So it turns out that I blatantly missed the obvious choice for MMA training in South Florida: the Jaco Hybrid Training Center. I had originally thought that they only offered full MMA training, but I'm a complete idiot because they offer a nice amount of Gi BJJ classes. So I'm training MWFS for now, and might get into some no-gi at some point, or even the early morning (7am) classes once my job stabilizes. I'd also like to get into some strength and conditioning work on my off-days. I've been so out of shape and it's time to get my ass in gear.
The facility itself is fucking amazing, which should be a given, since they have so many high-level MMA guys there. So far I've met Thiago Silva, Vitor Belfort, and watched Eddie Alvarez and Rashad Evans training. Even got to watch UFC 165 with a bunch of fighters at Hooters. It was really nice being around people that care about the sport as much as me. The conversations were great. The same group of guys are regulars at the gym and they're turning out to be great training partners. Very helpful and friendly. I think I'm going to really like this gym. Plus, the classes are HUGE. Like, over 40 people. Mats are ALWAYS full. It's like being at Alliance. And there are a ton of people my own size, all belt ranks, male and female.
My new coach is Many Soares, and he's a really nice guy, great teacher and definitely going to become a great friend. Oh, and a beast on the ground. Brutally smothering, demoralizing top game....and I'm pretty sure he was only going like 60% with me. I'm going to learn a lot here for sure.
I also really like that people can maintain their team affiliations. We are Jaco Jiu-Jitsu, but there are a number of different teams that come together there: Nova Geracao, ATT, GF Team, and even Alliance. It seems like no one there is about BJJ politics. Just the love of the sport, friendship, and camaraderie. And if that isn't the right gym for you, then you need to rethink your priorities.
Classes are a little under 2 hours and consist of a warm-up, 1 specific technique or technique chain that we drill for a while, and then 3-4 10 minute rounds of rolling. The blue belts I've rolled with are definitely better than me for the most part, but not completely dominating. I've gotten my own offensive techniques in, but I'm plenty challenged.
One of the techniques we've been going over a lot is a berimbolo back take from top half guard. You can hit it when you try to step over to pass and they end up trapping your bottom leg. We've also gone over some sweep/passing sequences off of collar/sleeve control when your opponent tries to pass your closed guard.
I'm really excited about being back in the gym after 2 months off. Unfortunately, I don't believe I'll be able to afford the Miami Open. Between being out of shape and broke it's just not gonna happen. I might try to make it down there for team support if need be. But for now it's just a day at a time.