When I started training at Heroes, I was already a purple belt and had been training 5 years at that point. I’d recently moved to the Bay Area, and was looking for a new academy to call home.
I’ve visited quite a few places before arriving at Heroes, as I moved to Mountain View which is a bit of commute, especially in the 5pm traffic. For those who don’t know, NorCal and the Bay Area specifically is one of the best places in country to train. There’s a ton of great gyms and instructors, many of which originate in Ralph Gracie’s Mountain View academy. Gumby, the owner of Heroes, is one of the OGs of that academy, having received his black belt from Ralph in 2006.
The thing I noticed the most, dropping in the first time, was the quality of the facilities. They have a *huge* mat space, high ceilings, private changing rooms and even a shower (for me that was a first in a BJJ gym, and I now can’t do without it).
After a few training sessions, it became clear to me how much of an upgrade training at Heroes was compared to my previous academy and some of the others I visited. Gumby has an incredibly well structured curriculum, instead of the commonly found “technique of the day” style you see in a lot of places. He communicates the details of each position and technique very clearly, while making sure to also explain the “why” as well. He mixes humor often into his instruction, which helps keep the atmosphere light and enjoyable during class.
Which brings me to the most important reason I chose Heroes as my home academy for almost 4 years – the team. Gumby has attracted an incredible group of people to train at his gym over the years. Everybody is extremely friendly and accommodating, as well as presenting a wide variety of training styles and unique challenges on the mat. I’m proud to now call many of those people friends, and still keep in touch even after having moved to SoCal earlier this year.
For the female crowd – Heroes recently started having women-only classes. So if you’re worried about training with men in a contact combat sport – you might find this option appealing, at least to start off with.
On top of all this, the training cost at Heroes is extremely competitive compared to the area. While this was not a big factor for me, it’s another point of consideration, especially for people who might be trying BJJ for the first time. Heroes also has free trial sessions, so make sure to take advantage of that.
TL;DR – Whether you’re a rank beginner or a seasoned practitioner, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to train in the South Bay area. Now go train!