Midwest Training Center, Schaumburg, Illinois
This place is somewhat of a hidden gem. There are a few pro fighters who train here, including Clay Guida who fights in the UFC, XFO champion John Hosman, and MMA fighter Brian Gassaway. Muay Thai fighter Felice Herrig also trains there (at least) part time. There is a list of better known fighters on their home page that train there. The instruction is good. They have fighter training and a couple of classes during the day, but most of their instructional classes are in the evening. Below is their schedule as of 3-10-09:
Monday - 11:00am Fighter Training, 6:00 PM Fighter Training, 6:05 Beginner Muay Thai, 7:15 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 7:15 Advanced Muay Thai
Tuesday - 11:00am Fighter Training, 6:00 PM Fighter Training, 6:05 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 7:15 Advanced Muay Thai, 7:30 Beginners Muay Thai
Wednesday - 11:00am Fighter Training, 6:00 PM Fighter Training, 6:05 Beginner Muay Thai, 7:15pm Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Thursday - 11:00am Fighter Training, 6:00 PM Fighter Training, 6:05pm Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 7:15pm Advanced Muay Thai, 7:30 Beginners Muay Thai
Friday - Wrestling 6:05pm
Saturday - Open Gym 10:00am till 2:00pm
Sunday - Closed
Cost is $100 per month for two days per week (you can take more than one class per day) plus open gym on Saturday, or $125 per month for unlimited access to all classes/days.
I am currently taking Beginner's and Advanced Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu, so the ratings for this school are based on my evaluations of those courses, unless stated otherwise.
In Beginner's Muay Thai, you do a lot of drilling with focus mitts, as well as typically a couple of two to three minute rounds of pure offense while your partner holds Thai pads. Being a beginner's class, sparring is limited to very light contact, but it has been more common as of late. The Advanced Muay Thai class included sparring nearly every class, along with some pad drills and conditioning. The current schedule for the advanced class has heavier sparring on Monday, and lighter sparring on Wednesday. Both classes take place in either a ring or cage. If you're looking for maximum aliveness, the Advanced class is the one to take. Be advised that you'll need to speak with the instructor (Mark Streater) first before jumping into the Advanced class, and you may have to take a skills test.
The gym is equipped with a couple of Thai heavy bags, as well as a standard heavy bag, and some other bags mainly used for knees. They also have some free weights and weight machines. For the Muay Thai classes, Thai pads, "suitcase" pads, and focus mitts are provided. You will need to purchase your own gloves (they recommend 16 oz), shin guards, mouthpiece, and headgear.
I'm terrible at estimating square footage, but they have two rings that are about 12x12 or so, plus a cage that's about the same size. There is also an area about 25x20 or so for grappling where the jiu-jitsu classes are taught. Full locker rooms are across the hall, and include showers.
In the Beginner Muay Thai class, there are typically at least 8-10 students (usually not more than 12-15), and one instructor who moves around the whole class during whatever is being taught (sometimes there are 1 or 2 assistants helping the main instructor). The Advanced class is much smaller, and students regularly spar with the instructor (Mark Streater), which is about as one-on-one as you can get.
Excellent. Everyone who is there is there to learn how to fight, without exception as far as I can tell. If one of the pro fighters is getting ready for a fight they may be very focused, but I have yet to meet a real douchebag at this place. The instructors are also great, and very helpful.
There's only a handful of people at this gym who are over 40. Most are well under 30.
Again, excellent. We train at full power, using good technique. Given the number of pro fighters there, the technique is obviously effective in real competition as well.
Excellent, from a beginner's point of view. They break the techniques down into easy to understand drills, and all classes including three to five 5-minute rolls at the end.
None. The instruction here is focused on Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and MMA competition, not self-defense, so if you're looking for pure self-defense lessons, this isn't the right place for that.
For a video of the school, you can look at Clay Guida's training video before his fight with Roger Huerta at the link below.
Last edited by DLKasim; 3/10/2009 12:46pm at .
Reason: new URL