Pinnacle BJJ - Redlands, CA
This place is awesome.
Look, I'm a bit of a hipster and a bit of a geek - I sure as hell am pretentious enough to not usually want to walk into a place where I can people have metal cranked and half the guys there are built and sporting SoCal style tattoos... that's not really my scene. But in the two months I've been working out with these guys I've really come to love the place.
Pinnacle is run by Jake Behney -- Jake is "only a BJJ purple belt," as I'm sure people here will require me to stipulate, and something a lot of you will care about, but he is a damned good coach, a fair businessman, an awesome strategist, and someone who is intelligent and humble enough to enlist people who help teach classes on subjects he doesn't know well enough to teach himself.
There are several MMA guys, some pro and some amateur trying to turn pro, with pretty strong records who fight out of this club. I've watched Jake coach them and he does so very wel (in my opinion, I'm not a pro). Here's an example: when one of our fighters had a fight coming up against a wrestler, Jake called in every wrestler in the area to the gym and also took him out to several places with reputable wrestlers and had him go against them non-stop for long time periods.
Jake also has an affiliation with Coachella Judo and people at Pinnacle can drive down there and take classes for free and vice versa -- it's a bit of a drive (45 minutes or so I think - I haven't made it myself) but sometimes a few of the guys will carpool, or Jake will drive a few out there.
The place has a mixed curriculum - right now there's boxing, judo, wrestling, and muay thai once a week, and several gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu classes throughout the week. This will probably vary over the lifespan of the school -- when Jake finds someone in the area with a real talent for something, he enlists them to teach it at least once a week at his school if he can.
Let me explain individual ratings now:
Aliveness 10: People are always rolling/sparring/ doing randori - it's a huge component of the class. Plus, Jake watches everyone, and takes turn coaching people during parts of the rolling, and will stop it to demonstrate techniques, etc -- so you're not just getting smashed constantly wondering what you're doing wrong. There are open mat periods where you can get more in if you want. This place lives and breathes on aliveness, and Jake is always promoting tournaments and getting people to commit to going as a team to try for team titles, etc.
Equipment 8: They have several heavy bags, speed bags, a lot of mat space, a cage, and a small store where they sell equipment and t-shirts. Unfortunately, there's only one small bathroom and no locker rooms, and it doesn't have a full service gym with free weights, etc. combined. These things aren't a necessity, but they are the difference between its present rating and a 9 or a 10.
Gym Size 7: I'm hoping they grow in the future. There's a good amount of mat space, but the school has grown a lot just in the two months I've been there, and on crowded days it can be really hard to roll without bumping into people constantly. People usually exercise ok mat awareness and Jake tries to watch out for this, but if the school keeps growing at the rate it is, it's going to have to expand before too long.
Instructor/student ratio 7: Unfortunately this isn't a place where there are tons of blacks and purples. Jake is the lone purple, there are several blue belts and white belts with 3-4 stripes who have a good amount of experience. For each of the other arts (judo, boxing, muay thai) there's one instructor once a week. I'm sure in a few years as more people advance this will be taken care of, but for the time being it is probably the school's biggest weakness. I still give it a 7 though because Jake does his damndest to be a good coach to everyone on the mat, even when 25 guys show up, and he is really good about moving around and helping everyone, and you can usually get his attention to get help with something.
Atmosphere/attitude 10: People here are willing to do the work - a few guys are pro mma fighters, everyone is super friendly and supportive to people starting out there and learning the moves and beginners get cheered along with they learn new moves and show a lot of heart. Anyone with the right attitude will prosper in this environment, it's great. The competitiveness is friendly, and there's a strong team bond among the people here.
Striking instruction 7: It's only twice a week, and the coaches are good, but it just won't compare to having a full-on Muay Thai gym and whatnot. The classes end up being more heavy duty conditioning classes with basic techniques for the time being, but the guys who participate in them are good and people will grow in this environment with its aliveness. I know Jake is trying to boost this aspect of the club up and possibly enlist another striking coach or two, but at the end of the day the club's fundamentals are grappling.
Grappling instruction 8: Some people will probably freak out if I give it anything higher with a purple belt teaching, though I have an inclination to. The quality of the instruction, in the way that's universal to teaching people physical skills, is way up there, and when Jake hits the brown and black levels, which I'm sure he will, this will only improve. Still, there's Judo, BJJ, and wrestling. He'd just have to add Sambo to hit the Bullshido all time favorite list.
