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I’ve attended IFA for about a month now, and have been thoroughly pleased with my experience thus far.
I’ll preface this by saying this isn’t your run-of-the-mill martial arts academy. Regardless of your experience, the classes will challenge you, and you will learn something new every single day. Frank offers a conditioning class that aids in your performance that I highly recommend taking. You will sweat and you will be sore, but you will be pleased with your results if you stick with it.
Frank (owner) has been in this business for years, and it shows. There’s never a question that he can’t answer. If you’re looking for personal feedback, he’ll be honest with you, but he’ll deliver it with tact. He genuinely cares about his students’ well being and improvement. Frank has several loyal students that have been with him for years, and are great resources for practice and constructive criticism.
Remember, you can’t put a price on a good education. Nothing good comes easy, and success is no accident. Bring your towel, a sense of humor, and get ready to work.
If you are reading this you are at a crossroads. You are at a crossroads because you have the opportunity to train with an instructor like Frank Benn. Frank is one of the few trainers out there that can get you up to the skill level you need to fight professionally.
I found out about IFA through a friend. I have practiced martial arts my entire life, and when I heard about the curriculum here I knew immediately what it was. It's one of the most comprehensive programs out there comparable to places like American Top Team (which I also checked out) and other top UFC fight schools. This is not a place where you earn belts; this is a place where you learn to win fights. You WILL learn how to win fights here. I have an entire closet full of belts, and I don't care about that; I care about winning. Frank Benn has been teaching MMA in central Texas since 1990. I have seen him take BJJ black belts to school like they were noobs.
At IFA you will have the rare opportunity to be admitted to the inner sanctum of boxing. You will learn to see, move, and hit like a pro boxer. You will learn high level strategies in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that aren't taught at other schools. You will not wait six months to start sparring here.
There are no titles of master or professor at IFA. The atmosphere here is friendly and unassuming. IFA is not here to take your money. IFA is here to teach you how to fight. Don't be scared. Not everyone here is professional fighter, most are just normal people like you.
The stick and knife fighting class is also very good. I am trained with many weapons, I know how to beat most opponents with a weapon, and I can tell you that Frank is much much better than I am, and in my opinion he is better than anyone I have ever trained with.
The bottom line here is pretty simple: this is the longest operating MMA gym in central Texas, and whether your goal is to learn self defense, get in shape, or go from zero to pro, IFA is a great place to do it. Hope to see you soon!
Mr. Benn's IFA is an outstanding martial arts academy. His curriculum covers all the fighting forms, and he is a knowledgable and effective teacher. The unique thing about IFA is the "Integrated" part. Mr. Benn continually integrates one form to another, so that no student has a gap in their capability. Further, we spar every day to apply the skills from class against adversaries, not just drill them against partners.
I have been attending classes for about 3 weeks. I am taking the conditioning, and eskrima classes. I have never attended group classes for exercise. I am a very self conscious girl with hang ups nothing can make go away, or so i thought. This school is incredible. The students are incredibly accepting of new people, and are always more than willing to help make you feel more at ease while training. This is not easy training! My body is already changing, and my endurance is improving as well. I was stuck in a rut that i couldn't push myself out of. My own workouts at home were not challenging me enough. This school has really given me the kick i needed! The eskrima class i signed up for on a whim, and now i find myself practicing more than an hour a day at times. Learning self defense is very important to me, and this is an amazing class for that. Lastly, getting the opportunity to train under some one like Frank Benn is an opportunity i was not willing to pass up. His extensive knowledge, and honest, real world training will prepare me for actual worst case scenarios. I am thankful in many ways for this school, and cannot wait to update my review in a few months! Join now. You will not regret it, but any future attackers will.
Excellent school for various reasons.
The instructor, Frank, is extremely knowledgeable about martial arts and fitness in general. He is a technician that has honed his craft over many decades, and it shows whenever you get the chance to have a sparring match with him, whether in striking or grappling. He is very generous with his knowledge, and he really cares about helping his students improve. He goes above and beyond, by being available outside of class, recommending fighters to watch to learn specific styles, and analyzing what made successful fighters so successful, among other things.
The community is very nice, as well. The people here do not mind sharing their knowledge, and they truly care about helping everyone else improve and keeping them healthy. This isn't the place where you will be pushed to the point that you injure yourself when there was completely no need. In fact, the combat conditioning classes are designed to push people to be better athletes in order to reduce the injury rate. That is not to say that they are easy, though. They are still very challenging. You just won't be forced to give an excessive amount more than what you can give in a given day, especially if you are ill.
The classes are physically challenging, and technically loaded. You learn a great deal over the course of one class, and time is set aside to spar daily.
The point is that in my opinion, you won't find better technical instruction, or a better community, elsewhere in Austin. If you want to really learn how to fight, get fitter, and have fun along the way, this is the place.