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Donatello
3/18/2012 9:21am,
:aintthatsomeshit:This is kind of like a Martial Arts dance class/cult. The members are required to promote the school through a regular show that they have family and friends pay to get in. The show is very infomercial like as Steve LaValle is hardcore salesman and 5th degree huckster.
The members of this program are really into it, that is those who did not leave to train elsewhere or have balance in their life away from this cult that tries to control all aspects of your life. If you want to protect yourself in a dark alley this is not the school for you, if you feel something is really missing in your life and Jesus isn't going to do it for you, you may try following LaValle for a while.
The financial success behind the school is the tireless work of Mrs. LaValle (wife not Mom) coupled with Steve LaValle's shameless self promotion, and charging his committed sheep for pretty much everything except use of the water fountain.
D.

submessenger
3/18/2012 1:40pm,
Undoubtedly, you're referring to LaVallee's semi-annual black belt awards ceremonies (proper name Black Belt Spectacular). To be clear, this isn't the black belt testing; that's done over several days in the week leading up to the Spectacular.

These ceremonies involve dozens of belt promotions across several schools, and are attended by several hundred spectators. Because of the attendance, it is necessary to rent out a location large enough to hold everyone, and, yes, admission is charged.

LaVallee's is a complete lifestyle; whole families train together, that's part of the draw and what makes him very successful.

In my experience, they don't charge for everything as you claim. They do prefer that you purchase their gear, but they don't require it (except for your gi, which is emblazoned with the school logo). Belt tests were not charged for, nor were belts (but you did have to test for the belt). Specific physical requirements must be met for advancement, especially in the higher ranks.

It sounds like you may have martial arts goals which don't necessarily jive with the LaVallee's curriculum. I would suggest the new BTT location which opened up a block away from the Boca Raton LaVallee's, or my current gym - Gracie Barra Delray Beach. Or, if you can be more specific about what you're looking for, I can point you to other area schools which may be more suitable.

Welcome to Bullshido, may your stay here be long and fruitful.

patfromlogan
3/18/2012 3:24pm,
Whole families training is good. We trained some like that, but without much bs (and we stayed poor). The kid's really light up when they figure out how to double leg bigger guys, specially doing it to Daddy!

Donatello
4/30/2012 10:25am,
Thanks - Delray is convenient and Gracie is well Gracie. I will see if that is a better fit. LaVallee just seemed to be more of a social club than a serious training environment.
And several meetings with SL left me feeling like I was dealing with someone more selfish and phony than my naivette can even begin to fathom.

submessenger
4/30/2012 11:14am,
Thanks - Delray is convenient and Gracie is well Gracie. I will see if that is a better fit. LaVallee just seemed to be more of a social club than a serious training environment.
And several meetings with SL left me feeling like I was dealing with someone more selfish and phony than my naivette can even begin to fathom.
Lavallee's Positive Mental Attitude can be a bit off-putting - he and his staff are sincere, but yeah, I often wondered how somebody could honestly be so happy so much of the time. I'm not a shiny happy person by nature.

Look forward to seeing you on the mats in Delray!