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Fitness Clubs

Fight Scholar

Posted by Staff / Posted on December 21, 2011

Fight ScholarFight Scholar makes you feel like a fighter from the moment you walk in the door. (I wonder what that means for the little girls learning Highland dance in the adjacent space.) That's because its front entrance is draped with boxing-style curtains. For a second I think the gym is closed, though I realize up close that the darkness in merely a drape. So, I split the curtains and walk up the stairs. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't humming an impromptu version of my own entrance song on the way up, but I digress.

I was headed to a 7pm boxing class led by trainer and Fight Scholar owner Brian Bynoe. Bynoe has been in boxing all his life, operating this facility on Lawrence East for four years. He tells he sees a mix of men and women, though concedes that women come more often for Fight Scholar's fitness-based classes.

Indeed, I find myself in a room of men, though they all seem of varying age. The youngest looks to be about 15 (and training for his first fight in February, I'm told) while the oldest volunteers his age is 57. "And I've never been knocked out," he says, adding he has been boxing on and off since college. "I've been knocked off my feet once, but that was more of a slip."

Fight ScholarThe class starts with warm-ups--skipping, jumping jacks, defensive drills and whatnot. The group is small with Brian and trainer Joe taking on about two fighters each. Not an expert on personal training techniques but a recovering shrinking violent to stern direction, I realize almost immediately that I like their style.

To the audio backdrop of British house music, they give instruction clearly and concisely, not hesitating to move your foot to readjust your posture or position your elbows. They strike me as the type that won't bark orders down your sweaty neck, but won't kiss your sore legs after a tough bout either.

Fight ScholarThe group breaks up for individual activities--double-end bags, heavy bags, speed bag, while one poor guy, who is wearing garbage bags under his sweats, keeps skipping. "He's trying to make weight for his fight this Friday," Brian says. "He's trying to get under 160; when he came in, he was 205."

Fight ScholarFight Scholar hosts the occasional fight in its regulation-sized gym. DJ, food, spectators--the whole thing. I anticipate I am quite a ways away from my first time in the ring, especially since the sound of the boxing timer blaring every three minutes nearly throws me off my feet. Nevermind the jabs.

Fight ScholarThe class ends with everyone in healthy sweat, and the garbage bag-clad fighter given strict instructions to take it easy on the water and go to bed hungry. "Boxing is dancing with punches," Brian says. "It might look simple, but there are a lot of elements that go into it. Just because you can run kilometres on the treadmill doesn't mean you can make it in the ring."

For those who want to.. uh.. "dance" Fight Scholar offers drop-in classes for $25 and 10-class packages, along with extended memberships.

Fight ScholarWriting by Robyn Urback. Photos by Dan Cronin



J / December 21, 2011 at 10:18 am
I'm amazed that Toronto based blogs continue to get their geography incorrect.

West of Victoria Park = North York
3rd Man In / December 21, 2011 at 11:23 am
Thank you for the write up. I've been looking for a boxing gym in that area and this one looks like a contender. I was not at all confused by the geography, as there is an f@*king map right beside the article which clearly states Scarborough.
mark / December 21, 2011 at 04:30 pm

Nice language. Unfortunately it's still NOT IN SCARBOROUGH !!!
Hopefully the club will help you with your anger issues.
carpet installer / January 4, 2012 at 11:47 am
i was install here carpet it is so nice call me i give some info 416 732 7636
Joe Mac / February 23, 2012 at 04:48 pm
Does anyone know how much a memberships is; if they have 3-month or 6-month packages?
Social Lockerroom / March 29, 2012 at 01:54 pm
Stay Motivated. Learn from Others. Connect with other Athletes. Challenge yourself!

It is a perfect site to set fitness goals and meet them through:
-Planning games with your friends and other people in your area (and sync them with your everyday calendar)
-Discover and create groups that match your interest and skills
-Setting goals and have your network challenge you to improve

When you can workout with other people or have challenges in your calendar, you are more likely to stick to them and succeed!

Please check it out! The more people on there the better for finding people in your area with similar interests...and staying motivated!!

Lets all get fit and healthy together!
munib / June 6, 2012 at 09:29 pm
I am looking for a gym like this but unfortunatly it's too far for me.By the way Robyn is the best.He makes me picture everything.
Dean / November 2, 2012 at 10:40 am
I've been working out here for almost a year. I love Brian and you know from the minute you meet him that he is totally devoted to the sport. He has improved my technique immensely and his classes have, at times, made me almost sick (which is a good thing from my perspective as I love to be pushed). There is a wide cross section of people training there and I have not met anyone that I wouldn't call a friend. It is a traditional boxing club with all the smells but I never leave there wishing for anything different.
John / November 29, 2012 at 06:34 pm
Seems like a nice place.I would definetly join if it wasnt so expensive!! You can take boxing classes anywhere else in the GTA for 40 % less then fightscholar.
mandalas / July 23, 2013 at 06:06 pm
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Thanks one million and please carry on the enjoyable work.
Julius / June 2, 2014 at 02:18 am
Is this boxing gym still around? I would love to train.

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