BJJ Minion on Tour – Marcelo Garcia Academy NYC

IMG_3679This is a guest post from my Hubby Old Munki – Back in Feb 2014, we were lucky enough to spend a week training at Marcelo Garcia’s Academy in NYC. Seeing as I was with him during the trip it made sense to rescue this blog when he started closing his own blog!

I am now just getting over my jet lag from my trip to New York City with Mrs Munki. This was a training holiday for the Old Munki to hit the Marcelo Garcia Academy NYC. I had heard such good things about the place that for me it was the obviously the place to go.

We had been looking forward to this trip for some time.  We had purposely picked February to go as the flights from the UK were the cheapest at this time of year, as the weather is bad.  This was no problem for us as we would be indoors most of the time anyway.

Paul Schreiner

Paul Schreiner

Our first training session was 7am on Monday morning.  The Academy has a large number of classes throughout the day as you can see from the schedule. Both Mrs Munki and I attended between 2 and 3 classes a day for the rest of the week.  The level of instruction from Bernardo Faria and Paul Schriener was really high. Not only that I don’t think I have ever been in a room with so many world class fighters.

All of the people at the club made Mrs Munki and I feel really welcome and Phil Balmant who manned the front desk between training was welcoming us by name after the first day.  The Academy itself was a great facility.  It has a quality matted area and showers in the changing rooms.  The only downside is that the changing rooms get really full during the more popular classes.  But that is not a major issue in comparison to the positives about training there.

Mrs Munki took some of the Self Defence classes, with Paul Schriener and found them really interesting and useful.  The class looked at not only the street application of techniques but how it would work for the sports side too. Paul’s teaching style is very technical and this worked really well for both Mrs Munki and me.

Bernardo Faria

Bernardo Faria

Bernardo Faria had a very relaxed style of teaching.  One thing that I will remember about Bernardo’s classes, is his explanation of finishing an omaplata. After getting the legs in the position you lean forward and “whisper a little secret in your partner’s ear”. This really made me smile and is a great explanation.

Both of them spent time during drilling walking around answering questions and correcting the techniques.  I have to say that both Mrs Munki and I were able to take away with us a lot of new stuff.  All of which we have started using already.

By the end of the week, it was actually beginning to feel like a home from home.  We had spent so much time there, that it was a shame having to leave to come back to the UK.

Despite the fact that we did not get an opportunity to take a class with Marcelo Garcia himself, it was a brilliant experience.  I would highly recommend going there if you are visiting NYC you will not regret it. We are already planning our return visit.


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