I doubt very much he's giving away gis for that price, though--it's probably just free use during the lessons. at any rate, if you're serious about learning BJJ, worrying about twenty bucks is silly.
as far as I know Laurita has a solid rep & puts out lots of competitors. if you want more informed opinions, ask over here:
many of his students post there, I believe.
edited to add: this is in the wrong place. whatever your personal impressions, this guy is not a fraud by any stretch of the imagination.
Last edited by G8; 11/14/2007 11:45am at .