Independence, MO (Kansas City) Xtreme Couture KC
UPDATE: April 14, 2009:
Extreme Couture is no longer affiliated with this location and there currently seems to be no MMA/MA instruction.
Xtreme Couture KC opened early in 2008, and fortunately for me it was less than 10 miles from my house.
I went by on a Saturday morning and spoke to Mike Mathis, the director of the KC Sports Lodge in which the Xtreme Couture facility resides. He gave me a tour of the school and it's very impressive as you can see in the pics.
I've since trained there a handful of times over the past few months and am overall pleased with the facility, the instructors, and the setup.
The MMA class is run by American Jujitsu black belt and UFC fighter Rob Kimmons. I've trained with Rob over the years under Steve Crawford so I can personally attest to his skills, not that he needs me to considering he demolished his opponent in his first UFC fight a few months ago.
Rob has a great ability to explain complicated concepts simply and frame them into terms that are easy to grasp for just about anyone, novice or expert. He spends a good amount of time focusing on the essential refinement of fundamental skills which are the basis for any success in MMA, and supplements this with techniques and knowledge.
The classes I've attended/attend are in the mornings around 10 AM and go to Noon.
The Brazilian Jiujitsu class is run by black belt Andre Maracaba. (There's footage of him on YouTube if you're interested.) One of the things I like best about Andre's style of instruction is that he takes care to ensure that you're performing the technique, step-by-step, exactly how he's teaching it. I've even seen him reprimand the class when some participants do not use the specific grip or hand position for a technique.
This attention to detail is what will make any good grappler better.
A short breakdown of the ratings and the "why" behind them.
As always, these follow our Comprehensive Ratings Guide which is based on a 1-bad, 5, average, 7+ Superior, system.
I gave this a 9 because the rolling and sparring is done with full intensity. The only reason this isn't a 10 is because according to our system, 10 would probably be more than anyone other than a dedicated pro would want to deal with anyway, considering the wear and tear. However, hard sparring is a core part of the program.
The equipment is outstanding. There is a full gym facility attached to the MMA portion (downstairs, see pics), and they've even got a near-full set of Kettlebells, which seem to be rare at any gym in KC. Hell, they're probably the only place that has them, to my knowledge. Plenty of heavy bags, a cage, a ring, and a separate mat area for grappling.
I'm a crappy judge of square footage to the point I own a device that actually calcuates it for me. I'd estimate this as under 10k sq ft, so I can't give it a 10 here per the ratings guide. Now if you include the full facility (the KC Sports Lodge), this have to be ranked a 20+.
Everyone I've trained with has been great. No "tough guy" wannabe issues, no drama, nothing but people focused on improving their skills. The reason it's a 7 is due to the fact that the literal atmosphere (tempreture) during the summer months got a bit hot due to the massive building still having its final touches put on which meant the air was what the air was. This is the only thing I could actually complain about, but I haven't been there in a few weeks and at the time they were putting in fans as fast as they could go up. I'll revisit this later.
I left this out because I haven't attended any of the striking specific classes. Were I to rate the striking in MMA, it'd easily be an 8 or 9.
Excellent. And I've covered most of this in the BJJ section above.
I'm unaware if there are any weapons-based (Escrima, Kali, etc) classes although I do not believe so.
Updated original post, school's closed.
Anyone know where Andre Maracaba is teaching these days?
Looks like here but the front page says they are looking for a new location.
(or is this an old parked link -- there is a phone # on the front page.)
They mention Steve Crawford. Odd.