In the interest of fairness - I'm a relative noob (Judo yellow belt, 8-9 months or so of MA after 4 years of saber fencing, I've only done BJJ for three months, if you count the 6 classes or so I had in Buffalo before coming out here as a month), but the club seems to have a good competition record. If people are concerned with any ratings being too high, the place isn't too far from most locations in SoCal - I recommend you come check it out.
I think the aliveness and the attitude here are phenomenal, and more than make up for any of the shortcomings the place may have in experience of the instructor or guys at the gym.
Last edited by u1ysses; 7/23/2009 10:56pm at .
Jake is more occupied with his fighters than teaching the students. He rarely shows up, and takes every holiday and fight night off. Its a big waste of money attending his classes. His wife is tougher then he is considering she used to be a man. Jake takes in in the crapper from her. :eusa_naugHe doesnt care to much about the students , just as long as they finance his adult class. Many times he didnt show up to class without notifying any of the parents.
Jake was there for every class he was listed as the instructor on when I went over the summer, and would come to other sessions now and then. He did spend more time on the fighters and serious competitors, although you will find that this is the norm. He did, however, take the time to notice and coach several of the beginners who were more lax about attending during rolling.
If this has changed, it is only fair to report, but I ask that you try and put a more professional and detailed account of things together, and provide serious ratings, if need be. Accusing him of being married to a tranny is not the route to take.
Jake has often tooken days off for no reason, like going to fights . He shouldn't teach if he can't attend. Or just don't teach the kids like my son in general. He just wants to teach the adult class hoping for a good fighter to come along and make him a name for himself. We pay for him to teach and when he doesn't show up or give any of the parents notice , we don't feel like we are getting our moneys worth. Many parents have said the same thing im saying, and waiting for the contract to expire.
Originally Posted by u1ysses
This statement seems mostly fair to me. If this situation is as bad as you say, I really suggest you get together with some of the other parents and confront him about it. Depending on the lack of commitment, you could potentially find legal grounds to get out of the contract (as he is not providing the services offered). My preference is to take action directly and in person rather than deal with it in a passive aggressive manner online - it's a better strategy for both parties.
Originally Posted by stegreni5
Just to probe the issue further - is he completely cancelling class, or providing a higher belt as an assistant instructor when he skips? Could you also quantify the amount of times he skips (ie, is he missing a class or more per week, a class or more per month, etc.?) All of these things will help others make fair decisions when considering this school. Feel free to submit your own ratings specific to the kids program based on your experience as a parent, but not that there are strict standards here (ie, you can't rate aliveness 1 just because you're pissed off, though you would certainly be within your rights to rate the instructor / student ratio extremely low if Jake is missing classes on a weekly basis).
He kicked my son out of his classes because he became confrontational and even threatened me in front of other parents. He averages missing about a class a week without make up sessions. A couple parents talked to me outside and were displeased with his missing all these classes. I took one for the team and hope he corrected the problem but doubt it. He is a classless guy, who did damage to his co. when he threatened me in front of his bosses who pay his salary. His wife is know better she butted into my conversation with this old lady who asked my what i thought about him missing last saturday, without any notice. I was an innocent bystander in the situation then thats when Jake came at me . He told me not to attend his classes anymore, and his billing co. wants me to still pay for something we aren't getting.
Originally Posted by u1ysses
I have scaled back the atmosphere rating just a bit here. I still felt it had a good atmosphere in my time there, but now that I have been in a 10 environment at Dark Horse atmosphere wise, it's tough to justify my former impression. Sins of the novice and all that.
Last edited by tisha15; 12/08/2010 5:58pm at .
Ive trained at pinnacle and with jake for the last 5 years, he is one of the best coaches I have ever trained with. He is fair with all members and I can only recall one time when he asked a paent to leave only after he asked the parent to stop coaching from the side lines and using profanity. I don't recall the guys name but I'm pretty sure it was the guy that worked for ups that use to pick up on the other kids moms. I'm glad jake asked him to leave because creepy guys like that should not be around our kids in the program. So big shout out to coach jake for removing that douche bag form the school.
Also all the dedication is paying off the kids program won the world's team title, 3rd place grapplers team title, two king of the cage belts, tfa belt, warriors challenge belt,gladiator challenge and rage in the cage belts. This is the best school in the Inland empire and I give it a 10 out of 10.