I was looking for a place to train on Orlando (while there for work) and came across the new Alliance Orlando. I walked in to a building that wasn't yet a full operating gym, but knew they had classes going from their facebook post. The General Manager was very welcoming, very engaging, and offered me to come back for the class in a half hour or so. When I came back, I know that I was in the right place when most people waiting were speaking Portuguese.
The class was run by BB Michel Langhi, brother of Michael Langhi. Michael Langhi is the head instructor, but was back in Brazil. It was a "real" training session with long warm ups and 3 or so rounds of 7 minute sparring. They are just starting, so the class sessions have not been separated between experience levels, but the drills were in separate groups.
For me, this was the first time that I had trained BJJ with Brazilians. Its not like it is any different for me, the noob, but there is a novelty. More experienced people will gain a lot from training with the upper echelons of the sport.
The important thing for me was that this place was great experience (instruction, welcoming-ness, facility). I look forward to training here again. To train with the sports elite gets me thinking a lot about the sport. Think about it (ca. Falling Hard), can you ever train with professional football/basketball/baseball players? No. Here is the chance to train with BJJ's professionals. It makes that training session different. Even if you are just here as a BJJ tourist.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I was in Denver and had the opportunity to train at Easton BJJ in Littleton. Easton BJJ has six branches, which I was at a South Denver suburb branch. This was my first time training at a larger school, but there was little difference except in their being a well organized curriculum. My impressions:
- Very welcoming to a drop in - it is a little intimidating/awkward showing up at a new school to train just for a night - they were very friendly and accommodating. Thanks!
- They required an instructor to watch you roll before attending class or sparring - meant to monitor the spazzes - safety measure.
- Floated/elevated springy mats were very nice.
- They had separate Beginner (up to 3 stripe white belt), Intermediate (above 3 stripes), and Advanced classes, which seemed like it could make it easier for a beginner to start training to only spar with fellow noobs (or more spastic).