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  1. OldDog53 is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/07/2008 6:11pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    10th Planet Jiu Jitsu San Francisco

    A note on the ratings:

    I gave gym size and equipment a "6" to reflect the fact that this is a work-out area within a conventional exercise gym and not a stand-alone academy. The smallness of the training area and lack of peripheral equipment do not, however, have any impact on the quality of the training. But if you are looking for a mega gym with fancy showers and lockers, look elsewhere (the gym does have a small locker room and showers).

    On the other hand, this is a labor of love as much as money on the part of the instructor (who is a whopping 20 y.o.) for whom this is his first gym (owned gym, he used to instruct out of a karate school) and he folds up the mats after training to keep gym rats off them, and washes them down with disinfectant every day. No mat bugs here.

    Eddie Bravo has authorized some of his advanced students to open up local academies, if they so desire, and Denny Prokopos, one of Bravo's Brown Belts who won his division at last year's inaugural Mundials No Gi, opened this location in San Francisco early in 2008.

    The training area is situated within the Valencia Street Gym, formerly a Gold's Gym, which is located near 16th and Mission in the heart of the "Yuppie Mission" with new condos and trendy restaurants in abundance up and down the street (its on Valencia). Just so you don't think the neighborhood has gone all "sweet" on you, a redeveloped, upscale but still public housing project is across the street (without the former corner crack dealers) and the Valencia Street Gym has some worn old training equipment (which doesn't, of course, affect the grappling school which subleases space from them).

    The best news is that unlimited attendance is currently only $100 a month with no ccomplicated contracts, just Easy Pay deduction from your checking account.

    Well maybe the BEST best news is the fact that there is now a first class training opportunity for exclusively no gi training in the Bay Area. No need to feel like a second class citizen at a gi academy that might offer only one or two classes a week in no gi. I signed up here just to pick up no gi classes which are not offered at all at my gi academy, and even attending once a week it's worth the $$$.

    Before Prokopos began studying under Eddie, he studied gi for several years under one of the Gracies in San Francisco, so he has a firm grounding in "conventional" jiu jitsu as well as in Eddie's unique and sometimes controversial system (hey, I like it, but the occasional hype puts some people off). Prokopose was also a star high school wrestler, and brings a wrestler's knowledge of take downs and drive for positional dominance to his instructions.

    I was dubious of the ability of an 18 y.o. to teach - Denny was only 18 when I started taking private lessons from him to learn some Rubber Guard - but I've taken a lot of private lessons from many black belts since then, and Prokopos' teaching ability is way up there in the high percentile in terms of quality and organization. And of course Denny is now a much more mature - cough - 20 y.o. He never missed or canceled any private lesson on me in two years of weekly lessons, so I'd rate him A+ for dependability and dedication to his students.

    He currently has about 20 students with about 8-10 on the small mat area (which is fine for the number of students who typically show up) at any given time. He says the gym will let him take a larger, adjacent room if he outgrows the present room.

    The mats are good, but they are wrestling mats, which are both softer and stickier than the "synthetic tatame" mats more typical at gi academies. If you have wrestled, you will feel right at home on the wrestling mats. If you haven't, you'll learn the difference in feel and speed quickly (and that is a good thing, if you compete no gi the mats are often wrestling mats, even gi competitors sometimes end up on them at school gyms).

    As with almost all jiu jitsu academies, the first class if free and there is no hustle to sign up.

    The students I've trained with there have been uniformly friendly and respectful of their training partners. YMMV with visiting training partners, so make sure you don't get a mad dog MMA person just dropping in that night. Some no gi people can be maniacs, imho, although that doesn't seem to be the rule here.
    Last edited by OldDog53; 8/07/2008 6:15pm at .
  2. HAPKO3 is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/12/2009 4:45pm

    supporting member
     Style: 10th Planet JJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have been training at 10th Planet SF for something like a year and got my blue belt from Denny. Prior to that I have trained at a few different places and could never quite feel like I've found a home. I don't want to name any names or badmouth anyone, but Denny is far and away the best instructor I have ever trained with. One thing in particular that sets him apart from many others I've trained with is that if you're his student, you're a part of his family. Really. Most people say it, but few actually mean it. Denny does.

