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  1. SocratesJackson is offline

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    Apr 2010
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    1

    Posted On:
    4/14/2010 6:54am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: MMA, and Filipino

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Integrated Fighting Arts, Austin, TX

    Integrated Fighting Arts (IFA) Academy, located three blocks west of the University of Texas (UT) Austin campus, specializes in detailed instruction in Boxing, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Submission Grappling, Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and Filipino Martial Arts. Since 1990, our academy welcomes anyone interested in attaining realistic fighting skills, getting in great physical condition, and having a lot of fun in the process.

    That's the official website blurb, and the rest of the website is pretty nice too. You can see the teaching style and academy on the many videos the site has to offer, so you can probably get all your questions answered there, but here's a more detailed review anyway.

    Aliveness - It's pretty alive in here. Sparring goes on pretty much every day in boxing and grappling (less often in Filipino arts, but it's a regular occurrence), and you go as hard as you and your partner agree too. Any stand up sparring can be taken to the ground, so long as you drag your partner to the mat after getting there. Grappling starts standing, so takedowns are an important part of lessons.

    Equipment - This gets a five, but only because nothing is new. It's all perfectly functional though; several hanging bags, plenty of mitts and shields of various kinds, a wrestling dummy or two. All kinds of good stuff to be had.

    Gym Size - Not especially huge, but it is all dedicated to the business. There's a second floor, if the first should get too crowded. The floor is carpet, and the mats are quite nice. They cover the entire floor when pulled out, so plenty of room on those too.

    Instructor/Student Ratio - Classes are small (usually), and Frank teaches 'em all and always has an answer ready for any question, so I do believe this category merits a nine. Also, private lessons are available at $80 for an hour.

    Atmosphere - Quite friendly, but this is a fighting academy, so when the boss starts talking, the students are expected to pay attention. That said, I've made some good friends through the place, and really enjoy it.

    Instruction level - I was tempted to get 10's on these, because the man knows his stuff better than anyone I've ever seen, but this isn't a full-time pro fighter gym, so 8 it is. Regardless, if there's anything you ever wanted to know about fighting, be it punching a guy or the history of punching guys, Frank can tell you, and show you, all about it. Everyone should roll Mr. Benn at least once in life. The class curriculums are designed to complement each other, so what you learn in one will show up in the next.
    A word on the stick/knife sparring; stick sparring uses armor, so aggression can be (and is) high, but injuries are rare. Knife sparring uses nothing but a blunt knife, but we don't attack the face. This is also done with high aggression.
  2. Luchador is offline

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    Jan 2008
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    8

    Posted On:
    4/14/2010 2:29pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Submission Grappling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Long Time Lurker, First Time Reviewer

    I basically concur with just about everything Socrates has posted. The instruction is technical, personal, and pressure-tested and Frank will always take the time to answer any questions or concerns you might have. I only left the Weapons Instruction blank because I am not in stick and knife so have no metric to judge.

    In terms of outside competition, although there had been a decline in our participation (which had included a Pan-Am Silver in recent memory), we have been putting together small teams again recently and have had some limited success at the local level. I look forward to running into more of the Austin area bullies as time goes on!

    As a quick addition, here is the archive of Frank's old writings from rec.martial-arts. I think it (along with the academy's website) does a pretty good job of reflecting the level of instruction offered.
  3. DaddyBrown is offline

