Excerpted from Underground's BJJGround:
Thanks to "12", I was able to get a free month of training at Gracie Torrance. (but due to work, only went to about 6 classes)
One of the instructor's there is actually 12's son. Only had 1 class with him, but he was a cool, funny guy who knew his stuff.
First off, a basic intro on the curriculum of the school.
There are 4 types of classes:
- Gracie Combatives (beginner class/gi only)
- Master Cycle (blue and up)
- Bully Proof (kids class)
- Women Empowered (women’s class)
As a white belt, I only attended the Gracie Combatives class.
The curriculum is broken down into 23 lessons/classes.
Each class contains 2 moves:
- Standup move – such as getting the clinch, a takedown, etc
- Ground move – either a submission move (armbar, armericana) or a positional move (passing guard, mount escape)
I've been to a number of different BJJ schools throughout the US, such as Renzo's, place in Atlanta, etc...
All those schools had the same format - one hour class:
- 10 minute of warmups - situps, shrimping, jumping jacks, etc...
- sometimes they have 5 minutes of takedown practice
- technique 1 - work with partner on it
- technique 2 - work with partner on it
- last 20-30 minutes of rolling
Gracie Torrance was a different format:
- 15 minutes of practice of previous class (half on standup move, half on ground move)
- Then Everyone lines up against the wall
- Then the instructor goes over move 1, and then asks everyone who has taken the class before to step forward.
- He then tells the people who stepped forward to pick someone still standing against the wall as their partner for the class
- Everyone does move 1
- Instructor then goes over move 2 (ground move)
- Everyone does it – instructor gives a variation on the move (i.e. mount escape if someone is holding your collar, then if the guy has his arm around your head, etc…)
- After everyone does move 2, that’s about the end of the class (one hour)
After you attend X number (I don’t remember the number) of the beginner class, then you can attend the Friday beginner class, which (I believe) starts to chain together the moves, rather than doing each move in a silo.
So its pretty similar to other BJJ places, except no rolling.
That’s done in the Master Cycle class.
That difference is the biggest difference and I think most ppl will be split in their feelings on it.
Some people will think: “This SUCKS, I want to ROLL!!”
Other might be like: “Cool, I can learn my moves without someone going crazy trying to submit me”
In my opinion, I think their format is better for a total newbie - how often does a beginner who only knows 2 moves has a worthless rolling session where he's just a training dummy.
Their method allows someone to train for a month or two before they go to the Friday class and start chaining the moves together, then after 6 months or so, once they have done all the classes/moves 3 times or more, they start rolling.
As for the people there, everyone I met was very nice and friendly.
In the class, there is an instructor and an assistant instructor, but then there were one or two high belt people walking around to give pointers.
No egos, other schools I went to, there were a bit more egos, a bit more “I want to crush you” while rolling and even while drilling (not everyone at those schools, one or two folks)
Overall it’s a school I definitely would like to attend, but unfortunately due to work I cannot sign a year contract, and the monthly price without a contract is too high for me.
But I do recommend others go, they have a trial membership - free 10 day trial and they give you a gi. If you sign up after the 10 days, you keep the gi, otherwise you return the gi and thats it.
that about sums it up,thank you for giving it a try.have a nice day
One thing I forgot to mention, every month they print out the schedule for the month.
9/15 class is class #5
9/16 - class 6
9/17 - class 7.....this way you know exactly what will be taught that day if you want to review before class, or if you miss class you know what they covered that day, etc...