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FMA11
06-08-2006, 10:17
Is anyone familiar with Jeff Gordon's Self-Defense Academy in Southern Maryland? Their website is www.graciemd.com

I was thinking about signing up for Krav Maga to supplement my SFAS prep (from a fitness perspective though I assume the additional skills can't hurt).

Any thoughts, intel, etc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Frank

Kyobanim
06-08-2006, 10:54
I'm not familiar with Jeff Gordon's school but if you want a physical prep for SFAS you'll be better off with the jujitsu classes. At least with that you'll be familiar with the Combatives that the Army teaches.

Level 1 Krav is like taekwondo or karate. The difference is Krav teaches the entire method from start to finish as one motion whereas other martial arts teach the method in a step by step fashion.

It looks like his Krav instructor has all the Krav certs. The LEO cert being one of the final and most important ones.

Just my .02

Chief Krav Maga Instructor: Otis Berry

Otis Berry brings an impressive military and self defense background to Gordon's Self-Defense Academy. He served for six years in the Third Special Forces Group of the United States Army, where he made over 400 static line parachute jumps and over 200 HALO (high-altitude-low-opening) jumps. He is a graduate of the Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Army Sniper School at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Otis acquired Akido expertise while in the Special Forces and subsequently attained a black belt in Chung Do Kwan. He also has extensive experience in Muay Thai Kickboxing and Chi Na. Otis grew up in Springfield, Virginia, where he was state champion in the 400 meter and 800 meter track & field events.

Otis is one of only 25 Instructors in the United States with a Black Belt in Krav Maga. He also holds Phase A, B and C Krav Maga Instructor Certifications, as well as the advanced Expert Series I and Expert Series II Certifications. Otis has also achieved certification in Civilian Law Enforcement from Krav Maga Worldwide’s Force Training Division, qualifying him to lead special programs for law enforcement and security personnel.

Slantwire
06-08-2006, 11:04
Not familiar with the school, and not familiar with SFAS (yet). That said, as a general rule I've never been impressed with the "fitness" aspect of most martial arts, Krav Maga included. Roycie jiu-jitsu seems to be an exception. I used to be part of a jeet kun do class in Falls Church (the Fighter's Garage) that shared space with a BJJ class - those guys were very serious about overall fitness (strength, speed, cardio / stamina, flexibility).

Krav Maga schools that I've seen tend to be marketing-based TKD-style shops targeting 20-30-something women. (Wait - why didn't I hang out there more??) Make them break a sweat by kicking and leave them totally defenseless in a fight.

dedeppm
06-08-2006, 11:23
You might be better off looking for an MMA school, both from a fitness standpoint and a utility standpoint. I'm fortunate enough to be only 20 minutes or so away from Jorge Gurgel and Rich Franklin's school here in Cincinnati, and they teach Muay Thai, traditional boxing, submission grappling, and BJJ in one place. That way you get the fitness benefits of all the different styles as well as a well-rounded education in different fighting techniques.

FMA11
06-08-2006, 11:39
I appreciate all the replies.

Dedeppm - They will be starting an MMA class at my location soon. I'll check it out.


Frank

rubberneck
06-08-2006, 11:54
You are out of luck FMA11 is you are interested in real Krav Maga. A little history here is important.

In the US there are two Krav Maga schools. One is based in New York the other in LA. The school in NY is run by a former IDF paratrooper who spent 20 (36 years in total) years studying Krav Maga with Imi Licthenfeld the man who developed the art. The LA school is run by a man who used to be a DA and spent a couple of months in Israel. To become an instructor in the NY school it takes at a minimum of 4 years training (usually 3 or 4 times a week) and passing a two week training class held by the head Krav Maga instructor from Israel. To become an instructor with the LA school you have to attend a series of expensive, yet short seminars. Sadly 90% of the schools in this country are affiliated with the LA school.

I spent 4 years with the NY school and hold the rank of brown belt and still don't think I have enough experience to be an instructor. Then again there are Krav Maga "instructors" cerified by LA that have been studying the art for less than a year. It is obvious to me that 90% of the krav maga schools in the US are nothing more than McDojo's run by people who have no business trying to teach the art to others. As a result many dojo's focus on womens self defense/cardiovascular exercise. The school you mentioned is an LA based school.

Speaking from my experience we spent a fair amount of time sparring. Anyone who has boxed knows that it can be an excellent workout but you would be better served following the advice of the other QP's here on how best to prepare yourself.

Croooz
06-08-2006, 11:55
I've never been to SFAS and not going but having taken a few classes at this school I don't see the need to spend the time nor money with your goal of SFAS in mind.

K.I.S.S.

Warrior-Mentor mentioned rockclimbing in his book. Since you're willing to spend some money, there's sportrock in Southern MD. Seems more applicable and...it's in THE book. :D

FMA11
06-08-2006, 12:59
Again, I appreciate all the replies.

NousDefionsDoc
06-08-2006, 21:42
I don't think I would be supplementing my SFAS prep. If you feel like you need more, put 5 more pounds in your ruck and go 5 more miles. You will not be required to wrestle your classmates much and I would highly suggest you not try to throw your Instructor on the ground with kung fu.

Focus on the task at hand. There will be time for martial arts after you get your LGH.

kachingchingpow
09-15-2006, 10:09
His school looks to be affiliated with the school I've trained at for the last 5 years. Prof. Sauer's first black belt student is my instructor, and pretty much used our school (along with Frank Cucci's out of Norfolk) to model his other affiliates. It looks like Gordon's school has the usual flow of seminars by the Gracies. We've had Helio (one of the founders of Gracie JiuJitz), Prof Sauer, Rickson, and his kids teach us. MMA has evolved quite a bit since the Gracies first brought the style to the US, but there's something special about training under them from time to time. His school also looks to have an exceptional kids program... they're putting them into the NAGA, which is a good thing. The adults are probably participating as well.

They wouldn't affiliate with Gordon, if he wasn't 1/2 squared away.

Surgicalcric
09-15-2006, 10:53
Is anyone familiar with Jeff Gordon's Self-Defense Academy...

Huh...

I thought he was a gay NASCAR driver.

Crip

Goggles Pizano
09-15-2006, 12:33
Huh...

I thought he was a gay NASCAR driver.

Crip


:D Oh man here come the NASCAR nuts...duck!

incommin
09-15-2006, 13:10
My vote is with NDD. Your stamina with a heavy ruck, speed, and distance (combined with land nav) will mean more than your agility on a mat!

Jim

Visith
03-31-2009, 20:45
I'm going to tryout the Jeff Gordon place and wanted to know if KM instructor Otis Berry did in fact "served for six years in the Third Special Forces Group of the United States Army, where he made over 200, static line parachute jumps and HALO (high-altitude-low-opening) jumps. He is a graduate of the Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Army Sniper School at Fort Lewis, Washington. Otis acquired Akido expertise while in the Special Forces"

ZooKeeper
04-01-2009, 19:36
I'm going to tryout the Jeff Gordon place and wanted to know if KM instructor Otis Berry did in fact "served for six years in the Third Special Forces Group of the United States Army, where he made over 200, static line parachute jumps and HALO (high-altitude-low-opening) jumps. He is a graduate of the Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Army Sniper School at Fort Lewis, Washington. Otis acquired Akido expertise while in the Special Forces"

That seems like a lot of jumps in that time frame.

:munchin

The Reaper
04-01-2009, 19:49
That seems like a lot of jumps in that time frame.

:munchin

And he doesn't list MFF school. Could he be stretching the truth and counting a skydive as a HALO jump?

TR