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The striking classes are a huge stress releaser, especially for women, says Lisa Garrett, engagement and corporate manager Image Credit: Supplied

When you think of Mixed Martial Arts, do you think of a fight club? MMA is actually beneficial for the whole family – from as early as four to 70 years — and regardless of gender. From improving strength and confidence to mental toughness and resilience, the positives of MMA can now be experienced at Dubai’s UFC GYM.

This 21,000-sq-ft club opened its doors in Business Bay in March 2016 and in JBR in June 2017. The UFC GYM is a franchise of the UFC GYM in the USA and promotes mixed martial arts across all age groups. In the Middle East, it has its franchises in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Kuwait.

Krzysztof Soszynski, Former UFC Contender and Director of Fitness and MMA at the UFC Gym in the UAE, and Lisa Garrett, Engagement and Corporate Manager, discuss why everyone should experience MMA.

What is the UFC GYM philosophy all about?

Krzysztof: Our philosophy is ‘Train Different’. So no matter what your age, ability or goals, we encourage you to achieve it through our MMA programmes. Also, we are not a fight club. There is a typical misconception due of the name. We cater to families by blending typical fitness and MMA programmes for all abilities.

What are the benefits of MMA?

Krzysztof: It improves overall body coordination and develops mental and physical toughness and strength. It teaches self-discipline, self-defence and is all about high energy and fitness.

Lisa: Since this is a coed gym, we see women hugely benefiting from these classes. For women, especially, our striking classes are a huge stress releaser with the added benefit of burning up 850 calories in one class. The endorphin rush after a 50-minute class is like magic. Women enjoy the weight loss, and a toned up look.

Can children experience MMA at the UFC Gym?

Yes we have youth programmes designed for children that develop their hand-eye coordination, agility, speed, strength, as well as respect and discipline. We organise anti-bullying campaigns and events in schools just to give confidence, gain respect and build discipline. Our Little Ninjas programme caters to children between four and seven years old. Then there are Youth Classes for kids between eight and 11 years old and Senior Classes for 12 and 15 years, and finally the Adult Programme from 16 years onwards.

What are your different programmes?

Krzysztof: We offer a mix of functional fitness and mixed martial arts, and these blend skill training and conditioning. Our functional fitness classes are usually high-intensity training classes, focusing on speed, agility, core strength and flexibility. UFC GYM’s signature classes are Fight Fit, Boxing Conditioning, Kick Boxing Conditioning and Daily Ultimate Training. These programmes are brought over from the US. These classes help build exceptional stamina and discipline. We have some great hybrid coaches who specialise in different disciplines of MMA.

How many times a week should you exercise?

Lisa: Minimum three to five times a week to see results. We offer more than MMA, so if you want to use the general gym equipment, including cardio and weights, or if you want to try Pilates, yoga, bar bell conditioning and spinning, you can do that too.

CALL 800UFCGYM to register for a 3-day pass.