I've been training at this school since it opened about a year ago in Sept. 2008. The instructors are George Andersch, a brown belt under Amal Easton (a Renzo Gracie black belt), and Sarah Andersch, also a brown belt under Amal Easton. Coach George is a former Army man and a former karate practitioner. He started training with Professor Easton about 10 years ago. He has competed in the US Nationals and placed in many other nation level competitions. Coach Sarah been training BJJ for many years and has won gold at the US Nationals and many other competitions.
We have classes six days a week. Mon-Sat. They consist of Level I (under 3 months of training), which is for learning basic movements, positions and techniques, little to no live training in this class, but all the instruction is essential and helpful, even those who have been training for a while.
Level II is for those who've been training for greater than 3 months. Level II is focuses on improving the techniques in level I and lets us do some live training for the last 15-20 minutes of class, usually trying to focus on what was learned in class that day. This class is held 5 times per week.
Level III is for 4 stripe white belts and above. We focus on techniques that are variations and not basic techniques (i.e. DelaRiva guard, rubber guard, Turtle guard) as well as further working on basic techniques. We meet once per week in this class and drill a few techniques.
Fitness classes meet on Mon, Wed, Fri between level I and level II. The fitness class uses Crossfit as a model for its exercises. Coach Sarah runs the class and its always a good workout. It usually lasts about 25-30 minutes, so there is time to rest a bit before level II starts.
Muay Thai kickboxing meets on Thurs and Sat. We focus on all the techniques and positions. We rarely go live. The class is taught by Coach George at this time. He has experience with MT, working with Prof Easton, who worked with Chai. He wants to get someone more experienced in coaching MT in the future.
The class size usually depends on the level. Level I may have 35 people. Level II usually has 10-12 and Level III has no more than 6. Coach George usually gets to the academy around 2 pm and anyone can come in and work on whatever they want. He is also there until about 11pm, so staying after class and rolling is cool, too. He usually rolls with us.
I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is friendly and there are very few egos to worry about. When someone walks in interested in class that wants to learn how to hurt people (you know the type, and if you don't, then you're probably that guy) Coach will send them to one of the other schools in town that have that kind of atmosphere. I've seen him do it, and I respect him for it.
Competition is not a huge motivator at our school, but about a third of the more experienced students compete once or twice a year. A few of the students (like me) compete monthly. Also, a couple of our students are pro MMA fighters, so if you're into that we can help you train. Most of the students do not compete and are there for the workout.
The kids class meets on Tues and Thurs and is learning the positions, and couple of the subs, and they also learn about stranger danger and stuff like that. Coach Sarah teaches those classes. My kids aren't old enough for it yet, so I don't know as much about it. The youngest they take is 6.
Overall, it is an excellent school. I've trained at various other places, and never had such good instruction. It is a little pricey, but the alternative of $60 a month for subpar instruction is too much of a price to pay.
Last edited by HailtotheKing; 7/31/2009 11:04am at .
This year at the Pan Ams we brought back two bronze medals, a silver, and a gold, with just six competitors.
George Andersch received his black belt from Amal Easton after his performance at the Pan-Ams