Getting fit is one of those things that everyone aspires to, but let's be honest, a lot of times it's easier said than done. Staying in shape takes discipline, and few of us actually like going to the gym to run in place or lift weights in the mirror. I suppose it is possible to find working out naturally motivating in itself, but if you really search your soul, you know it really all comes down to wanting to look good naked.
Maybe you tried the gym and stop going after the third time, or maybe you are a huge UFC fan and want to know how they do it, or maybe you are simply looking for a new way to push your body; either way, Toronto has got numerous fully-equipped and professional MMA gyms that not only make working out actually fun but will also whip you into the best shape of your life.
1. Elite Martial Arts
Established in 2013, Elite Martial Arts Toronto is an official Krav Maga training centre with an award-winning program, certified by the Krav Maga Association of Canada. Krav Maga is essentially a street-fighting self-defense system that utilizes a variety of self-defense techniques that can be taught to anyone, regardless of age, size, gender, fitness level or previous Martial Arts experience.
The Krav Maga Canada curriculum has drawn on all the common techniques of traditional Krav Maga training with the added benefit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Weapons Defense training, Muay Thai & Elite Conditioning (30-minute full body workout based on Martial Arts Training).
EMA also offers a monthly women’s self defense workshop that is complimentary to the school’s female students. EMA Toronto offers one of the most modern and comprehensive Martial Arts curriculums out there.
2. Siam No1 House of Muay Thai
Started in 1991, Siam No1 House of Muay Thai is Canada’s first Muay Thai School with one of the best reputations in the country. Head trainer and owner, Ajahn Suchart, brings 50 years of experience to offer a full range of preparation and teachings in the art of traditional Muay Thai. Born and raised in Thailand, trained by Thai monks and a National Champion, Ajahn Suchart has experienced Muay Thai at its roots.
With classes suited to every level, from beginner to world-class athlete, whether for recreation or competition, Siam No1 House of Muay Thai offers a unique blend of intense conditioning, the sharpest technical instruction, and the actual cultural experience to back it all up; a combination not found anywhere else in the city.
Multiple classes are offered daily and for those who are most serious about their goals, Ajahn Suchart and his strong team of instructors offer personal training that is guaranteed to improve your Muay Thai skills and stand up game. Work both your conditioning and technical training in an intimate, clean and supportive space with a traditional focus on technique, then power and then speed. No bells and whistles, just simple, raw Muay Thai at its finest.
Photo cred - Headrush Training Center
3. Headrush Training Center
Headrush Training Center is a mixed martial arts gym with over 5,000 sq. ft. of functional space offering professional training in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, wrestling, Sambo, karate, and MMA classes for aspiring pros. With some of the best trainers in the city, including former national champions, Olympians, and active professional fighters, you'll get top cardiovascular training and technical instruction so you can look and feel great all within the span of a one-hour class.
With a boxing ring, an octagon, seven heavy bags, two speed bags, and even a functioning double-ended bag, Headrush Training Center is about authentic as it gets. They gym also carries all forms of boxing gloves, headgear, shin pads, and Thai kicking pads for use during classes, and invite friends and family to come watch thanks to spectator benches.
Photo cred - OpenMat Mixed Martial Arts
4. OpenMat Mixed Martial Arts Academy
With state-of-the-art martial arts and fitness equipment, OpenMat’s facilities are second to none. Located in the heart of downtown on Yonge Street at Bloor Station, the warm, inviting atmosphere promotes an enthusiastic and inclusive energy, making getting in shape easy and convenient. Find everything you need at the academy including 2,500 sq. ft. of matted training area, fully-padded walls, heavy bags, plenty of Muay Thai and Boxing equipment, as well as a full weight lifting facility, complete with sleds, power racks, battle ropes, dumbbells, barbells, kettle-bells, medicine balls, and an aerodyne. OpenMat offers elite training for all levels, from a structured beginner curriculum to one-on-one pro sessions.
Photo cred - Paul Brown Boxfit
5. Paul Brown BoxFit
This upscale boxing, martial arts and fitness studio, conveniently located next to Yonge and Wellesley subway stations, offers personal training as well as group fitness classes for clients looking for more than just a standard gym. Established in 2012 by former pro fighter Paul Brown, work on everything from boxing and kickboxing, to Muay Thai, to personal training, and Street MMA (their version of self-defense class based on Filipino Martial Arts inclduing JKD, Silat and Kali). Boasting over 30 years of boxing, kick boxing and Kung fu experience, Paul Brown's signature classes combine vigorous technique, foot work and combinations with serious core work and conditioning, to get anyone, regardless of personal fitness level, competition ready. With over 2,300 sq. ft. of gorgeous, sunny training space, a 14 x 14 sq. ft. boxing ring, one-on-one sessions as well as drop-in classes for only $20, Paul Brown BoxFit definitely pulls no punches.