If you ever feel like you need to blow off a little steam, you’re in luck. Pittsburgh is packed with fight clubs, MMA octagons, Muay Thai studios, boxing rings, and martial arts dojos that’ll teach you some ninja skills while working up a sweat.
You don’t even have to be training for your title. Elite athletes and average joes alike can use this type of training to get in serious shape or excel on the court, ice, or field.
So if you’re looking for somewhere to spar, train, and compete like a legit fighter, look no further than this list of studios in and around Pittsburgh.
Mark Cherico runs the show at the former site of Fight Club Pittsburgh. We’re not talking about brawling in a sketchy basement. Here, you’ll learn to fight in MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Thai Boxing, and boxing disciplines the right way. You’ll train in a state-of-the-art facility under the watchful eye of former professional mixed martial artist, “Pride of Bloomfield” Mark Cherico. In multiple world-class cages, 22’ boxing rings, and tech flooring, you’ll be taught how to fight from the ground up. There’s even a “Little Ninjas” youth MMA class for your little warrior.
First off, this workout is nothing like the aerobics class you might be used to. At Wolfpack Boxing in Carnegie, they’ll put you in the ring then put you to work. Get ready to be shown the ropes on heart-pumping, technical boxing training. Wolfpack has programs for all levels and abilities, meaning anyone can punch the heavy bag, shadowbox in the ring, or hit the pads with a coach. And it’s not just for boxers; their training works as excellent cross-training for other sports, developing speed, strength, agility, and endurance. You don’t know “fighting shape” until you’ve trained with Wolfpack.
Stout Training tends to fly under the radar. That’s cause they’re more focused on training than trying to convince you to join. We get it, the strong, silent-type. But we’ll tell you that Stout has the credentials that squash the competition. They’re the only Pittsburgh gym offering Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu, a flavor of fighting from the world-renowned Gracie family. That’ll put you in the same sentence as MMA champions Georges St. Pierre and Frankie Edgar…so it’s kind of a big deal. At this training school in The Strip, they’ll take a casual drop-in (guys, girls, kids) or a serious competitor and transform them into the best mixed martial artist or kickboxer that they can be. They also offer fitness classes that focus on classic barbell lifts, kettlebells, TRX suspension trainers, and other fun tools.
This Crafton spot is a haven for serious exercisers, martial artists, and fearless fitness freaks. It’s a traditional fitness club with a kick. This spot is Pittsburgh’s exclusive Krav Maga Training Center. That’s contact combat, people…not to mention a heavy-duty workout for those interested in self-defense. Aside from their wide martial arts and self-protection offering, Wright’s Gym is outfitted with traditional weight lifting and strength training equipment if you’re trying to change your weight class.
Cool belt, can we get one of those? Well you can, but Sensei Sonny Achille will be deciding that. The Sensei is a pre-eminent martial artist, skilled in Tai-Jitsu Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwan Do, and Judo. But maybe his most important distinction is that he’s a phenomenal teacher. He brings traditional martial arts to life and preaches respect, personal attention, and a dedication to make the technique work for everyone. Yes, you’ll get in great shape while taking Jiu Jitsu or Karate. But you’ll also learn how to defend yourself with practical, real-world training methods that go way beyond other fly-by-night fitness fads.
Boxing is a beautiful sport. The precision, strategy, athleticism, and endurance are poetry in motion. And in Pittsburgh, boxing is being used for good. Steel City Boxing in the North Side is a non-profit that uses community involvement, selfless devotion, and – you got it – boxing to mentor Pittsburgh youth. By providing structured programming in a safe environment, boxing coaches become mentors and positive role models. The kids receive training that goes way beyond a traditional workout, learning life skills and accountability through athletic achievement and friendly competition. Heck, one instructor even adopted his students! It’s a pretty incredible program, to say the least.
Might as well rename The Mat Factory “the champion factory”, because this Lower Burrell club is pumping out elite wrestlers and ring warriors. Lead by a cast of former NCAA champions and coaches, The Mat Factory fosters development of aspiring young wrestlers and collegiate athletes alike. Teaching forkstyle wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA fighting, this place will give you the regimen for results and a hunger for victory.
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