View Full Version : Redlands,CA:Pinnacle Jiu-Jitsu- good school? + Why not just be up front about rates?

4/21/2009 11:31am,
Hi, I've site:bullshido.net googled for information on places in Redlands, CA, and not gotten a lot of help in trying to select a few places to check out. The deal is - I live in Buffalo now, go to Kin-Tora for judo 3/week and BJJ 1/week (not including time I spend fencing). I will be relocating for an internship in Redlands, CA and have been told I'll probably get a full time job there unless I screw something up badly (unlikely).

I'm looking for judo or BJJ with the chance to start including some kick-boxing striking training (Sanda/sanshou, muay thai, whatever) one or two days a week. I've willing to put a fair amount of money into it, but would probably like to keep all upkeep costs below 200-250 a mo (classes+competing as it comes in, etc.). I'll pay more if I get significant one on one time.

There's this place: http://www.outoftheboxbjj.com/redlands-jiu-jitsu.htm The tournament record seems strong, the BJJ seems quality, etc. but I can't get the guys to tell me the rates. They respond with "we only discuss rates in person" or whatnot and invite me to come check out a class.

Now, look --- I know the gig -- you test drive the car, try out the introductory dancing lesson or set, meet all the people in the martial arts class, etc. and then the management pull you aside and take you into the office, they build some rapport, and then let you know the ridiculous price they charge for everything with an apologetic tone and pressure you into a contract. Does anyone know this place to be able to tell me whether or not that's what I'm gonna face? Because I don't give a **** how high quality the training is if I have to deal on a regular basis with an instructor or set of an instructors who I feel are out to sucker me. Everybody's gotta make a buck, sure, but this particular setup drives me crazy.

Unfortunately, most of the other stuff in Redlands looks to be of lesser quality, although there are some interesting looking places outside of the city. There's judo about 30 minutes away in Riverside:


and a solid looking Muay Thai place about 20 minutes away:


I could do something between the two of them, up my commuting time, and let the BJJ rest for a bit depending on people's impression of PJJ. Any thoughts?

4/21/2009 1:15pm,
You are attributing some rather negative traits onto someone you have never met. Alot of instructors don't have fees up front for a myriad of reasons. It is like talking about salary. Some students might have special circumstances, have joined at different times, etc. There are valid reasons not to come out and say "It is $X a month". I don't know if I have ever been to a gym where everyone pays the same.

4/21/2009 1:26pm,
Who did you talk to (head instructor, or the blue belt who answered the phone)? Was it email or phone? Have you tried going in person and making it your first question?

It's normal in many places, legit and not, to resist giving a flat price over the phone with a true but evasive answer. But if they flat-out just won't say the price over the phone, that gives me a 75% "**** them" feeling already.

Hopefully the person on the phone just didn't know. My judo sensei's wife didn't know when I called in the beginning.

4/21/2009 1:53pm,
Fair enough cyrijl -- there could be some legitimate reasons for it I suppose, and I'm not going to slap down a verdict just on that basis. I've just had a quick e-mail exchange with the purple belt Redlands instructor, so that's the basis for all of this. I'll still check the place out, and the guy did offer a free class or two over the e-mail. I'm not going to let that determine the whole course of things -- it's just the reason I'm setting up a contingency plan.

That being said, I've had bad experience in other contexts with the "here's some cheap/free stuff..." followed by pressuring for a contract and a rather outlandish free, and while I don't want my own personal baggage to overwhelm things, it does and will always make my stomach churn a bit.

I will be happiest if it turns out to be a good, worthwhile place and that my misgivings will be settled, as it has all the training I want within walking/biking distance of where I'll be living and interning. I am hoping with the competitions the fighters and instructors are listed as having participated in, a few of the people on this forum will recognize one or several of them and say "Oh yeah, this guy's skilled and a good guy, I'm sure the place he teaches/trains at is fine." "This guy's a complete asshole but he knows his ****" is probably an acceptable response, too...

4/21/2009 2:11pm,
I'll give you an example. I just joined a second bjj school. The instructor just opened a school and said that if I joined in march it'd be $90/mo and it was going up to $120/mo after that. Now if someone joins two weeks after me and pays $30 more a month, that person might get annoyed not realizing i could be paying a different rate for a myriad of reasons. I would just go and check it out. And if it is alot of money, just tell them, they might work out a deal for a few months at X price until you get a full time job.

Thr trouble is that in this economy I don't think bjj instructors (especially in california with the million schools) can just start turning people away.

9/05/2009 12:10pm,
I researched some gyms in the area as well after talking to the management of Pinnacle. The owner also would not give me pricing over the phone, but the program looked and sounded good. Before visiting their gym, I visited a couple of other schools in the area and did not like what I saw. I went to Pinnacle where I was offered a free class. I first watched a class where I was impressed by the instruction and the quality of the students. Nobody came in looking like a thug. The instructor seemed to run a quality program. After watching a class, I wondered how the management was going to sell their program. He didn't really try to sell the program at all. The first thing he told me was that for $100 a month I would be able to train in all of the classes they offered. I asked him what the catch was and he responded by telling me that there was no catch, just good training and that if I felt uncomfortable about anything, that I could take a free weeks worth of classes before making my decision. I didn't have to go into an office. He discussed everything openly out in front of everybody. I asked him why he doesn't give pricing over the phone, just to hear what he would say. He said that there are a couple of local gyms that were having people call the program to have their prices be competitive with theirs, so he only talks about pricing in person now. The bjj seemed strong, they've got a great judo instructor, and their Muay Thai is sick. I strongly recommend that everyone check this school out.

9/05/2009 12:23pm,
Hi Mike - this post was before I came into the area and met Jake. Now that I have trained at the gym and reviewed it, future attention should go there.

Pinnacle BJJ - Redlands, CA - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=87867)