The world of MMA can be a very scary and intimidating one for the average joe or the beginner looking to start out. People are scared of walking into the sweat pit of ‘meatheads’ and testosterone, they fear upon arrival they will get gloved up and made to fight. While this might be the case in some instances, it need not be like that, and your fears will often be gone by session 2. The world of mixed martial arts is an evergreen area we recommend that everyone tries at least once, and try all aspects of the ground and the stand-up games. In this section, we will look to review gyms so you don’t have to and perhaps help make up your mind on when and where to attend.
The First Gym I have reviewed is Shugyo-fit in Randburg, co-owned by Rodney King. To start with the gym we must start with the trainer(s). Rodney King is what I consider a ‘Godfather’ of the fight game and self-defense in South Africa and all over the world. Rodney has developed his Crazy Monkey Defense system as well as Monkey Jits that is taught all over the world and is often used in reference by fighters from all over the world. He has pioneered his own fighting systems and a very particular style and approach to everything he does. Rodney is a 3rd-degree black belt in Jiu Jitsu under Rigan Machado, he was the Very first South African to obtain a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and has taught his world renowned systems all over the world including certain military organizations who have enlisted his services. Rodney is a wealth of Knowledge and offers you an opportunity to learn from one of the best and most experienced Martial arts practitioners in the world.
The gym is located in a very central part of Johannesburg, Randburg. It is Perched on top of a garage that allows for some amazing sunset views adding to the peaceful nature of the entire gym. The Gym itself is centered with a big elevated Matt area for classes, complete toilet, and change room and shower facilities. The gym has a very ‘Zen’ vibe that is extremely welcoming and somewhat relaxing. Everything in the gym is extremely well thought out and bright and clean. It is abundant in fantastic simplicity, no areas for “for oaks to smash bags and check chicks” only what you really need.
While the gym is home to such classes like Yoga and Pilates, it’s the martial arts that we are interested in. Jiu-Jitsu classes happen on a Monday and Wednesday at 7pm-8pm and on a Saturday morning at 8am as well as a kids Jiu Jitsu class which are extremely beneficial to kids. The classes are always structured with a direct plan and are taught in a way that makes it enjoyable. Rodney has a very strong belief in “play without ego” and everyone there has this installed in their make-up that makes it a one of kind class. You are there to learn Jiu-Jitsu and improve yourself and your game, There are no “Meatheads” that are going to bully you up and down the mats and chase you away. The classes are extremely addictive and are set in a great environment, both by design and student. I highly recommend that everyone tries this class at least once in their lives. If you are lucky Rodney might even share some his mass of knowledge of the world and life with the class afterward, I guarantee that you will learn more than one thing on the day.
Crazy Monkey Defense
I have been boxing for a few years and have done MMA type striking for almost 2 years, so I was excited to get a glimpse into Rodney’s world renowned Crazy Monkey Defense system. The Crazy Monkey stands up classes are very different to your usual “Boxing classes”. Rodney has his own set of rules if you will when it comes to “fighting” and trust me he knows what he is talking about. He has racked up the practical knowledge on some of the toughest streets around and molded his knowledge into a full on the workable system that is taught all over the world. The classes are taught mostly on partner drills and often involve very informative sparring that helps you improve your game. Like the Monkey Jits, this is taught in a very fun way without egos but aimed at personal improvement. Rodney has a great sense of practical knowledge that you cannot find in many other trainers and his Crazy Monkey Defense is known around the world for a reason.
Shugyo-Fit is a sanctuary for modern day martial arts taught by a one of kind Trainer who probably has more martial arts knowledge than anyone in the country (in my opinion). Rodney is a very rare martial art commodity in the country and people need to know what a great knowledge resource he is. His passion is evident in the gym itself as well as the classes. His systems are taught all over the world and there is the great sense of “Crazy Monkey Brotherhood” amongst all involved. Rodney and his team have created this amazing space where people come to play and learn as opposed to bleed and fight. When Rodney is traveling the world teaching the Crazy Monkey systems, his classes are often left in the More than Capable hands of Jacques Wagner, who is an awesome Coach and also coaches the Kids class
So if you are looking to learn Martial arts in an ego free environment then look no further. If you are looking to become a master of Jiu Jitsu, then there really is no one better in the country. So gather your gloves and you GI and get down to Shugyo-fit.
The score: –
Facilities: – * * * *
Change rooms: – * * * *
Cleanliness: – * * * * *
Environment: – * * * * *
Classes: – * * * * *
Price: – * * * * *
Location: – * * * *
Total Score – 67 out of 70
‘Meathead Metre’ = 0