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View Full Version : Looking for a great school in Montreal, Canada (downtown)



Tinkerbell
7/03/2010 7:21pm,
Hi folks.

I was hoping to tap your insight as to what MA place you guys rate highly that is in downtown Montreal, Canada.

I was thinking JKD or BJJ would be styles that appeal to me.

Also, as a sub-question, is it wise to start off trying two styles, or would it be recommended to do one at a time?

Thanks for your help, and thanks for what I am sure will be a warm welcome to these forums.

JKDChick
7/04/2010 12:00am,
You live in the same city as GSP's gym, you want to do BJJ and you have to ask this question?

I know for a fact the underground goes near his gym I took it there last year.

Tinkerbell
7/04/2010 8:47am,
Thanks for the reply.
I asked the question because I don't know the answer, and because I could definitely use your experiences and knowledge to avoid making the wrong choice.

I suppose it may seem obvious to use the same gym as GSP (I assume you refer to Tristar), but I wanted to see what suggestions the forum members had. I can surmise that your response indicates that Tristar is an obvious choice, and an excellent one.

I had looked at the forums prior to joining (to avoid asking a question that had been asked previously). I had found the following thread:

Chinese arts near Montreal, Canada - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=88401)

This thread was not as helpful though given that some suggestions were for suburbs (St. Bruno, Boucherville, etc). I was looking for the downtown core.

I am glad you suggested Tristar, and that you have nothing negative to write about it. The one issue for me is that while Tristar is on the metro line (the underground train), given the time I get off work, I will be real tight getting to some of their classes. Also, this would mean getting a metro pass solely for this one reason, which irks me a little. As FYI, the monthly pass is $70 ( http://www.stm.info/English/tarification/a-tarif.htm#article-0 ) which is quite a bit for something I would not need to use for any other purpose...

On the other thread (the one I pasted above), the discussion also mentioned GAMMA, however the person mentioned the following:
"I also trained at GAMMA on St-Catherine. The teacher, Fabio Hollanda was nice enough, but didn't put much effort into teaching. Was also about 100$/month and the atmosphere wasn't friendly enough to my taste."

The GAMMA location is actually fantastic for me, however I was wondering if the above comments still apply, if they are shared by others, if it is a deal-breaker or just something to get used to, etc....

I had looked at Tristar and GAMMA, and definitely would appreciate your comments on both. However I left the question as open-ended as possible in case I was not considering some other alternative (the other thread mentions H20 for example).

While my questions may seem obvious to those of you who are knowledgeable on the subject, please remember that it may not be obvious to some of us. In any case, I am extremely prudent, and research and question everything ad nauseam. With your assistance, I will be able to make the right choice and avoid unpleasant experiences that some folks have had and discussed on these forums.

Thanks in advance for any further insight you can provide! It's really appreciated!

MrJ
7/05/2010 11:12am,
What are trying to achieve for training (self-defence, fitness, grappling competition)? And what is it about JKD and BJJ that appeals to you? You may get more customized advice from Montreal bullies if you give details about what you want.

My understanding is that Fabio Hollanda and GAMMA are very well-respected. If you are interested in BJJ and the location works, by all means drop in and see what they're about. It will probably be more expensive, but worth the money. One person's impression of the school's atmosphere from a single visit is not the whole story.

Avoid Fang Shen do. There is lots to read about them on these boards if you want to know why.

I trained in kyokushinkai karate (although in New Brunswick years ago) that was affiliated with auto-defense Andre Gilbert in Montreal. May be worth a visit as well.

Enjoy shopping around and feel free to post again after you have visited. I am guessing you have already read the stickies on choosing a martial arts school. Good luck and enjoy training

honest_truth
7/05/2010 1:22pm,
If i was in montreal i would check out this sambo club.
http://www.clubkozak.com/

no idea how the training is, but the coach seems to be experienced. and sambo is rare to find in north america.

