OK, I'm new to bjj, and I'm looking rof a gym/school to train in. Here's my review... Renzo Gracie's: I found Renzo's to be very cold...a bjj factory. I went in for a trial class and when we had to find a partner, by default, I ended up with a person (girl) half my weight. The instructors didn't notice the disparity for about a good fifteen (of the thrity minutes) into the drills. What the fuck? Renzo's has a lot of great things going for it (obviously), but personalized attention is not one of them. And the sales guy Max is a "pushy sales guy". Instruction was...eh. Instructors weren't really paying attention and assistants didn't know what they were doing...e.g., parring with the wrong hand. Renzo's charges 75 bucks for registration fee and 210 per month on a one year contract. Facilities and schedule are awesome. Work out was not particulary intense. Classes are one hour. Ten minutes of warm up, then instruction, drills and position rolling, and then 5 minutes of strechting to finish. Alliance NYC: Alliance had an awesome feel to it. They play fun music while they train. Everyone, including Fabio, was amazingly nice, helpful and welcoming, but the place is tiny and it stinks like by balls. I was told that Lucas Lepri was coming to teach there full time soon, which was a very appealing feature. Alliance's familial feel, success in competition and its connection with the Alliance org is very appealing. The instruction was, again, so so. Fabio showed everyone two moves during the one and one -half hour class. And it's hard for a new guy to understand what he's saying in his accent. They too have a one year contract. They charge 60 for reg fee and 220 for the first month and then 218 per month for the rest of the year. Crazy!!! (Must be to pay off all of the legal fees.) Classes are one and a half hour long. The class had me more winded than any of the others. TOUGH WORKOUT!!! Studio X (the new one): Yes, as everyone claims, Josh is very charming and the facilities are DOPE. But there is a cold, souless feeling to the place...maybe because it's so big. The students there were mostly whites and blues. I found Josh's instruction to be far superior to Renzo's and Fabio's, partly (but not entirely) because he spoke english with out an accent. When hour long class began we started right away with the drills. (I notices that everyone strecthed and wamed up before the class began.) Josh took us through drills that progressed into moves he would eventually teach us during the class. Everything was in a progression. This goes into that. That goes into x. X, if x doesn't work, goes into y. Y, if y doesn;t work, takes you to z. X , y and z each being submissions. The students there were super helpful, with one exception. I rolled with two different guys, both of which were super helpful and Josh asked if there were any questions at the ent of the calls (actually 15 minutes after the class should have ended), which was nice. Fees are 199 per month...period...no contract. I know everyone here is hardcore and you all view the one year contract as nothing, but for a new guy who can't tell which place is the right one for him or even whether bbj is for him, the one year k is and issue. With the grat instruction and no k, I' leaning toward the new studio x. But I really want to go to Alliance. The biggest appeal for me going to alliance is the idea of having lepri and other great experienced people to roll with in a familial enviornment. Also, although I am kind of old, I may want to compete in tournaments some day and think that Josh's rep might hinder that possiblity. I think the best thing for me would be to start off at Josh's for a while until I learn fundamentals and then move to Alliance, but there is so much bad blood that I don't know if that would be possible. Thoughts?