FAQs | Radical MMA
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Q: What are your rates?
Our rate for unlimited training, seven days a week, in our martial art classes is the best in the city. All combined our tuition is just $199 per month with a six month membership to the academy.

This ALSO gives you full access to our weight training gym, as we have an entire floor fully stocked with all the equipment you need to develop a high level of functional fitness. You get a martial art academy and a gym with only one price!

The payment is a monthly auto-pay deduction from a credit or debit card. All the information about our schedule, tuition, and location are listed on the Classes page.

Q: How do I set up a first class and what do I need for it?
To try a class, please send us an email, and we will schedule a time for you to come in. The first class will be a short private lesson with Coach Dreifuss, and then participation in our group class afterward.

All you need for the first class is a pair of shorts (no metal buttons or zippers), and a somewhat tight fitting t-shirt or rashguard, which is a type of compression shirt made of lycra.

You will not need hand wraps, a mouthpiece or a cup for your first class. It is a good idea to bring a bottle of water, and do not eat anything too heavy prior to training.

Q: What do I need to buy if I join?
If you decide to join and commit to serious training you should get a rashguard/compression shirt and pair of MMA shorts or board shorts. This is for both hygiene and safety issues. We do recommend you get kneepads, as wrestling training can be hard on the knees without protection.

As you will be focusing on Jiu-jitsu, Judo and Wrestling in the beginning of your training you won’t need any striking gear (wraps, gloves, or protective gear) for some time. When you graduate to striking I can again recommend some places to purchase equipment. We also have some shared equipment at the academy.

Q: Do you sell equipment?
We don’t sell equipment at this time but you can easily pick these items up at sports stores like Modell’s or on Amazon. On our website we have a Suggested Gear page that lists some very inexpensive options. A short sleeve shirt is about $17 and the shorts are around the same price.

I am not affiliated with any company and you can get any brand you like, so please feel free to look around.

Q: Am a required to buy a specific brand? Can I wear gear from another academy?
We don’t have any brand requirements. As long as your gear is safe and clean we are cool. I personally hate when schools force you to buy their own equipment. I feel it’s very sleazy. If you have gear from another academy that is safe and hygienic then you are more than welcome to wear it.
Q: I have never trained mixed-martial arts or any martial art before? Do I need any prior martial arts experience? Is MMA training too intense for me?
Don’t worry. Never having trained before means you don’t have any bad habits to correct. You need no prior experience to start. Remember even the most successful champions all started from nothing.

Yes, MMA training can be intense, but we will start you off in separate style classes, that are divided to ensure you gain a fundamental understanding of each art. Also beginners are slowly and patiently taught until they are ready to take their training to the next level. However, we will push you to be the best you can be…that’s what martial arts are all about. But all you need is a little heart and you’ll be fine.

Q: I am a bit out of shape but bored with the gym. Is this academy right for me?
Our training offers a fantastic workout. But more importantly you will learn a mentally challenging skill that will give you an immense feeling of accomplishment.
Q: Isn’t MMA violent? I don’t want to train with meatheads.
Fighting is violent, but MMA at it’s technical best is about controlling violence with skill and finesse. In particular, Jiu-jitsu offers the means by which a small man may defeat a larger one. Jiu-jitsu is the opposite of brute force; it is a physical chess game that allows an intelligent, strategic fighter to win. In our training we will always emphasize the use of technique over brawn.

More importantly, all our instructors stress martial art ethics, using training as a way to better oneself. We make sure each person on the mat is respectful to everyone and keeps training safe and enjoyable. No meatheads or bullies allowed (and if you do encounter one outside the gym, you’ll have the tools to take care of yourself).

Q: How does your program work?
In terms of how our program works, we place a strong emphasis on learning grappling skills prior to moving on to striking. I would like to explain our approach more when we train, but for now I suggest you watch this video, which describes our system.

While we do not start you in full MMA training, we focus on MMA ready techniques of MMA Submission fighting and Shootboxing. Therefore, when you are ready to begin your MMA training you will have nothing to unlearn and will be free of any bad habits.

Q: What is a typical class like?
Our classes begin with a conditioning warm up, then move onto technique, where fighting moves are taught and practiced to perfection. After the technique section students who are ready are allowed to participate in sparring. In grappling classes it will be submission fight sparring or clinch sparring, and the level of intensity will be adjusted to the level of the student. In striking classes sparring will be boxing, kickboxing or shoot-boxing sparring depending on the lesson and experience of the students.
Q: Why are the classes separated by styles and not taught in an MMA class all together?
MMA is a combination of three styles of fighting: Striking, Takedowns/Throws, and submission fighting. All three have their own distinct principles. At Radical MMA we believe in respecting and learning each fighting science individually before you begin fully cross-training.

We want to develop technical, truly skilled fighters not brawlers. By training all three styles once you’ll become the proverbial “Jack of all trades master of none.” Start one style, achieve a high level of skill in it, and then begin cross training. That is the path to a becoming a successful mixed martial artist.

