Hey guys, so I was sitting at home vegging out as usual, and I decided to give a personal testimony of MMA/ BJJ gyms that i've been to, and would encourage you all to take a second to give an account of gyms that you have trained at/ are currently training.
LAS VEGAS, NV:
Legion BJJ- Ran by Cameron Diffley (Forrest Griffin's BJJ coach for TUF 7), Legion is a solid club, with clean mats, good grappling instruction, and also wrestling, MMA & Kickboxing classes. They offer both Gi & No- Gi (which are equally important for building a good grappler, IMO), & Cameron is very good at explaining & demonstrating concepts. Reasonably priced, it's a tad on the casual side, butyou'll definitely improve if you go there. This was the 1'st BJJ gym I ever trained at, and over the course of just 1 summer, I was able to get a solid grasp on the basics of BJJ. I did get cellulitis (a form of staph) from there, but I attribute that more to not having skin used to constant mat friction; you also run that risk training anywhere, and to be fair I haven't trained there for over 2 years. (here's a link to a pic that gives you an idea of the general layout of the place: Legion JJ facility picture)
Xtreme Couture- What can you really say about XC that hasn't already been said? I got much better at all aspects of MMA (especially with my top game, the top game Neil teaches is just gnarly), got into some of the best shape i've been in, & built good relations with alot of the teachers at XC. You just don't get the opportunity to talk to & be around world class fighters/ trainers like Kampmann, Maynard, Hieron, Griffin, Dunham, Duffee, Vitor, Randy, & Neil Melansen, Ron Frazier, Gil Martinez, etc etc. Unfortunately, all the world class training does come at a hefty price, $130 a month for 2 days a week, to be exact. The Amateur team members will often take the same classes that are for the public, and so there's never a lack of quality guys to spar/ drill with. Also, the facilities are impeccably clean, and they even have a janitorial staff that frequently cleans the place. If you can afford it, and are serious about your passion for MMA, then understand that you get what you pay for, and you get what you put in, so going to a world- class gym like XC should be seriously considered if you have the access to a comparable facility.
Spokane, WA: I go to Spokane for school (up at Gonzaga U), and so i've had a chance to sample & train at a few gyms over the past 2 years. The one i'm training at currently-
Hit Pit MMA- Located in downtown Spokane, the Hit Pit is actually the basement of Spokane Boxing. A 10'th Planet JJ affiliate, all classes are no- gi, and is run by a team of EB blue shirts. Spearheaded by RW, class is held from 5:30 to 7+, and it generally consists of a warm up/ stretch period, drilling techniques that we'll do for 1-2 weeks at a time, and then an open mat/ rolling period. It's fitted w/ mats & a cage, as well as the heavy bags & ring upstairs in the boxing gym. On Wed & Fri, one of the Pro boxers (Sweeney) comes down and helps us with hands, which has seriously improved my boxing technique. My cross & lead hook have come along a ton, and learning great hand technique is something that's hard to do if you just train Muay Thai for striking. I know that EB & the 10'th planet system have come under alot of scrutiny, but at least at the Hit Pit, we mainly train basic No- Gi jits type stuff, and the most radical grappling move i've learned to do is an EB sweep to take the back from 3/4 mount, or maybe the electric chair sweep from half guard (which I hit all the time and is a fantastic HG sweep). Again, smaller club and a bit casual, but it's definitely a great workout, and everyone there has a very good attitude. One of my favorite all- time quotes came from one of the instructors, and it's along the lines of "You shouldn't roll to rack up gym wins, you should roll to work & improve your game."
Spokane Jiu Jitsu- Now, granted, I only took one class here. But for anyone who lives in the Spokane/ Coeur D'alene area, I figured i'd include this. Bart Smith, the only black belt in the area, is a fantastic teacher, does Gi & No- Gi classes, and also has occasional kickboxing classes. It seemed very good though, starts w/ a warmup, drilling & rolling (like most every gym), and looked to be clean.
Sikjitsu- I actually just went to SJ today, while taking a brisk bike ride I passed by, had seen it before, and decided to jump in for a class. Unfortunately, their instructor wasn't there, so I just ended up rolling with some of the guys there. They look to have a strong amateur team, and most of the guys in there seemed like they had strong wrestling backgrounds. Lyle Beerbohm is based out of SJ, and even though it seems like a hole in the wall, the guys there seem pretty cool.
So- anyone else wanna share their gym experiences? Anyone else in the Spokane Area that posts on BE? I'd love your input