KO'd N DOA
7/05/2010 2:48pm,
Hi Tinkerbell,

You'll see that I was all over the other thread that you quoted. I live on the south shore, but work downtown, so I have debated going to all the different clubs.

I've visited Tristar, and Gamma, do not be afraid of either one of them. Both have friendly staff that will be glad to talk to you about your needs, and help walk you through your decision. GAMMA has the edge as it is really in the best location, especially if you live, work, school, downtown. But if you are coming in from the West Island or Laval, Tristar could save you a headache and parking is horrible downtown.

Both will cost you, but once again it depends on how much you want to train, and what programs, as they have everything from Pros to n00bs.

I really recommend the H20, as it is not hard to get to, they were closed when I stopped by, but the building looked clean/safe (for St Henry), its by the home hardware, under High way 720, so if you have a car, you might go there.

I will also recommend Montreal BJJ, with Koji, as my Blue belt friend can't say enough good things about it, but I have never gone, as it is out of my way since they moved. (close to a metro)

The Honest_truth is recommending a great place with Sambo. I drove there once, just to see where it was, to watch them train a bit, and the metro is also there, it just doesn't fit my schedule.

Try each place for a free class or month, just to see what fits your transporation needs.

And don't forget the BIXI*

(* inside joke for montrealers.)

Tinkerbell
7/05/2010 7:18pm,
If i was in montreal i would check out this sambo club.
http://www.clubkozak.com/

no idea how the training is, but the coach seems to be experienced. and sambo is rare to find in north america.


Thanks! I'll have a look at their link. To be honest, I am not familiar with sambo, so I'll have to youtube a few clips / read a few articles to see what it looks like. :smile:

Tinkerbell
7/05/2010 7:57pm,
What are trying to achieve for training (self-defence, fitness, grappling competition)? And what is it about JKD and BJJ that appeals to you? You may get more customized advice from Montreal bullies if you give details about what you want.



Thanks for the in-depth reply! Of the things you mentioned, I'd be interested in self-defence and fitness. I really want to find something that trains the body and the mind (as I believe martial arts can do).
I'm interested in JKD as it seems to meld a variety of different aspects of other styles that Bruce Lee had studied, and modify the WC base into a newer, and what seems to be more functional style.

BJJ appeals to me as I am not sure how much grappling is done in JKD classes, and I'd like to give it a go. It's amazing how many different traps, locks, chokes, etc that these guys seem to have. It seems pretty physical, but also looks like it requires the mind of a chess player to see the outcome of the mount 5 moves from now.

Of course these are my rookie views, and if I'm wrong, or if there is something else that comes to mind from this description of what I'm looking for, then I'm all ears.



My understanding is that Fabio Hollanda and GAMMA are very well-respected. If you are interested in BJJ and the location works, by all means drop in and see what they're about. It will probably be more expensive, but worth the money. One person's impression of the school's atmosphere from a single visit is not the whole story.


Awesome! I only saw that one post that seemed to indicate that Fabio Hollanda was a great BJJ artist, but perhaps not the ideal teacher. I am glad to see comments to the contrary. As you said, one person doesn't paint the whole picture.

I'm not sure what these places will cost, but I'll check it out. I assume they are more than some other places, but that the extra quid is justified by the caliber of teachers. Still, I selfishly hope they charge in the ballpark of other places...

As for the location working, it definitely is the best for me.



Avoid Fang Shen do. There is lots to read about them on these boards if you want to know why.


I've read the threads; there are quite a few. Your point is taken.



I trained in kyokushinkai karate (although in New Brunswick years ago) that was affiliated with auto-defense Andre Gilbert in Montreal. May be worth a visit as well.


I'll see what I can find on google. I appreciate the suggestion!



Enjoy shopping around and feel free to post again after you have visited. I am guessing you have already read the stickies on choosing a martial arts school. Good luck and enjoy training

You're correct, I have read the stickies on choosing an MA school, and they were extremely helpful, informative, and useful. It helped me understand what I should be looking for and asking when I walk through the door of a school.

