10 Must-try MMA Gyms in the Philippines

yaw-yan buhawi

With the birth of more and more MMA gyms in the Philippines, MMA practitioners (both beginners and advance) have plenty of options to choose from. To help you on your quest for acquiring butt-kicking abilities, we’ve listed down 10 must-try gyms here in the Philippines.

You’ll notice that most of these gyms are located in Metro Manila, but if you know of any other quality places to learn MMA at—be it in Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao—please include them in the comments section below.

Yaw-yan Buhawi

via Yaw-yan Buhawi
via Yaw-yan Buhawi

Home of URCC star Alvin Ramirez and spearheaded by former-kickboxing champ Master Rey Yap, this gym in Marikina will teach you a unique brand of striking, grappling, and even self-defense. If you want to learn a fighting style that’s distinctly Filipino while shedding pounds and improving flexibility and conditioning, then this is definitely the place for you.

Legacy Gym 

via Legacy MMA Boracay
via Legacy MMA Boracay

Boracay isn’t just the perfect beach paradise; it’s also the one of the best places to get top-notch Muay Thai and MMA training. The Legacy MMA gym is run by world kickboxing champ and ONE FC contender Ole Laursen and houses fighters like Richie Redman and Zebastian Kadestam. The facility comes complete with an octagon, a boxing ring, conditioning equipment, and several Muay Thai bags. You can learn boxing, Muay Thai, and No-gi BJJ here with guys who live and breathe the fight game.

Safehouse MMA and Fitness Gym 
via Safehouse MMA
via Safehouse MMA

Home to PXC fighters and members of the national wrestling team, Safehouse MMA offers a comprehensive training program that covers conditioning, Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, and BJJ. Found along Quezon Avenue, QC, the facility has plenty of training equipment that’ll get you fighting fit.

Fight Factory Manila – Morato

via Fight Factory Manila- Morato
via Fight Factory Manila- Morato

Deftac Pilipinas has spawned many quality gyms like Project Lifestyle Manila (Ortigas) and the BAMF training center (Paranaque), but the newest club to stem from this team is Fight Factory Manila, located in Tomas Morato. Led by BJJ black belt Fritz Rodriguez, this gym offers quality lessons in submission wrestling, BJJ, boxing, and Muay Thai.

Team Lakay – La Trinidad

via sg.sports.yahoo.com
via sg.sports.yahoo.com

Home to Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and ONE FC champ Honorio Banario, this Wushu-based camp in Baguio City has churned out some of the toughest and best MMA talent our country has seen. Their facility isn’t the flashiest, but it definitely gets the job done, and the people there are warriors in every sense of the word. You should train here if you want to get outstanding high-altitude training in striking and grappling.

Hybrid Yaw-yan 

via Hybrid Yaw-yan
via Hybrid Yaw-yan

Pro fighters like Ryan Paglinawan, Carl Sabenieno, and URCC champ Nicholas Mann are built for battle in this facility in Cubao. Hybrid Yaw-yan uses many unique training tools and methods to toughen up their fighters of all ages. Striking and no-gi grappling are a specialty in this gym.

KMA Fitness and Martial Arts

via KMA Fitness and Martial Arts
via KMA Fitness and Martial Arts

If you live in the Makati area, then this would be your top pick for some MMA training. KMA Fitness offers lessons in gi and no-gi BJJ, boxing, and Muay Thai. It also offers several other fitness programs like Yoga and Cardio Kickboxing. And with BJJ lessons under 2nd degree black belt Stephen Kamphuis, you’ll surely get your money’s worth.

Ultimate Fitness

via Ultimate Fitness
via Ultimate Fitness

Established by Pinoy fight pioneer Erwin Tagle, this quality facility is frequented by a who’s who of Filipino celebrities and fighters, and is a common MMA seminar venue for visiting UFC fighters. It provides quality training from top-notch instructors and pro fighters like Froilan Serenas and Roy Doliguez, and offers ample space for its boxing ring, grappling mat area, and new turf flooring. Located in Metrowalk, Ortigas, this is one gym you’ll definitely want to check out.

Eclipse Fitness Center  
via Eclipse Gym
via Eclipse Gym

This facility in Mandaluyong provides several unique training tools, including truck tires, hammers, and a number of powerlifting cages. With many SPRAWL Gym alumni amongst its trainers and members, Eclipse is a great place to learn freestyle wrestling, Muay Thai, and boxing. Plus, it’s open 24/7, meaning you can train there all day, everyday.

F.I.S.T. Gym

via FIST Gym
via FIST Gym

Found in Timog, QC, F.I.S.T. Gym offers a collection of credible instructors from various disciplines. Its BJJ lessons are provided under the Kamphuis-Fabricio banner, its Muay Thai lessons are led by PXC and URCC fighter Jerry Legaspi, and the Judo lessons there are taught by Stanley’s Judo Club black belt Arjeg Gutierez. You can also learn boxing and wrestling at this facility.

These are just some of the awesome MMA training facilities in the Philippines, and there are, honestly, too many to mention. So, again, if you think a gym got left out, then just place its name, location, and website in the comments section below.

We also want to emphasize that you don’t need a martial arts or sports background to get into and enjoy MMA. Don’t be shy: Pick a gym, pick an art to focus on, and build on that. There are plenty of gyms out there that will help you achieve your fitness and MMA goals.

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DojoDrifter.com. You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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