Last week Josh and I visited the local Gracie Barra BJJ school, which happens to be right around the corner from where we work. Seriously, it's a long football throw away from our office. We enjoyed our visit, and we plan to start training there after New Year. Some of our other friends may start training there as well, which will be cool.
A few observations:
- Camaraderie. The group there was small-ish (9 people), and seemed to genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other. Most of them went out of their way to be very welcoming to us as visitors, and took an interest in us.
- Not too many fighters. This place is not "thugged up". Only about 3 of the members are fighters as well, and they seemed pretty cool too (nothing against fighters, just not my thing).
- Great facility. The facility is also where the LSU Tiger Cheerleaders and dancers train. Top-notch facility. Incidentally, the owners (husband and wife) are former LSU cheerleaders, and the guy was the cheerleading head coach for a time (he's currently a BJJ blue belt).
- Classes are led by Rafael Ellwanger twice a week. He's a black belt (over first degree, not sure how much over) under Carlos Gracie Jr.