Anyone in the Reading, PA area. Little help.
So, I spent a few minutes on the phone with a guy from my old college, yesterday. He wanted to restart the old MMA/BJJ club that I started while I was there.
Great. Our coach still opperates in the area and may even still remember us fondly. (For all the paperwork bullshit he had to deal with, I was always under the impression that he liked us, personally.) So, I gave him the coaches contact information. I went over with him how, at the end, I was working on a rule set for striking the university could agree with But it was still in the works, so it would have to start as pure submission grappling.
Here's where the red flags started to pop up. Well, his background popped up some red flags, but training in kempo doesn't immediately make you a problematic individual. Nor does getting contact information from a blog in which you appear to be doing chi-sao in a picture on the front page. Some people just like goofy drills. But I digress.
He asks me, after I gave him the information for a great bjj instructor and information for a potentially interested kickboxing instructor, should he ever get the striking thing working for them, if he "Could just show them some stuff. And then if some other guy does another style he could show them some stuff." I did my best to discourage him, saying someone without credentials teaching would be a major liability and unnecessary, given the qualified instructors he could contact.
His response was the second big red flag. "Well, how much credentials do you need to teach at Penn State Berks." I of course told him lots and tried to politely discourage him, restating that the university would have trouble with it, and that I would personally be concerned with safety, as there was little equipment when I left and having beginners do striking techniques in the air, where they can throw too hard and hurt themselves, is probably more dangerous than having them spar. I would note that my confidence ni the guy was shaken, somewhat, as any novice MAist I know would certainly prefer compitant instruction for free to just fucking around with friends.
His hesitation to agree with me on the problems of doing striking techniques without heavy bag or other targets also gave me a weird sense about where he trained. Though, I might be reading too much into it, as I just called him up when I was told he wanted to speak with me and the guy might just be a little shy talking to new people.
He then discussed the possibility of bringing his Kempo instructor in, who also cross-trained in Systema. Again, not necessarily bad, but they are two systems known for having... well, if you're posting on this site you've certainly seen some of the sillier videos.
I might just be over-nervous. However, I did spend a lot of time setting up a club with real, competitive martial arts when I was a student, so I do have some emotional investment. But I can't be packing up my life and looking over his shoulder to make sure it's done right. So, I was wondering if anyone who is a student at Penn State Berks or another Reading college on here might be able to take a look and make sure it doesn't turn in to the local LARP club.
I am from the Reading area. I am not a college student, but I have a friend who is a RACC student and also an amateur MMA fighter. I don't know what kind of access he could get at Penn State, but I can ask him about it.
If I took one of those Penn State World Campus online courses, would that give me access to the college clubs as well? I saw on Penn State's website that they had an MMA club. I know World Campus students have access to school facilities, but I don't know if that includes the clubs.
Do you know who the Kempo instructor is? I am familiar with almost all of the martial arts instructors in this area.
I would be glad to do whatever I can do. If you need any other way to reach me, my e-mail is fearcity2772 at aol.com.
I think some of the guys at Berks County Brazilian jiu Jitsu are PSB students. If you contact them with your concerns I'm sure someone there can help you out as well. Here is the link to the school http://www.bcbjj.org/page/page/3196596.htm
Shane Mock of Berks County BJJ was the guy who used to act as our coach, and the one I recommended to approach should the club restart. If PSB students study under him, I'm pretty sure he might be more inclined to resign, so that's a good thing.
Originally Posted by el dangeroso
Do you train at BCBJJ? If so, how's Shane doing? He was really cool about all our starting trouble. I was really pissed off when I found out the new university club immediately disbanded without contacting him after I left.
I did train there for a short time when Keith Neff still ran the place. I got deployed, then when I got back life sort of got in the way. Then I heard from a bunch of people that the place was getting really crowded (not surprising, it's the only game in town) and that there wasn't a whole lot of room to roll. Anyway, I rolled some with Shane when I was there and I remember him as a good guy. I have been thinking of going back there on a walk in basis but my schedule is crammed right now.
BCBJJ advertises an MMA program now, and they have a few solid MMA fighters, namely Derek Hopkins and Mike Siani. I don't know who coaches their striking, but if Shane's willing to sign on, he may be able to get the striking portion covered, too.
Do you think Shane would be wiiling to call the guy and talk some sense into him? I would certainly be willing to do whatever I could to help you out, but like I mentioned I don't know what kind of access I could get. Plus, with Shane being a BJJ purple, he might lend a bit more credibility in their eyes (the admin at the college included), than I could.
I would appreciate if you could keep me updated on how this works out. I have been contemplating going to PSB in the future (Electrical Engineering) and it would be cool to know what's going on.
Well, I don't want to put that much onus on Shane. Given the relatively low amount of money he was getting paid, he was kind of doing us a favor. And the first time he had to take some time out with the administrator just to get that amount.
Ideally, this dude will just contact Shane, realize that Shane's an approachable guy that's easy to learn from, and drop any idea he may have of taking it upon himself to teach the student body deadly Kempo forms.
I do, sporatically come back to Reading and have wanted to try and come in on a walk-in basis, as well. I haven't trained in anything with enough regularity to actually improve since May of 2007. And I imagine my ground game has gone from shitty to non-existant. It's just hard to get a regular gym when you're not in the same State for more than two weeks at a time.
Incidentally, if you get around to it before I do, tell Shane I said hi. If this guy contacts me again and tells me that PSB has a worthy MA club again, I'll pass it along.
If I see Shane I will tell him you said hi. I am hoping this works out, not only for the guys that are at risk of learning kempo, but due to your emotional involvement as well. Sorry to see that something you obviously had such a passion for has gone to ****.