I'm on hols in Bournemouth at the moment so I've used the opportunity to visit some gyms and get some training in. Phoenix MMA is a relatively new academy teaching MMA, BJJ, grappling, wrestling, Muay Thai, boxing - pretty much everything you can imagine in the world of combat sport. I met gym owner Jimmy Johnstone at Grapplers Showdown and was very impressed with his guys' team spirit at that comp.
The Phoenix MMA gym is located in the outer region of Bournemouth city right on one of the major roads (725 Wimbourne Road). A 'shop' sign advertises the gym and you need to walk up the car ramp to get in to the academy. Once inside you are greeted by a massive open plan training space, completely matted and equipped as would be expected with any modern mixed martial arts gym. It's pretty impressive stuff.
Their BJJ classes are taught by South African black belt Micah Atkinson, who I've long heard of in the past few years and was very keen to meet him. Micah taught a series of drills based on rolling over ones shoulders whilst hooking inside the opponent's leg and attempting either an omoplata or triangle. It was neat, precise, fundamental jiu jitsu at its core. After technical portion of the class, I rolled with Micah and it was pretty mind blowing. Micah appears rather slim and light but rolls, as you would expect from any experienced grappler, with the ability to apply intense pressure and precise grips that I found impossible to defend against. Micah was cool enough to always show me where my mistakes were.
I rolled with several other Phoenix students after and it was very interesting to see all of them adopting techniques that Micah has previously used on me...and doing them rather well! Overall the men and women were really friendly and the sign of any good gym in my opinion is that the folk were clearly enjoying their training.
I had a great time training at Phoenx MMA, thanks to everyone there for making my short visit so welcome.
|Left to right: Jimmy, me, Micah|
Phoenix MMA, 725 Wimbourne Road, Bournemouth