I have a bit of work to do now with the additional schools that have been mentioned. While I am looking for JKD and BJJ I want to keep an open mind and take a look at the other places recommended here. I'll definitely let you know how the search is going, and which place I selected.

Thanks again!

Tinkerbell
7/05/2010 8:26pm,
Hi Tinkerbell,

You'll see that I was all over the other thread that you quoted. I live on the south shore, but work downtown, so I have debated going to all the different clubs.


Ha! No worries! It was the easiest thread to find that spoke of Montreal schools. While it had a few schools in the suburbs, it had a few downtown, so it was still very helpful!



I've visited Tristar, and Gamma, do not be afraid of either one of them. Both have friendly staff that will be glad to talk to you about your needs, and help walk you through your decision. GAMMA has the edge as it is really in the best location, especially if you live, work, school, downtown. But if you are coming in from the West Island or Laval, Tristar could save you a headache and parking is horrible downtown.


I'm glad to hear they are both great schools. I look forward to passing by to see what their staff will be like, and what they will offer in terms of guidance and advice.

So fat GAMMA's location really appeals to me as I do stay in the downtown core at all times.





Both will cost you, but once again it depends on how much you want to train, and what programs, as they have everything from Pros to n00bs.


I'll be passing by GAMMA in the next week or so, and I guess I'll see how much it costs, and what the pricing structure is like.



I will also recommend Montreal BJJ, with Koji, as my Blue belt friend can't say enough good things about it, but I have never gone, as it is out of my way since they moved. (close to a metro)

The Honest_truth is recommending a great place with Sambo. I drove there once, just to see where it was, to watch them train a bit, and the metro is also there, it just doesn't fit my schedule.

Try each place for a free class or month, just to see what fits your transporation needs.

And don't forget the BIXI*

(* inside joke for montrealers.)

I'll check out the 2 places you mentioned on the net. Thanks again! I completely understand the "schedule" bit- I have a bit of the same predicament.

And I'll keep the BIXI (montreal's public bike system- if anyone is wondering...) in mind! Thanks :smile:

MrJ
7/06/2010 11:35am,
And I'll keep the BIXI (montreal's public bike system- if anyone is wondering...) in mind! Thanks :smile:

Thanks for explaining BIXI! As someone who has never lived in Montreal and loves to visit, I was curious. I think you've probably received the best advice possible from KO'd N DOA. Best of luck

andrewa
7/06/2010 4:53pm,
There's this place too!!!! Never been there but I'm sure it's a good school.

http://www.graciebarramontreal.ca/

KO'd N DOA
7/06/2010 5:11pm,
amdrewa Thanks for that update...

I assure you this place didn't exist until recently because it is down the street from my old apartment.- I'll take a walk over and see what it looks like.

Bruno has been around MTL with the big boys but to have his own place open ...awesome.

Tinkerbell
7/06/2010 7:12pm,
Thanks for explaining BIXI! As someone who has never lived in Montreal and loves to visit, I was curious. I think you've probably received the best advice possible from KO'd N DOA. Best of luck


Thanks. Here's the BIXI link:

http://www.bixi.com/home

Great way to get around downtown Montreal if it's a bit of a walk but you don't feel like taking motor transport.

Tinkerbell
7/06/2010 7:15pm,
There's this place too!!!! Never been there but I'm sure it's a good school.

http://www.graciebarramontreal.ca/


Wow! This place is also pretty convenient. It's down by Wellington, which is still easy walking range. I'll look up the teachers and the school to see what they are like!

Thanks!
:icon_bigg

Tinkerbell
7/06/2010 8:31pm,
There's this place too!!!! Never been there but I'm sure it's a good school.

http://www.graciebarramontreal.ca/

Looked up the teacher and found this (pretty impressive):

http://www.mmamania.com/2008/10/12/georges-st-pierre-earns-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-black-belt-under-bruno-fernandes/