Awesome. Thanks knocka. Keep training.
I'm a current student who has trained off and on (due to work/family situations) at Vital Point Martial Arts for several years. I tried to follow your rating rubric objectively based on my experiences.
TomMack has not only a wide variety of martial arts experiences, but also depth of experiences, as evidenced by his instructorships under Guro Dan Inosanto and Ajarn Chai Sirisute. He is constantly trying to learn more, travelling reguarly to the Inosanto Academy as well as seminars where he wants to improve his knowledge/skills. He is also fairly generous in his sharing of knowledge with his students. He is also very sensitive to the individual needs/strengths. He has a good balance between encouraging you in your development and pushing you hard when he knows you can handle the pressure.
The building itself is small according to your rubric, but easily handles the usual class size of 6-8 students. It's clean and has plenty of focus mitts, thai pads, shin pads, boxing gloves, as well as two heavy bags, double end bag, speed bag, and wooden dummy. It also has a full set of kettlebells as well as other exercise equipment.
As for the instructional modalities, TomMack's classes are usually physically intense from a fitness standpoint - we're always moving. The instruction ranges from basic skills to full contact sparring based on the student's level and the particular lesson of the day. Attention to detail is stressed as well as intensity while maintaining safety.
TomMack is well respected in the Jeet Kune Do concepts community. For example, when travelling on vacation (and my honeymoon), I was welcomed by a couple JKD instructors to drop in for a class after mentioning that he was my instructor.
Finally, the Vital Point Martial Arts community is great. We have a great time in class and although we work hard, there are no egos or bad blood among us. We have students young and old, and welcome anyone who's willing to learn and train to their abilities. After moving to Buffalo, NY, I was fotunate to find Vital Point Martial Arts and I'm proud to be student there.
Despite my obvious bias towards the school and TomMack, I do believe my ratings are objective and follow the scoring rubric that has been provided. I hope anyone in the area checks out Vital Point Martial Arts.
As background on myself, besides training at Vital Point, I have trained in Tae Kwon Do (2nd Degree BB), and have trained Kali in Cleveland during the summer breaks in college and for a couple years with Guro Doug Marcaida out of Rochester (back in 1996-1998 - only mentioning name as he seems to be known here on the forums) when I was in college. So when moving to Buffalo for grad school and work, I wanted to find a strong FMA instructor, which led me initially to TomMack and Vital Point Martial Arts. I consider myself fortunate to have done so.
Last edited by bcastro; 11/01/2009 5:15pm at .
Reason: Just added to thoughts.
thanks for the kind words , I hope I can live up to them
BTW, Ivan is the one with the blue gloves who won the fight, in case that wasn't obvious to everyone. BTW, I'm working the corner too! I'm the one rocking the red cooler of death and needs a haircut.
Edit: Actually, my hair isn't too long here, but I remembered needing a haircut.