Peloton Martial Arts Center - Spencerport, NY
The Rochester area has more than a few options for BJJ instruction, and I liked what I saw of Peloton on my first visit. Classes are taught by Paul Ferranti(black belt) and Bryan Spinosa(brown belt) on Monday and Wednesday, and there's a beginner's class on Tuesday and Thursday taught by Mark Stutzman(purple belt), who also teaches Tuesday and Thursday's muay thai classes. Here's some expansion on the ratings-
Aliveness, 7- No different than your average BJJ school, I would guess. Basic class structure is stretching and warmups for 15-20 minutes, about 45 minutes of technique drills, then rolling until everyone gets tired.
Equipment, 8- Peloton is pretty well outfitted. The mat space is adequate, but nothing super-roomy. There's a decently sized weight training area, several hanging heavy bags, and even a cage for the few guys in the school who actually fight to practice in.
Gym Size, 6- I don't know the precise number of square feet, but it's a storefront in a strip mall, to give a rough idea. There's only so much space you can really have.
Instructor/Student ratio, 7- Classes usually top out at about 10-15 people. Between Paul and Bryan, and the couple of experienced purple belts who help out, everyone is pretty well covered.
Atmosphere/Attitude, 2- Here's where Peloton really suffers. Everyone in the place is very friendly...to each other. If you're new, you'll be made to feel unwelcome from the moment you walk in the door to the deliberate ignoring you'll get when you're looking for a partner to roll with. Basically, Peloton is the cool kids' table at lunch, and you're the nerd who can't find a seat despite half the table being open. Maybe the whole "You have to prove your worth first" attitude works for some people, but it turned me off in a hurry.
Striking instruction, 6- As I mentioned earlier, Peloton also offers Muay Thai on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The atmosphere is considerably more relaxed, so the person who punches your teeth in will laugh about it with you afterwards. Mark is a certified 3rd level kru and seems to know his stuff, on top of being a good instructor. But at the end of the day, Peloton is primarily a BJJ school, and so there's just not that much focus given to MT.
Grappling instruction, 6- Both Bryan and Paul are very knowledgeable and can clearly explain things if you have a question. The reason for the average mark is this- there's a certain level of competence presumed in class, and if you're not up to par with it, you'll be pretty lost. Like I said, they both answer questions well, but if you're completely new, odds are you won't even know what questions to ask. So if you've already got an idea of what you're doing, Peloton is probably a very good school. If you were completely new to BJJ, like me, it might not be the best place to start. There IS a "beginner's" class on Tuesday and Thursday, but it's less focused on the basics and more on just drilling one or two techniques from Monday and Wednesday's classes. There's a submission wrestling class on Saturdays for takedowns, which aren't covered in the regular classes.
Side note- Peloton doesn't have an official fight team, but a number of the more experienced guys there fight through Team Bombsquad and do fairly well.
Last edited by Neo Sigma; 3/10/2009 3:16pm at .
I would just like to make some changes to the OP since that's 2 years old.
Paul lowered the rate to $95 a month and is a very reasonable businessman. He requests 12 month agreements, but did one for me for 6 months without batting an eye. Peloton also just opened their second gym in Pittsford.
Peloton's fight team has been improving by leaps and bounds, but you wouldn't know it because the blog is updating like twice a year.
No idea where the "cool kids table" rhetoric came from. I never felt unwelcome or awkward, and I have only gone for a short period of time. After going for 3 months, I had to quit and was unable to go to Peloton for over a year. When I came back, it was like I never left. Peloton offers an incredibly laid back environment.
That's odd, there weren't any contracts at all during the time I was there. I had no problem with Paul himself, who was a pretty cool guy, and pretty much exactly the kind of laid-back guy I had expected to find running a BJJ gym. But there were definitely a few of the more senior guys who thought they were the hottest of hot ****.
I'm sure there's a bunch that's changed in the last two years, including possibly some of the more clique-ish people having left. My personal experience was having my arm nearly broken by a guy on his first night, then being called a
"lame-ass bitch who needs to stop whining" by a purple belt because I had the gall to grunt a little bit when I was changing back into my regular clothes. I can only hope it's gotten friendlier since then, but it sounds like it has, so that's cool.
Last edited by Neo Sigma; 1/20/2011 10:01pm at .