Gracie Barra Burton - Burchfield Martial Arts Burton, MI
Burchfield Martial Arts is located in Burton, MI which is part of the greater Flint area. Jim Burchfield has been involved with martial arts since his teens and he has achieved many instructor level rankings in various styles from top instructors in their various fields.
The main focus of the school, being a Gracie Barra affilate is grappling. Class sizes are small and you often are given 1 on 1 time with with an instructor.
On to my raitings:
Aliveness: 8 Every BJJ class ends with sparring, the intensity and duration depend on the class. There are also open mat sessions where the intensity is agreed upon beforehand.
The Kung Fu classes can vary. The way they are structured now is in sessions since they were recently re-introduced. The first part of the sessions are learning forms which are designed to "teach you how to move" and basic body mechanics. Then applications of the movements in the forms are explored. I will come back to edit this as the class progresses because this is where they are currently at. However, in the past the classes have progressed to full contact fighting with minmal protective gear.
Equipment: 7 There's plenty of equipment in this place. There are nearly 1800 square feet of brand new Zebra mats for grappling. A full range of weight machines (including a plate loaded grip machine) along with pull up bars etc. There are lots of bags/gloves and safety equipment all made from good companies (Think fairtex). However, some of the equipment is pretty old and beat up.
Gym Size: 7 It's a fairly good sized club, about 2800 sq feet total. There's plenty of room for sparring/rolling unless the class happens to be extremely large that day.
Instructor to student Ratio: 9 Class sizes usually range from 10-13 people. Quite often there is always 1 BJJ black belt and 1 BJJ brown belt Instructor. One of the Brown belt instructors is a Naga Worlds Advanced No Gi Champion and a Pan Am Gold Medalist at Purple Belt.
Kung Fu classes usually have one to two instructors and the class sizes are very small as well. Maybe 2 instructors to 5 students.
Atmosphere/Attitude: 7 Almost everyone at this place is extremely friendly, and those that aren't outwardly friendly are just kind of quiet/keep to themselves. Occasionally we'll get the random TUF noob that comes in and acts like a total douchbag but I think that's pretty normal for most places.
Striking Instruction: 6 I gave it a 6 because we currently have a couple people who are competing successfully in MMA fights at local levels.
Grappling Instruction: 8 By far the best in the area. All of the classes are taught by Jim Burchfield a Flavio Almeida black belt. They are constantly bringing in top level competetors to hold seminars about every 4 months. He is also a associate Sambo instructor under Igor Yakimov, and when we're training no gi we recieve the benefit of having that expertise as well. The other instructor is an incredibly experienced wrestler and has won the Pan Am's at Purple Belt level and the Naga Worlds Advanced Divsion no-gi.
Weapons Instruction: 3 Currently in the weapons classes all of the students are very new, so we've been limited to compliant two partner drilling. In the past this was not always the case and I imagine that more aliveness will be introduced when students become somewhat more knowledgeable. Classes are currently offered in Stick, two stick, and Stick and Knife. In the past this school produced competetors that competed regionally.
Last edited by Bustardo; 7/02/2009 2:12pm at .