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    Nov 2011
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    Posted On:
    11/14/2011 9:46am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Greco Roman Wrestiling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Top notch training at Austin's original mixed martial arts academy!
    I have been part of the IFA family for 6 years. Even when my training was sporadic, I was always welcome back home with open arms(usually got my ass-kicked due to the lack of training and conditioning).:) An all adult academy with not politics, no BS, and you cannot buy your stripes, you earn them on the mat.
    Frank Benn is a meticulous instructor who understand all aspects of all combat situations and can help you fix any problem in your game. With 25+ years instructing and trained to be an instructor, every class is a college coarse in which you are learning from Engineering, History, Science, Psychology, and Mathematics professors all in 1. As with any college coarse its highly recommended you take notes...... as the best students take notes. As anyone who knows.. knows.... the devil is in the details... its the difference between failure and success!!
    Top notch training at Austin's original mixed martial arts academy!
    I have been part of the IFA family for 6 years. Even when my training was sporadic, I was always welcome back home with open arms(usually got my a$$-kicked due to the lack of training and conditioning).:) An all adult academy with not politics, no BS, and you cannot buy your stripes, you earn them on the mat.
    Frank Benn is a meticulous instructor who understand all aspects of all combat situations and can help you fix any problem in your game. With 25+ years instructing and trained to be an instructor, every class is a college coarse in which you are learning from Engineering, History, Science, Psychology, and Mathematics professors all in 1. As with any college coarse its highly recommended you take notes...... as the best students take notes. As anyone who knows.. knows.... the devil is in the details... its the difference between failure and success!! I have learned the importance of the history, psychology, and science of combat due to his instruction. All classes (Stick & Knife, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Brazilian Jujitsu) are presented and taught in real world situations which includes REAL contact sparring. The all adult atmosphere (some younger students have been accepted based on maturity.)consists of a diverse group from working professionals to college students (men and women) that are accommodating, yet will whoop yo ass! Frank never holds back any secrets or techniques, has rolled with the best and will ROLL with ANYBODY. I highly recommend this place I now call home.
    More information at Ifaacademy DOT com or better yet Youtube IFAACADEMY. See the real for yourself!
  4. benmunoz is offline

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    Nov 2011
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    Posted On:
    11/19/2011 5:48pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've been training here for a few months as a complete newbie. This academy is owned and run by Frank Benn. It's an independent, small academy, because Frank Benn prefers a good student/instructor ratio and doing all the instruction himself.

    Frank is really passionate about mixed martial arts / teaching and it shows in how thoroughly he trains his students. He's been training in MMA for 30 years, way before the UFC started, so he knows it all.

    If you are shopping around for an MMA academy, ask the head instructor how long he's been training in wrestling, in boxing, in muay thai, and in BJJ. Ask how often he gets on the mat and spars with students. Then come to IFA and ask Frank Benn.

    On Mon/Thur/Sat, we train in boxing, wrestling, muay thai, Filipino stick fighting, and on Tues/Fri, we do combat conditioning for strength and stamina.

    Contact me if you have any questions.
  5. indiegeek is offline

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    Aug 2005
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    Posted On:
    2/16/2012 10:10pm


     Style: none yet

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've been considering IFA - I even live right down the road from it and have heard nothing but great things about Frank Benn.

    I have a question regarding the length of classes - the schedule states an hour/class. I'm used to 20-30 minutes of warm up and then about an hour of actual class/scrimmage. Do the classes go beyond the hour at all, or has this been a hard time limit (it looks like other classes start directly after).
  6. Blackthorne25 is offline

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    Dec 2012
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    Posted On:
    12/07/2012 12:12pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have been training here in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a few months now and thus far I have improved all aspects of my game; whether its my wrestling, top control, or guard work. There's a few aspects that really appeals to me when it comes to training in BJJ. The first one is that the instructor is thorough in everything he teaches and is willing to explain why everything functions as it does. Another great aspect is that every day we spar standing up, a great aspect that you don't get at every BJJ academy. Also the price for classes is at a competitive rate and is definitely worth trying out.
  7. jnp is offline
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    Titanium laced beauty

