Over the years as a student, competitor, and finally being a master instructor running my own gym I have thought about what makes a good gym that would attract anyone from a beginner (newbie) to a seasoned professional to go to train at. I had soul searched and pondered on the various places that I had trained at and had experienced on my life
journey in the martial arts and what I had realized is this, the best gyms that I had trained at were not always the most decked out or fanciest places or the most modern or “commercial facilities” contrary to popular belief the best gyms were just like in the Rocky movies it was usually the grungiest places for some Ironic reason and It hit me. I remember this old gym that I use to train at called Main St. Gym it wasn’t fancy alot of the equipment was old, wornout, rusted, dated, the heavy bags were torn and tattered from years of abuse and the lighting was dingy and the decor was very much like any old-school boxing gym… a wall plastered with fight posters and other types of fight memorabilia. When you walked into the place you could smell the sweat in the air from previous sessions going on in there. Main St. was no nonsense if you went there, you were there to train and not to goof off. I had several friends and mentors at the gym who use to coach me and train with me there. The Likes of Michael “The Black Sniper” McDonald, Tony “Kid Flash” Pep, Tommy Kang (little brother of Denis Kang of Pride F/C fame), Robbie Dela Pena, Trevor Holmes, and the list goes on. My boxing coach/owner of the gym was Dave Taft who was a very good and technical coach. Dave was brought up in a tough life and was what I would call the soft spoken tough guy. You really wouldn’t want to tick Dave off because he packed a hell of a punch and a kick. In the past I have trained at alot of other facilities that were modern and nice but for whatever reason I never felt that the level of training was the same as what I had experienced at Main St, and neither was the camaraderie amongst the fellow members. Alot of the times I felt that these particular type of gyms were more uptight / business like and the energy was rather cold the fellow members were rather withdrawn and clique. Now fast forward to 2009 and present running my own gym I looked back into my past once again when I first started in the Martial Arts gym business 4 years ago I really wasn’t to sure how to go about it and in the first year or so I had made ALOT of mistakes. However from those mistakes and having consoled with my close peers who gave me the most valuable advice I realized what my main goal was, my purpose was to help people and to make a difference in someone’s life, yeah it would be nice to have a stable of fighters, and have a reputation of sorts, however as I began this journey provided a prelude up to the points that I am about to address. For those of you who are looking for a gym to learn and train at there are several criterias that you need to look at. First, you have to understand what your initial needs are, and what are your goals? Is it for just fitness only? Or, are you wanting to become a professional or amature fighter.. or do you just want to be a life long student of the martial arts? All of which can qualify your needs however finding the right club/gym/dojo can be a daunting task. Are you the type of individual that likes to train in a more Commercial MEGA MMA GYM type of environment? Or, are you looking for something a little more intimate in layout and more closer to a “family” atmosphere I honestly can’t answer that for you but I can explain what the differences are like. Let’s take a look at this closer, the public school systems in comparison to private schools.
Public schools are generally overcrowded with a student ratio of 30-40 students to 1 teacher whereas private schools have a ratio that is smaller usually 10-20 students to 1 teacher AT MOST! The result is that private school generally offer a better learning curve for their students, and the quality of the instruction and the attention to detail is generally at a much higher standard. The SAME goes with martial arts schools. Bigger gyms may offer the latest in facilities and equipment but they lack in the quality in instruction not because it’s the fault of the instructor but primarily because these particular gyms tend to try to suit the masses in order to cover their overhead they will cram 30-50 bodies in one class to get taught by 1 instructor the by-product is that the participants in this type of environment tend to not learn as quickly or don’t really Learn ANYTHING AT ALL!! On the opposite side if you were to visit a smaller gym that may have not have all of the fancy gym equipment or a black-hole of a space it will have a smaller but warmer atmosphere and you can remember every persons name by the end of the class but the big bonus is that the instructor is “there” whether you LIKE IT OR NOT to make sure that you are learning your techniques with proper form and execution hence better learning progression due to the fact that the instructor can go around and give each individual in a smaller gym the attention that they so deserve. From my personal experience I have taught in both types of gyms and from my opinion my conscience speaks out to me that I would rather teach in a smaller class format since I am at least able to teach every student properly. In fact I have had former members from these McDojo or Mega MMA type gyms come to train at my facility thinking and feeling that they had some level of ability and they get a real rude awakening when it came to what their skill level should really be like in comparison to my own members who had trained at about the same length of time this is sad however but really true. These people have mentioned to me that they had just felt the wool being pulled over their eyes and they feel like they had to start all over again. It is just my personal opinion and it is not in any way a judgement on the more commercial gyms out there. These bigger martial arts gyms and mcdojos cater to a different clientel base as such so I am in no position to judge I am just giving you a reference point to go with as a future member of any martial arts gym.
At the end the CHOICE IS YOURS!!
Kru Judd ยุคใหม่
For those of you who are curious or interested in knowing more please feel free to visit us online at www.newera-athletics.com or if you have any questions please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me or text me direct at 778.889.2340 as I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.