Posted On:2/04/2008 4:33pm
Style: creonte on hiatus
I've been postponing writing this review for quite some time since
1. I haven't been at the school for months and
2. I wanted to have enough time to do a proper review.
However, if I were to wait for that to happen, this review would never come to exist. So, better just to do it now, and add corrections and address questions later. Suggestions and questions will be appreciated.
The school was formerly known as Rollyson Academy/American Top Team Hollywood. After a period of re-organization it is now the first gym affiliated to Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) champion Marcelo Garcia. However, even though this is primarily a BJJ academy, it also offers instruction in other arts, including Boxing, Judo and Aikido.
I have to say finding the location may be a bit of a challenge for those not familiar with the Hollywood area. This will be addressed in a separate post, but I wanted to mention at the top of the review (for easy finds for those interested in driving to this location.)
- BJJ classes are headed by PanAm Gold Medalist Leo Kirby and Brown Belt John Davis. Leo also has almost 30 years of MA experience, including Kickboxing, and Shootboxing under Bart Vale. BJJ classes are offered Mondays to Thursdays. Saturdays are open from 8-9AM until past afternoon for BJJ and open mat.
- Boxing classes are headed on Friday nights by Antonio (Tony) Betancourt (4 time Florida State Golden Gloves Gold Medal Champion, 1 Time National Golden Gloves Bronze Medalist and former Haitian International Team Boxing coach).
- Judo classes are headed by Jimmy Perez Mondays and Wednesdays prior to the BJJ classes. Mr Perez not only holds rank in Judo but also holds a Purple belt in BJJ.
At this particular time I cannot comment on the Boxing and Judo classes at the school since I've not participated in them. I've only had a couple of classes with Jimmy for reviewing takedowns/throws for BJJ. Similarly, I've only have had limited exposure to a prior MMA curriculum at the school.
Therefore, for the time being I will limit my comments to the BJJ curriculum as well as the facilities which are the elements of the school I'm most familiar with. With that said, given the credentials of the other instructors and the nature of the arts being taught, I'm quite confident on the quality of Judo and Boxing being imparted at the school.
As previously mentioned, Leo Kirby and John Davis preside over the instruction. In this capacity, it is their main goal to conduct and instruct a BJJ curriculum based on the strategies and theory, the "game" developed by Marcelo Garcia. I asked Leo to summarize his vision for this curriculum, what the goals are. And this is what he has to say:
We have developed a curriculum that will cover all aspects of BJJ. Often you hear of the problems of teaching a "certain game" instead of the system as a whole. I think that is true and I think that everyone needs to understand and train the fundamentals.
At the same time I think Marcelo has proven that there are certain aspects of his game that is often overlooked, or maybe not emphasized enough. A perfect example is how he finishes the rear naked choke. The rear naked choke is a very fundamental move. So how has Marcelo been able to finish some of the top people in the world with that basic move? I think the answer is the detailed technique that he uses. John and I have had to train with him over and over again to begin to understand a lot of the technique he uses, and we are still learning. Our goal is to not only teach the fundamentals of the move, but to try and emphasize some of the very distinct details that I have not seen taught anywhere else.
How to get a person on the "choking side" when he turtles.How to get a person on the choking side when he rolls to escape.How to keep him on the choking side with your top hook.How to keep from falling off when you have the hooks.How to peel grips before finishing the choke.How to trap the arm for a 2 on 1 before finishing the choke.How to work the thumb under the chin.Various ways to recover the position when the guy is escaping.
I learned the rear naked choke as a white belt, but I learned this "game" from Marcelo. There truly is a complete game here.
And I think you can go on and on with Marcelo's game. Recently I have been working his Omaplata/Monoplata game. There is so much more to that game than an omaplata from guard. For the first time I am getting omaplatas from mount and half guard (both top and bottom) cross body, and during the scramble.
So the basis of what we are doing is this:
Teach fundamentals of BJJ but spend a lot of time working much of the game that Marcelo has perfected.
So a student will learn top and bottom and the escapes will emphasize power shrimps and power bridges that Marcelo uses.
They will learn arm drags and taking the back with the entire game that Marcelo has made work so well.
They will learn open guard and his method of playing seated guard. This includes X guard and it's many variations, but once again there is much more to it such as how he always sits up instead of playing on his back, how he uses a foot on the hip to control distance, and how this guard opens up arm drags sweeps and the omaplata attacks.
They will learn fundamental guard passes but we will emphasize Marcelos' successful passes in those classes.
One of the things we have done is to pick a subject and stay with it for an entire month, reviewing the previous lessons and then adding a detail or two in each class. We think this is important.
The first month was positioning and then we spent a month on just mount. This month we are working on finishing from the back, next month we will spend the entire month on Marcelo's seated guard. We always ask if someone wants to go over something specific, but we try to stay on the same subject for several weeks.
If you would like to know more about Leo's check his personal web page and his interview for OnTheMat.com.
Regarding facilities, it has good accommodations, ample space and brand new, regularly cleaned mats. A couple of heavy bags, and folded crash mats for throwing are also available. Next to the main room, the gym sports a weight room with several machines at its disposal. These include two treadmills, a bench, dumbbells, plates, a leg extension and a leg curl machine among other things.
This is one picture of the main room, courtesy of Aesopian. You can glimpse the weights room on the back of it. Hopefully I'll have more pics in the next couple of days.
I have a personal interest in seeing this school succeed and expand. Having said that, I have attempted to be as objective as possible in presenting this review. Feel free to ask me any questions regarding how I based my school gradings.
For additional information in the current class schedule, fees and promos, please contact Mike Mahler at 954-316-4676 (the school phone number) or his e-mail address at email@example.com
Last edited by Teh El Macho; 2/04/2008 5:03pm at .
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Posted On:2/04/2008 4:35pm
Aesopian provided a good description on how to get there when the school was formerly known as ATT Hollywood. So I decided just to quote, pictures include.
Originally Posted by Aesopian
This weekend I was in Miami and stopped by American Top Team Hollywood to train with a friend, which I'll post photos and notes from later. But first...
I know that the gym is having some trouble since the main instructor, Carlos Rollyson (for whom the gym was originally named) has left. Edson Diniz of ATT was brought in to replace him, but they're still sorting issues out and could use some promotion.
Since I was given great hospitality, I figured I could do a little to help them out.
I had a lot of trouble finding the gym, and even my friend said it took him a year to figure out where it was, since it's hidden from the road. So my contribution is to make them easy to find.
The address is:
5450 South State Road 7, Suite 27-28
Hollywood, Fl. 33314
Street level on 54th CtAnd the website and flier say it's "across from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino!"
But it's not. Across from the entrance to the casino is just an empty lot. It's...
It's also not in the shopping/office complex it would appear to be in. No, it's hidden off to the side instead.
If you follow my guide, you'll be rewarded with nice gym with a ton of mat space and a weight training room.
Hope that helps anyone else wanting to check out the gym.
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