With the crows calling from tree branches and the frequency of cool, rainy weather increasing, it’s pretty clear that summer is almost over. Perhaps this means that your energy levels are plummeting: suddenly there are fewer balmy, sweet-smelling evenings for a long hike, and it seems pointless to push yourself with no beach season looming in your immediate future.
To keep your motivation levels high, why not try out a fun new fitness class? Fall is a great time to try out a fresh activity, develop new competencies, and meet interesting people. If you want to build or maintain a healthy lifestyle, having a community or social network of supporters is critical, as is goal setting, enjoyment, and variety (Kailus, 2014).
TKO Fighting Arts offers all of these benefits, along with a few other perks that might make you think twice about buying that generic gym membership. Located at 300 Mill Street in Kitchener (access the Google Map here), TKO is a place where you will be greeted by name and fully supported in your fitness goals. The physical facility has a weight area along with a range of fighting and conditioning equipment. You have the freedom to push yourself within the available classes, which suit everyone from the beginner to the very experienced.
Specifically, these classes focus on the sport of Muay Thai. Muay Thai is a combat sport that originated in Thailand and is also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes (Wikipedia article). To introduce me to this fast-paced activity, TKO instructors led me through several rounds of skipping, shadow boxing, explosive body weight exercises, stretches, and pad drills (see “What to Expect“). I received some individual coaching from the instructor, though other trainers (referred to as a “kru“, or Master Teacher, in the Muay Thai tradition) may integrate newbies into the overall class.
I was dripping sweat for the first half of the class and was fueled almost entirely by adrenalin. In the second half, I found that the punches (jab, cross, hook, uppercut, etc.) and footwork (straight kick, roundhouse kick, etc.) engaged my balance, coordination, and reflexes. I expected that it would hurt to punch and kick my way through an evening – instead, the instructor’s guidance and padded gloves made it a very comfortable experience.
If you want to try out TKO, your first two visits are FREE. If you find that you enjoy the atmosphere and experience, you can sign up for a new membership package at $295 to gain access to the facility, official TKO shorts and shirt, wraps (for your soon-to-be flying fists), and a mouth guard (obviously, for your mouth). There aren’t any hidden fees, enrollment fees, and students can access special rates ($220 for four months). For a gym with a personal touch, these are great deals (especially when you compare with the very similar CrossFit facility – which charges $149/month).
Here are a few things that other people are saying about the gym (via Google reviews):
“Amazing place to train, regardless of experience level everyone is treated with respect. Muay Thai is great way to condition your body, develop self confidence and learn martial arts. For those interested in taking it a level further and fighting, the Kru and trainers are experienced fighters dedicated to sharing their knowledge” (Dragan M)
“Very welcoming environment. Beautiful facility, fully equip with a large floor space, ring and separate weight area. The Kru’s and teachers are extremely experienced and knowledgeable in the art of Muay Thai in addition to the various disciplines offered. All of the instructors have experience fighting in the ring. BJJ, Wrestling, Youth Muay Thai, Muay Thai Rhythm & Conditioning and Fighter Training Camp are a few of the many classes they offer” (Sonia Hernandez-Bernas)
Visiting TKO will definitely make you ‘fit for fighting’! Try out their facility today!
Do you have a fitness class, facility, or activity that you would like reviewed and evaluated? Comment below or Tweet @legault_maria to request a special blog post on the subject!