    That could have to do with the fact that we're all pretty much 1st generation students of his, could be a personality thing, but the amount of attention he gives to each and every one of his students is unsurpassed. At any point in time, he will tell you what you game is like, what your go to moves are, what you should work on to improve to the next level - it's all in his head, 24/7. In my first 6 months at 10th Planet SF I've learned more than I did throughout the rest of my training.

    He pushes you, hard, and not in the get-in-your-face kind of way, but somehow you always find that you're giving it all you've got. I've had days when I came in thinking I will slack off, take it easy, and never once did that work for me. His enthusiasm is contagious. So is his work ethic.

    Allright, I am done singing praises. If you're ever in San Francisco, drop by and train with us. If you happen to live here, consider yourself lucky.
    You say what about my rice?
  3. deaddeaddead is offline

    Featherweight

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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 1:41pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hey,

    I've been considering 10th Planet for a while, and from all reports it is a great school. My only concern centers around the fact that I am not coming from a BJJ background and I have been told over and over that it's better to start for a while with a gi as many of the principles of 10th Planet operate under the assumption that the student has decent familiarity with the gi.

    Any advice?
  4. JohnnyCache is offline
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    All Out of Bubblegum

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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 1:52pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't know about 10th planet specifically, but generally unless you want to compete in gi comps, IMO, you don't really need to worry about it - there are tons of grapplers in the world that have never put one on.
    There's no choice but to confront you, to engage you, to erase you. I've gone to great lengths to expand my threshold of pain. I will use my mistakes against you. There's no other choice.
  5. cyrijl is offline
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    Light Heavyweight

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    Boston, MA
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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 2:11pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ, MT, Yoga

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Eddie prefers you have a yr of experience before coming to 10thplanet. At least that is what I have been told and have heard him tell others. Most of this is becasue he doesn't want to spend alot of time on the most basic fundamentals.
    There is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
  6. Kintanon is offline
    Kintanon's Avatar

    Yes, I am smarter than you are.

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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 2:11pm

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: TKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Meh, I started no-gi. Did 2.5 years of No-Gi, just started doing Gi. Most stuff carried over, some stuff is different, some stuff is easier, some is harder.
  7. HAPKO3 is offline
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    Marasmos

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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 3:08pm

    supporting member
     Style: 10th Planet JJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by cyrijl View Post
    Eddie prefers you have a yr of experience before coming to 10thplanet. At least that is what I have been told and have heard him tell others. Most of this is becasue he doesn't want to spend alot of time on the most basic fundamentals.
    Eddie does, but Denny does not. Denny has a very different style of teaching and is, IMHO, ideally suited to beginners. I've seen people go from 0 to kicking ass in a very short amount of time at 10th Planet SF, much shorter than any other place I trained.
    You say what about my rice?
  8. Ming Loyalist is offline
    Ming Loyalist's Avatar

    solves problems with violence

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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 3:15pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i have heard that the description of the space is outdated in the review. would anyone care to post an update?
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  9. HAPKO3 is offline
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    Marasmos

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    Posted On:
    4/20/2009 3:46pm

    supporting member
     Style: 10th Planet JJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    10th Planet SF just moved to a bigger room within Valencia Muscle to accommodate growing class sizes. There's now plenty of space to roll even on busy days.

    Another recent addition has been the Tuesday-Thursday standup & basics classes, which run 1.5 hours before the regular ones (i.e. from 5:30 to 7, followed by the 7-9 class). They concentrate on standup sparring and drilling the basics to death. Highly recommended. I've been trying to do both twice a week, which is a stretch, but doable. We've recently had a competitive judo blackbelt start training with us who's been showing us some of his throws adapted to no-gi. Good times.
    You say what about my rice?

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