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    Apr 2005
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    Austin, TX
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    Posted On:
    12/07/2012 12:59pm

    supporting memberforum leaderstaff
     Style: BJJ, wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackthorne25 View Post
    I have been training here in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a few months now and thus far I have improved all aspects of my game; whether its my wrestling, top control, or guard work. There's a few aspects that really appeals to me when it comes to training in BJJ. The first one is that the instructor is thorough in everything he teaches and is willing to explain why everything functions as it does. Another great aspect is that every day we spar standing up, a great aspect that you don't get at every BJJ academy. Also the price for classes is at a competitive rate and is definitely worth trying out.
    Who is teaching BJJ at IFA?
    Shut the hell up and train.
  8. Blackthorne25 is offline

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    Dec 2012
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    Posted On:
    12/07/2012 3:42pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Frank Benn teaches all three classes: Stick and Knife fighting(Filipino martial arts), Kickboxing, and BJJ. check out the website at IFAacademy.com
  9. jnp is offline
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    Titanium laced beauty

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    Posted On:
    12/07/2012 5:05pm

    supporting memberforum leaderstaff
     Style: BJJ, wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Mr. Benn was teaching martial arts in an alive manner in Austin in the nineties. I recall hearing that he had trained BJJ before 1999, when I started. I'm curious, was he ever ranked in BJJ? I couldn't find anything about that on the website. Although I could have missed it.

    Please understand, I mean no disrespect to Mr. Benn. I recall that he is a very solid black belt in Judo with a reputation for excellent ne-waza. There is no doubt he is thoroughly qualified to teach ground grappling.

    It's been several years since I visited, but I seem to recall that there was no mention of BJJ on his website previously. Could be mistaken about that too though. Currently, I'm intrigued to know if Mr. Benn has a BJJ instructor himself. I'd like to know who he chose out of professional curiosity.
  10. Grappl3Badg3r is offline

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    Jan 2013
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    Austin, TX
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    Posted On:
    1/08/2013 1:24pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Boxing, Bjj, Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have been training at IFA Academy for a little over a year and a half now. This place is excellent in the level of martial arts instruction in the realm of Western Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jutsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and FIlipino Martial Arts. I am astonished by the rate of my progress since I have been attending this academy. I trained in BJJ in Tucson for about nine months before I moved out to Austin. I checked out a bunch of different gyms here in Austin, but none of them really resonated with me. I was looking for a place where I could train to fight and be competent both in matches or competitions and in the street. All the BJJ places I checked out were primarily focused on sport grappling, I was looking for a more complete grappling package that could be applied in all realms of combat sports and fighting. I checked out IFA and loved what I saw. I signed up first in the grappling class. I thought I was a pretty average grappler and could hold my own. Boy was I wrong. I got completely dominated by very complete grapplers. Most places I have rolled had guys who were just good at guard stuff and had a few trick moves here and there that they would use over and over again. If you were able to the whether the storm you could usually find a way to beat them. Not at IFA. These guys had the whole thing: bombdiggity guard, superb wrestling, and some nasty top control which made you feel like you were going to die with a beast of a grappler on top of you. The instructor is Frank Benn. Frank is by far the most knowledgeable martial arts instructor I have ever met. When I first walked in and was inquiring about the class, I asked him if he had trained under any brazilians or where he learned BJJ from, and if he wrestled in college. He stated that he wasn't under anyone and he had learned all of these arts through other instructors who were friends, observation and just plain ol' good rolling with other grapplers and BJJ instructors. I know what your thinking, how are you gonna learn BJJ from a dude who isn't under a brazilian with a big name. I was skeptical at first but it just goes to show that names are only names. People hide behind other instructors names and are not actually good or dont know **** at all. What ever happened to getting on the mat to prove it? I got on the mat and these guys proved it. Not only can these guys put some pressure on you grappling, the kickboxing, and filipino martial arts add to your ability to handle yourself pretty well. If you are looking for an MMA gym where you can intelligently learn how to fight and compete, and zero mma tough guy image, this is the right place. Work hard and be willing to learn, and I'll see you in sparring and on the mat.
    Last edited by Grappl3Badg3r; 1/08/2013 1:50pm at .
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