Melbourne Martial Arts Academy question
Did someone go there for a training section in Muay Thai/BJJ ?
I am looking for a good school in CBD area and was wondering if someone can tell me what are the prices (per month/per session) in Melbourne Martial Arts Academy, because they don't have fixed prices on their website. And how are the classes overall?
Thanks in advance
Also being from Melbourne, I would be interested in any feedback on this club, especially for the boxing side of things.
You're in luck - we had a thread about them recently here. The general sentiment on the thread (including mine) was that no, it's not a good place to train Muay Thai.
I have no experience of their BJJ program, though it appears to be run by a black belt, which is a good sign. There are a lot of good BJJ schools around the inner-Melbourne area, though. I know even less about their boxing program. Boxing gyms are harder to find in Melbourne, but they are around.
As for prices, that was one of the big turn offs for me initially. (Big disclaimer: This all happened a few years back):
No, they're not on their website, and when I called them, they wouldn't tell me either. I even went in there and had the receptionists/"sales consultants" tell me they didn't know what the prices were, but if I did a trial class (which cost $20! Most gyms will let you do a free trial) someone would explain it all to me. So I did one. At the end, they whisk you off straight away while your endorphins are still pumping to talk with a "sales consultant" , who explained that the pricing program is this (he had a pen and paper and did maths and everything - it was quite the routine!):
You can either pay $20 a class (a dummy offer; no one would ever pay this) plus something like... $75? for insurance (I can't quite remember; regardless, it was way more than insurance usually is per student for this type of operation) OR sign up for 10 months of direct debit at $25 a week plus "$300 worth of free gear" (shorts, skipping rope, singlet, wraps, shin pads... all cheapies, not at all worth $300 IMO, but a very enticing offer for a newcomer).
$25 a week is actually a decent price, but I'm personally not a fan of contracts. They are pretty standard in US gyms, but not in Australian MT/kickboxing gyms. They are more common in BJJ gyms here, though, but in general, they are still not the norm in the Australian martial arts industry.
I was told I had to sign up by the end of the week and... I'm a bit hazy on this point, I think they said you had to pay the first few months or so straight away? I can't really remember, but it was some very odd arrangement where they needed a $200 deposit or something like that.
When I said I wanted to go home and think about it (of course in retrospect, red flags were everywhere and I should have laughed in his face, but it's testament to their good sales tactics and just how much good judgement you throw out of the window when you really want to do something (ie learn a particular martial art), he wasn't very accomodating and said I wouldn't be able to get the "$300 worth" of free equiptment if I didn't agree on the spot (why?). I left anyway. He asked insistently to see exactly what day he could call me to see what my decision was that week (I'd had to fill out a form beforehand with contact details. In fairness, this is a legit insurance thing, but a good way to get your digits).
He never called, but they sent me various SMSes for the next few months or so with "sign up today only for special price of xxxxx" offers. By that time I was already at a vastly better gym with no contracts or bullshit.
Again, this was all a few years back, so they may have changed the prices and $25 a week is a good/standard price, but I personally hate contracts (and will in fact pay more for more flexibility, just on principle) and mostly, I hated the lies ("err, I don't know what the prices are even though I WORK HERE") and the pressure tactics. I did not ask whether that price covers other martial arts as well or whether they will suspend it for holidays/injuries/sickness.
I have also heard anecdotally from others who have trained there that the grading fees (they have a graded system with coloured singlets or something) get quite steep as you go up the grades, into the hundreds for the black level. I don't know that for sure, though, but I've heard it from several people.
Well, that was long.
Thanks a lot, Mate!
That really helped and opened my eyes.
BTW Where do you train now ?
No, we beat them up regularly.
Thanks for your response, much appreciated, I actually went in there today and got the same lines. First I called them, I say hi im interested in boxing, the guy goes we cant give out prices just come down, where you guessed it I was getting talked into the trial class and oh we need this much money upfront and then x per month over a 12 month contract. I too hate contracts and the whole experience did not leave me happy at all, so I just said look forget it and walked out.
Im having an issue findiing a Boxing place in Melbourne, anyone know of any around. Also can anyone recommend any BJJ places.
Australian Federation of BJJ
Can't vouch for any of those gyms of course, but for boxing, just check they have a fight team. BJJ is such a self-regulating martial art still and I've never really heard of any bad or dodgy clubs around here -- it's more about whether the instructor/club's style suits you, I think. The two big clubs are John Will and Peter de Been, who have schools all over, but there are loads of smaller clubs. I've heard good things about Ground Zero in the city, but I don't do BJJ, so I really have no idea.
Here are your options.
Originally Posted by clarky75
Dominance MMA in Richmond teach BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA. Apparently they're very good and have good facilities.
Ground Zero just each BJJ. They're on Little Bourke Street (AKA Chinatown) and seem fairly good, but are pretty expensive.
Peter de Been's place in St Kilda is apparently awesome, I know a few people who go there. This is my personal recommendation.
Hangar4 in Preston teaches BJJ and Muay Thai. These guys seem great, I would train there if I lived close enough.
BJJ in Prahran, seems pretty good but I know nothing about them.
And if you want to travel all the way to Hampton East just to hang out/roll with me because I'm a cool guy, here's Daniel Ward's BJJ club in Hampton East. Great training, not expensive, but only twice a week. Affiliated with the Peter de Been BJJ organisation.
Those are all that I know of. Good luck.
Thanks for your very informative post. Thanks for the link re dominance looks really good, ill get in contact with them today, looks like a good place.
Also Ground Zero BJJ is 2 mins from where I work, so I will check out that also, I have heard good things, but yeah they are pretty pricey, but would work out OK for me as its so close to work, and they have classes running through the day too which suits me
Again, thanks for your post, alot of great info in there, im sure others will benefit from that info also. Thanks :)
i've been at this centre for a couple of years now, and have seen a lot of ppl come and go. i'd say more than 70% of the people there are more for the fitness aspect.
The quality of Muay Thai instruction there has varied a lot over the years.
-Like others have already stated, the beginners class (which is KB) is mainly for people to get fit. Sharing the space with no less than 30 ppl isn't very conducive of learning proper technique.
-Not a proper fight gym
-I've had the oppportunity to learn from no less than 7 different Muay Thai practitioners (more than half are native Thai trainers/fighters) each offering something different. This is also the case with Boxing, with different trainers over the years
-"Intermediate" class is geared towards Muay Thai
-If you've been there a while, you start to make friends with people who are more serious about their training and the issue of how hard you want to train is a non-issue
- beginners class often has chicks in short shorts
BJJ: i personally wouldn't recommend it here atm, relatively too many beginners and the risk of injury is too high imo. I don't even think there's even one blue belt currently training after they switched instructors/affiliations
All the BJJ places i know have been listed, but for Muay Thai near the city i think there is Sityodtong in North Melbourne, Sorjaiphet in richmond? and apparently an old school Boxing place near Dominance (somewhere near the cop shop but i never managed to find it)
For me however, this centre is without a doubt the best training facility in the city (i.e. recently renovated facility, #training areas, gym, #classes, hours of operations)
hope the info was useful