A lot of the times everyone wonders what’s a good gym to go to when they’re traveling and not many people have a suggestion or know first hand about the gyms around the area.
I traveled about two hours away to Springfield, Mo to see about a gym that I have heard mixed things about. Springfield Fit 2 Fight.
This is the first time I’ve reviewed a gym so bear with me on this.
I will be discussing and explaining how the gym’s classes flow, the cleanliness of the gym, how they interact with the kids during kids classes, and how the instructors teach. Are they detail oriented or are they a show a one technique and walk away type of instructor?
Lets get down to business.
- Gym Name: Springfield Fit 2 Fight
- Instructor: Brian Stuebner
- Association: Ciao Terra/10th Planet
- Years open: 2
- Years Training: 8
- Years Teaching: 6
- Rank: Brown Belt
Lets talk about the facility first.
Springfield Fit to Fight has around 7000 sq. ft of total mat space with 1600 sq. ft for Jiu Jitsu only that is grey and black in color and is split up into two mat areas with a kids room (with glass front and sides so the kids can see their parents) in between the two.
One side is lined with bags and is used for stand up and conditioning with a cage. While the other side is used strictly for grappling.
There is only one entrance to each side of the mats to prevent looky loos from wandering on the shoes with their germy feet. The grappling side has a cage wall to keep people from stepping on the mats but they do have chairs you can sit in on the side to watch classes.
The grappling side of the mats entrance is a hallway you walk down that is lined with seminar posters from guys like Eddie Bravo, Gokor, and Jeff Glover. Right before you step on the mat is a “welcome mat” you clean your feet off with.
The changing rooms have lockers, benches, and showers for their customers.
How are the classes?
The day that I chose to come in a try the classes was on a Wednesday.
Their scheduled classes for that day are: GI BJJ class from 1030am-12pm, Kids No-Gi BJJ at 530pm, Beginners No-Gi BJJ at 615pm and No-Gi BJJ at 7pm
GI BJJ Class
The class started with a few warm up drills that mimic the techniques that we would be covering in the class. We spent about 5 minutes covering the mechanics of the drills that would be important when performing the technique.
As the drills progressed we would switch every minute between the person on top performing a drill and the person on bottom doing their part of the drill. This went on for 6 minutes a piece before we switched top and bottom.
The techniques we were performing were a spider guard sweep and a leg drag pass.
Brian made sure to spend a good amount of time explaining the technique and what we should be doing with each movement. I played dumb on the techniques and messed them up on purpose and he would see me doing it and come by and correct it the second he saw me doing it.
I would then ask another dumb question and he would calmly explain it why I should do it this way and not the way I was trying. Brian was primarily a no gi guy for the longest time but his attention to gi details is like he’s been training in the kimono for the entire time.
We ended the class with some friendly but competitive rolls. After the rolling we all circled up and he praised us all on the days class. We all bowed out and then stood around talking for a bit.
When I first saw the mats I noticed they were pretty clean. Brian said tha they clean them three times a day. Immediately after the first class the mats were cleaned with a pump spray jug full of mat cleaner and a swiffer type mop with disposable cloths.
Here is where Fit 2 Fight really shines in my opinion. Their kids class was amazing.
First off, their warm up games kept the kids attention and they had fun the entire time. Always laughing but working out as well. None of the kids said it was too hard and they all agreed it was a blast.
The instruction and attention that kids got was awesome. They had three assistant instructors which was two purple belts, a blue belt, and then Brian. Mr. Stuebner was the main instructor for the children and the other belts helped demonstrate. There was one instructor per 3-4 kids in a group and each one of the assistant instructors paid close attention to the kids and helped them along each step of the way.
The techniques that were shown to the children was a simple butterfly sweep and keeping mount after they swept them over. The kids were super attentive and while there was some chatter, it wasn’t an excessive amount. They easily had fun and were laughing the entire class. Brian showed some great, very basic details to each technique and it wasn’t too hard for the kids to understand.
After they got done drilling Brian circled them all up and started talking to the group. He was speaking to the kids about having respect for one another and adults/authority figures as well. Subconsciously teaching the kids about avoiding bullies and not being a bully themselves. Brian would ask the kids questions about who they should have respect for and how to avoid certain situations.
The kids were learning some great life lessons and kudos to Brian and his staff for putting that into each kids class.
For the finale of the kids class they played a grab the flag game. If you had your flag taken then you had to sit out on the side and the only way to get back in the game was to have one of your team mates come and butterfly sweep you (like the technique they were shown that day) and then PRESTO!!! You’re back in the game. Great way to help the kids memorize and incorporate the technique they just learned.
NO GI BJJ
The NOgi was started off with a beginners class.The warm up was a typical job around the gym mixed in with different calisthenics. Not too relaxed but then again not a barn burner of a work out.
When it comes to details Brian is very thorough when teaching. Tons of great basic details to help make the sweep happen for even the first day student. As previously mentioned Brian has primarily been a nogi guy for a long time and is pretty knowledgeable in No Gi Grappling. It was very noticeable that he’s more comfortable teaching without the Gi than with.
Everyone was having fun chatting and drilling, but Brian was good about walking around and keeping the focus and attention of the students on the technique at hand. Walking around the groups of four correcting and adding little details to help strengthen the sweep they were performing.
A good thing to add about the class is there is no rolling for the beginners class. Where as there was a lot of experienced guys in the class there were also some new ones as well. Brian explained it to me as “Most beginners don’t know a lot and are afraid to roll with the more experienced guys, so we save the rolling for the experienced class right after that way more people can get used to drilling technique and not have to roll if they don’t want to.
To end the class Brian gathers everyone in a circle and starts giving everyone praise on the nights class. Then started telling stories of the Pan Ams camp he just got back from at Caio Terras Academy. After that he started talking about the upcoming NAGA tournament and started giving his guys realistic expectations and views of the tournament and winning, trying to get rides set up etc.
This is where the night ended for me as I promised my family we would go swimming. I asked Brian how the next class would go and he said the experienced class was going to be 45 mins of rolling as that’s what the group had decided on that particular night since they were getting ready for a tournament that weekend.
If you’re ever in the Springfield area then I would suggest you go to the Fit 2 Fight gym as you won’t be disappointed in their ability to teach you good Jiu Jitsu.