Harlow Team Sure Grip MMA
Harlow TSG MMA is a small, recently formed MMA club which trains in Body Active Gym in Sawbridgeworth, UK. Run by Will Murley and with coaching from Chris Richardson, both professional fighters fighting out of Team Sure Grip.
This club has not been running for long. It initially started training only twice per week but due to popularity has expanded to four sessions per week. Training sessions are:
Monday - 7:00 - 9:00
Wednesday - 7:00 - 9:00
Thursday - 7:00 - 9:00
Saturday - 10:00 - 12:00 (AM)
Both coaches are professional MMA fighters, with Will having an unbeaten record (6:0, though only one of those was a pro bout) and so instruction is of a high standard. There are also a core membership group who have been training for several years, so if you are a beginner you will find lots of people willing to give you advice. Generally the classes are very informal, as you would expect from an MMA gym. Most members have their own gloves, shin pads and mouth guards, although there are a few pairs for beginners to borrow. Classes are currently very small, usually between five and fifteen people training, although with the new expansion planned, it will likely get a lot bigger.
Sessions are two hours long. The average session involves a moderate cardio warm-up followed by some MMA specific fitness work, like heavy bag work or thai pad training. This is usually followed by drills and techniques, with the last twenty minutes almost always being sparring or rolling. Sparring can go anywhere from near full-contact to light sparring, depending on the skill level of those training. Sessions are usually either standup or grappling (with Will focusing mainly on grappling, Chris on standup), though sometimes they include both.
The one thing that lets down this gym is the state of the facilities. The training room is small, only holding just over fifteen guys, and gets extremely sweaty during the summer or with a big class. The mats are jigsaw mats as opposed to judo mats which means toe injuries happen occasionally. There are four or five heavy bags which are fine although there is a lack of thai pads if there is a large group. Most members have their own gloves etc, so this is generally not a problem.
However, the club is planning to expand its facilities dramatically. Building work is being planned for a dedicated MMA gym, with a cage, mat area, new changing rooms and room for much more equipment. As the only decent MMA gym in the area (the other, in Saffron Walden, is very McDojo) this club is very likely to see a surge in demand after the new facilities are built.
In general, this is a decent, legitimate club with a nice atmosphere and good instruction, although it is let down somewhat by its facilities. If you don't mind a sweaty changing room and are serious about MMA, then you will not be disappointed, though those expecting a more slick operation may be. With the new expansion planned, I am very optimistic for this place, and hope I can re-evaluate it after the expansion. There is potential for a truly great club here.
Last edited by callum828; 8/02/2010 10:13am at .
Reason: Changed ratings to better reflect guidelines
Thanks for this. I know Will and was with him recently. I know he has reduced his Trad JJ training in favour of MMA but is likely to return at the later date. His Trad JJ still ticks over but there are only so many hours...
I last saw Chris Richardson win Gold in Groundfighting a couple of years ago but I know that he was moving MMA -'wards, together with Will.
Were I nearer I would also take the opportunity to train - can't say fairer than that.
I wish Will every success.
Yeah, some of the guys who train MMA also train at the Jikishin place. If you've trained there you may as well write up a review for there too, from what I know it's a decent club.
Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon