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  1. #31
    quikky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diene View Post
    You're absolutely right. I hate this place. I'm from CA originally, and I plan on moving back there soon. The Bay Area (at least parts of the Bay Area that I'm likely to frequent) is so much safer. Socialist as hell, but the weather is awesome.
    Where are you now that's so ghetto?

  2. #32
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    Leida, after your last response of not wanting to spar, I highly, HIGHLY recommend Gracie Jiu Jitsu if you can find an awesome location that.

    1. Is full of kind, considerate easy going people. Watch the class and be on the lookout for warning signs like LOTS of health tape, if its really typical you might even hear someone yelp or get injured right then! Good Jiu Jitsu is gentle and technical.

    2. People should be smiling and having fun before, during, and after training

    3. The little guys or gals should get the better of bigger beginners (who usually struggle like crazy) pretty easily while still smiling.

    4. Look for a women's only class if that'll help you feel more comfortable, but try to go co-Ed ASAP. Any place that can retain plenty of women AND teach Jiu Jitsu is usually a comfortable place to train.

    I don't like to speak out against any other types of classes, however I can't urge you enough to NOT SWTICH from Hapkido to Tae Kwon Do, or something else in every strip mall. I have personally tried nearly everything under the sun, And have tight countless adults who have regretted taking something less credible under the illusion it provides self defense. Some things are just naturally more effective than others. Some classes are more sport oriented, and some have a balance of both.

    If its for fun, have fun, if its for self defense be certain you're getting your money's worth.
    Living the dream - One life at a time!

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekshow View Post
    Leida, after your last response of not wanting to spar, I highly, HIGHLY recommend Gracie Jiu Jitsu if you can find an awesome location that.

    1. Is full of kind, considerate easy going people. Watch the class and be on the lookout for warning signs like LOTS of health tape, if its really typical you might even hear someone yelp or get injured right then! Good Jiu Jitsu is gentle and technical.

    2. People should be smiling and having fun before, during, and after training

    3. The little guys or gals should get the better of bigger beginners (who usually struggle like crazy) pretty easily while still smiling.

    4. Look for a women's only class if that'll help you feel more comfortable, but try to go co-Ed ASAP. Any place that can retain plenty of women AND teach Jiu Jitsu is usually a comfortable place to train.

    I don't like to speak out against any other types of classes, however I can't urge you enough to NOT SWTICH from Hapkido to Tae Kwon Do, or something else in every strip mall. I have personally tried nearly everything under the sun, And have tight countless adults who have regretted taking something less credible under the illusion it provides self defense. Some things are just naturally more effective than others. Some classes are more sport oriented, and some have a balance of both.

    If its for fun, have fun, if its for self defense be certain you're getting your money's worth.
    Another excellent post. I like this guy.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Another excellent post. I like this guy.
    Seriously. Score one for the new guy
    I have a lot of hard miles on my body from before I realized I'm not 100% invulnerable. Now I just think I'm 75% invulnerable. -Mr. Anthony

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  5. #35
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    I am also with Tekshow.

    M.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekshow View Post
    [Jiu Jitsu is awesome]
    I had two very different experiences with Jiu Jitsu, at two different academies.

    The first one was very gentle, probably with lots of smiling. Lots of drills, no sparring. Sparring was a separate class immediately afterwards, but it was optional, and you had to take something like 12 classes before you were even allowed to spar.

    The other one was the exact opposite. I got pulverized every time. Here's my arm after my first class (kinda gross - it looks like a red rash but was actually purple bruises). A big guy cracked my rib with repeated elbow drops during a drill. It's not like anyone was trying to hurt people, but it was the nature of the beast.

    I only ever saw two women there. One was a purple belt visiting from another location, and she fit in just fine. The other was a newbie who lasted one class, and sat out on most things because she didn't want to get killed. I wouldn't say that a woman couldn't do it, but if the three words that best describe her are anything other than "bad mother fucker," she wouldn't want to try.

    I would have preferred something halfway between these extremes. What are most Jiu Jitsu academies like?
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    I had two very different experiences with Jiu Jitsu, at two different academies.

    The first one was very gentle, probably with lots of smiling. Lots of drills, no sparring. Sparring was a separate class immediately afterwards, but it was optional, and you had to take something like 12 classes before you were even allowed to spar.

    The other one was the exact opposite. I got pulverized every time. Here's my arm after my first class (kinda gross - it looks like a red rash but was actually purple bruises). A big guy cracked my rib with repeated elbow drops during a drill. It's not like anyone was trying to hurt people, but it was the nature of the beast.

    I only ever saw two women there. One was a purple belt visiting from another location, and she fit in just fine. The other was a newbie who lasted one class, and sat out on most things because she didn't want to get killed. I wouldn't say that a woman couldn't do it, but if the three words that best describe her are anything other than "bad mother fucker," she wouldn't want to try.

    I would have preferred something halfway between these extremes. What are most Jiu Jitsu academies like?
    Where I train, we have beginner classes, women's classes, kid's classes, "regular" classes, open mat sessions, vale tudo classes, and competition team sessions.

    The beginners' classes are more self-defense oriented, more fundamentals are covered, and there's less (and less intense) rolling/training. These classes have the highest attendance rates, including everyone from white belt to black.

    The women's classes: I'm not allowed to be in the academy during these, but according to my sources, they're also more self-defense oriented. They train pretty hard, I understand (the ladies who also come to the other classes/comp team sure do!)

    Kids' Classes: Sort of like a miniature version of the beginners' classes, with lots more belt colors.

    "Regular" classes: Starts with a warm-up, then some stand-up instruction, then several 2-3 minute rounds of randori, then ground instruction, then around 30 minutes of live "rolling" from relevant positions and/or the knees. Beginners are allowed here too, of course. Just that the instruction might go a little fast for them.

    Vale Tudo classes: Not gonna lie to you. These are Jiu Jitsu classes in gloves and shorts. Some pad work is done for warm-ups, but it's basically Jiu Jitsu for the cage (and we do have a cage). Lots of using your guard to not get hit/using punches to improve position stuff.

    Open mat: No proper instruction, but opportunities to learn abound nonetheless. Mostly we just train for 75 minutes straight on Friday nights. Very laid back attitude, people who want to train hard seek each other out. People who want to train less hard seek each other out. I set the clock for longish rounds so the guys who want to get started right away can, the guys who want to take 1-2 minutes for water, oxygen, belt-tying and the planning of barbecues can do that too.

    Competition team: 90 minutes of hard drilling/training. Not for the faint hearted or those unwilling to push themselves. This class gets, at best, 50% of the attendance levels of beginner classes. Often less. Rounds are long, rest is short, and even the warm-ups suck.

    In all instances, however, keeping things in perspective is emphasized. That means you bring yourself down to the level of your opponent in a way that you both get good training. Being rude to/smashing/padding your ego while training with new people and white belts is highly discouraged. It's much more fun (for the upper belts) and valuable (for the white belts/new people) to let them almost have everything and then take things away little by little anyway.

    Injuries do happen from time to time, as they do in any sport. Blood is even occasionally drawn (more often from mat burn than anything else). But we emphasize protecting our partners, while giving them a hard time training. If you can't take a submission gradually, you don't really have control of it.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "elbow drops," but to my knowledge, nobody's cracked a rib, at least in the 7+ years I've been training there.

    We usually let new students train with someone experienced enough to handle the situation as soon as they become an enrolled student. Prospective students taking a free trial class are usually not allowed to train, for safety's sake and to avoid anybody feeling like it's an ego challenge.

    I think it sounds like you'd want to find an academy that's more Gracie Jiu Jitsu oriented than competition BJJ-oriented. I personally compete, but I train at a place where we're the red-headed stepchildren of the group. The middle aged beginners who want to get or stay in some kind of shape while learning to defend themselves pay the bills and the Academy is run accordingly.

    There's my essay on Jiu Jitsu Academies. I'll have one of my own some day. Remind me I said so and you'll be welcome to come train any time.

  8. #38
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    Thank you again for all your thoughts. I realize that I was coming to it from a much narrow perspective - and extremely limited experience. In fact I now doubt that my motivation was at all right. Maybe it is a credit to the place I live, I guess, that my thoughts on self-defense did not go beyond: I feel really stupid because I can't remember anything in a class I take because it is fun...

    At this time I can't really shop for a school, since my time is too limited to commute for exercise + I seriously doubt my ability to advance much beyond pathetic, but your experiences all sound fascinating! Except for diene's, and I really hope you can move!!!
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post

    At this time I can't really shop for a school, since my time is too limited to commute for exercise + I seriously doubt my ability to advance much beyond pathetic, but your experiences all sound fascinating! Except for diene's, and I really hope you can move!!!
    That's the thing, with good instruction and consistant training, you can advance pretty far. I thought the same, and never thought I would be where I am now.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    I think it sounds like you'd want to find an academy that's more Gracie Jiu Jitsu oriented than competition BJJ-oriented.
    Yeah, probably. We weren't required to compete, but a good number of the guys competed locally, and a few went to Rio.

    I also think having separate beginner-focused classes would help tremendously. Working with blue belts on the basics was far more helpful to me than rolling with other newbies when neither of us knew what to do, or learning moves that were too complicated for me to really use at that point.
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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