There is tremendous amount of evidence to back up our approach. It is now almost impossible to find an MMA champion in any division, in any weight class, anywhere in the world who began their fighting career studying “MMA.” The best fighters either started in wrestling, BJJ or striking, and only after honing their skills in one art did they turn their attention to other disciplines (over the nearly 20 year history of modern MMA, there have been a small number of exceptions; while every now and again an MMA only trained fighter becomes a champion, like Forrest Griffin, they have all lost their titles soon after)

At the Radical dojo once you have reached a high level of skill you will be allowed to begin MMA training with the advanced students and fight team.

Q: What do you mean Jiu-jitsu for MMA? How is it different from No-gi Jiu-jitsu?
Our grappling is based on what happens in a real fight: STRIKES! We are always considering how to strike and more importantly how to defend strikes. When we grapple will ALWAYS allow ground and pound during grappling. To prevent injury, we simulate full power strikes by slapping our training partner and understanding that unanswered slaps are equivalent to a KO. For fight team members we train with MMA gloves and add full strikes.

Why do we do this? How many times have you seen a world champion black belt in BJJ have absolutely no guard game in MMA? The answer is quite often. Some people blame gi training, maintaining that the fighters are not used to fighting without the gi, and are looking for grips that aren’t there. While that is definitely true to some extent, there is also a long list of “No-gi” champions who have done poorly in MMA. While the no-gi element is the same as MMA, not having punches greatly changes the game. When “ground & pound” strikes are added a lot of what works in submission wrestling has to be thrown out as those moves leave you wide open for counter punches to the face.

The way you think about posture, the way you attack, and the angles you play have to be thought of in a context of defending a barrage of strikes flying at your face (for a great example of how not to play guard in MMA take a look at the Brandon Vera vs. John Jones fight at UFC on Versus 1).

Q: Do you have a fight team? When can I train full MMA?
Yes we have a fight team. Junior members compete in no-gi grappling tournaments and Muay Thai competitions. The senior members compete in MMA. Once you have demonstrated enough skill you can train with the advanced students, and can try out for our fight team anytime. But our system is one of progression, so you must develop mastery in grappling before moving on to striking and then, only when the coaches deem you are ready, on to MMA.
Q: Do you offer private training?
Private training is offered seven days a week by appointment.
Q: Is your class just for men?
We welcome anyone seriously interested in learning the wonderful art of Jiu-jitsu regardless of gender, age or experience. We also offer specialized rape/sexual assault defense classes and seminars.
Q: What do you cover in your Self Defense Class?
In our self-defense we deal with a lot of issues. First how an attack escalates, how to deal with law enforcement after an attack, and also common attack patterns and defenses. Scenarios are based on crime statistics, and deal with rape defense for women, knife defense for advanced students, being attack while sitting or in tight spaces, as well as many other situations.

Once the moves are understood we add a reality element and train against “live” resistance. Without live training the moves are meaningless. As Bruce Lee said, “It is not enough to know, you must apply.” Meaning, you have to be able to execute techniques against a resisting opponent, in a real fight context. So when the students are ready, we escalate the intensity.

Q: Do you have belts?
Yes, we are a registered IBJJF academy, and for our Jiu-jitsu program we follow the normal five belt BJJ ranking system. But instead of thinking about belts, we encourage our students to focus on improving their technique with consistent, high-quality training. Royce Gracie once said that a belt only covers four inches of your rear end, the rest you have to cover yourself.
Q: What is Shoot-boxing?
Shoot-boxing is a sport pioneered in Asia, Russia and Brazil, and is the most innovative and cutting edge approach to stand up fighting. It is the stand-up portion of MMA; it melds precision boxing, Muay Thai kickboxing’s kicks, knees and elbows, with wrestling and Judo. It combines striking and stand-up wrestling into a brutally effective, sophisticated, and devastating pattern of attacks.
Q: What is the advantage of Shoot-boxing over Muay Thai?
Shoot-boxing is an all-inclusive, no-rules approach to stand-up fighting. If you are training for MMA or self-defense, arbitrary rule systems (like boxing rules that prohibit kicks, or Thai rules that prohibit wrestling throws) are not realistic. Fighting does not have made up rules. Fighting is fighting. So when we do stand-up training our goal is to EVENTUALLY mix everything you could possibly do in a stand-up encounter.

That being said, in our academy we make sure everything is technical before mixing. Radical students start off with good boxing fundamentals, move on to kicks and then add the rest of the game in a step-by-step manner. We are the only academy in the NYC area specifically specializing in this innovative style.

Q: What's the difference between Shoot-boxing, Shootfighting and Shooto?
Shoot-boxing is a hybrid martial art that combines Muay Thai and takedowns. Both Shooto and Shoot-fighting are different from Shoot-boxing. It can get confusing if you don’t know the Japanese fighting scene.

Shooto is a Japanese based MMA organization that holds MMA matches mostly in a ring. It is no different from any other MMA organization, but has a strong amateur and grass roots level of activity; sort of like a low level UFC.

Shoot-fighting is a style of submission grappling that refers to the style used by Japanese pro-wrestlers who actually fight. Ken Shamrock and his brother would be considered Shoot-fighters. It is heavily influenced by arts of Catch Wrestling and Russian CAMBO.

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The discipline I’ve gathered while training changed my outlook on life.
Nelson B.