Several years ago, you might have guessed that MMA was a drug that kids took at rave parties. But mixed martial arts (MMA), a multi-disciplinary style of combat, has exploded in recent years, and not just as a spectator sport; training for MMA is among the most complete workouts you can find. This year, ditch the elliptical trainer and start fighting.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, a popular form of grappling, is emphasized here. Expert instructors include former Chute-boxe team members Andre Dida and Mauricio Veio. 813 Bloor St. W., (416) 537-4255.
Xtreme Couture Toronto
This 1000-member, 33,000 square-foot facility, named for MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture, is tops as both a commercial gym and an MMA facility. 700 Kipling Ave., (416) 503-1600.
Ultimate Martial Arts
With a focus on Muay Thai, a kind of kickboxing in which fighters can use elbows or knees and hit their opponents’ legs, this Scarborough gym is ideal for serious students. 680 Progress Avenue, (416) 289-9997.
Kombat Arts Training Academy
This Mississauga facility offers a wide range of classes, for everyone from first-timers to aspiring professionals. Count on several months of training before you can even consider the advanced classes. 1110 Kamato Road, Unit 7, (905) 804-8158.
Lin Martial Arts
The Lins impart their knowledge at two friendly locations; learn from Steve, who teaches BJJ, or James, who teaches Judo. 951 Denison St, Unit 20 & 21, Markham; and 55 Glen Cameron Rd, Thornhill, (647) 210-7827.
Image courtesy Stefan Tell on Flickr.