Thursday nights at 6 p.m. are the place for open mat Jiu-Jitsu training in Philadelphia on the upstairs mats of Maxercise MMA Academy. On the cold night of my arrival I was greeted by a well-suited staff that showed me around the huge labyrinth-style maze of mats and rooms and showed the beginning of what would be great hospitality.
John and Maggie Disimone are the owners of the MMA complex and live above the gym in an apartment on the third floor. They are avid competitors, teachers and lovers of the art. Being from out-of-town they made sure I was comfortable, that I had the opportunity to roll with every girl and anyone else appropriate, and that I had a ride to and from my destinations. Although I believe this type of conduct is reserved for every person who walks through the door.
The kids class was going on as I passed through the first floor mat area as parents sat along the wall watching a brown belt named Isaac teach. I headed upstairs through the staircase and landed in a room where five people were already on the mats training including a black belt, a brown belt, a purple belt– two of them females.
The time slot available was for an open mat session that was a free-roll type setting that allowed partners to pick and choose in between beeps of allotted time until John Disimone came down to run things more smoothly.
He chose the partners after every roll allowing it to be a democracy based on who you already rolled with and who you want to roll with. As Maggie Disimone, a brown belt under her husband John, came down as well, I was excited to roll with the runner-up at the 2012 World Championship.
The training is hard and the friendships are easy as everyone was friendly and outgoing. If you are ever in the area, stop by Maxercise MMA Academy and indulge in Philly hospitality and top notch Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu. They also have certified kettlebells instruction, Judo, Muay Thai and MMA classes as well.
To visit their website please go to: www.Maxercise.com
Check out the photos below: