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Fitness Clubs

Headrush Training Centre

Posted by Staff / Posted on July 8, 2011

Grant BrothersGrant Brothers Boxing and MMA is home to professional fighters such as Sean Pierson (MMA) and Troy Ross (boxing), and boasts a strong presence in local amateur competitions. But it's also a great place for the average Joe to get in shape while learning the secrets of the sweet science.

(NOTE: Grant Brothers is now operating, with different management, under the name Headrush Training Centre.)

Grant Brothers MMAThe gym is located on the northern peripheries of North York, in a large warehouse space that looks as authentic as any boxing club I've ever seen. It sports a boxing ring, an octagon, seven heavy bags, two speed bags, and even a functioning double ended bag, which is something of a rarity in local gyms.

Grant Brothers MMAThe men's changing room is surprisingly clean. There is a shower and ample locker space. Surprisingly, few of the lockers have locks on them - people seem to trust each other.

Grant Brothers MMAJust before 6pm, some 25 people, about 90% male and mostly between 15 and 35, are stretching, skipping, or hitting the bags, getting warmed up for the boxing class.

Grant Brothers MMAPunctually at 6, Ryan Grant, universally known as RG, makes his entrance. You can immediately pick him out as the trainer. If you close your eyes and try to imagine the archetype of an old school boxing coach, there's a good chance you're seeing RG. And he talks the part too - the man practically radiates charisma.

Grant Brothers MMARG's class fully lives up to the high expectations set by his persona. I have never seen cardiovascular training and technical instruction integrated so well and so efficiently into a single hour-long class. RG seems to be in ten different places at the same time and, despite the rather large class size, takes the time to offer pointers to every student.

Grant Brothers MMAThe atmosphere is intense but not intimidating. While some of the students tell me they dream of professional careers, most are there to get in shape while learning new skills. "It caters to different skill levels and takes you to the level you want to go to," says Keith, 34, who trains to keep in shape.

Despite a membership of 300 students, the gym retains a friendly community feel. "RG knows everyone by name," says Keith, "or he gives you a nickname!"

Grant Brothers MMARG and the boxing program are definitely at the heart of the Grant Brothers experience. "This is our base," says co-owner Neil Forester, "but as our gym started to grow, we started adding new classes." Aside from boxing, Grant Brothers now offers Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, wrestling, Sambo, karate, and MMA classes for aspiring pros.

On the downside, the $250 "initiation fee" may seem a bit pricey (although it includes either a Gi or a package of boxing equipment), and the $99.99 monthly dues, which give full access to all but "pro training" classes, are on the high side of average.

Grant Brothers MMABut then Grant Brothers has assembled what is probably the most consistently impressive team of trainers in the city - it includes former national champions, Olympians, and active professional fighters. So for those looking for bona fide boxing and MMA training in a great facility and an atmosphere that is both authentic and fun, this is a great place to be.

Writing by Paul Brykczynski . Photos by Mike Swiegot.

Discussion

9 Comments

J / May 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm
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This is a fantastic gym. With a team atmosphere fostered by the instructors and a high level of technique given during classes along with a very diverse range of disciplines this is a great "one stop training shop". Prices are average to good, but their administration fee is a bit out of whack with their competition. (it can be haggled)
There are a lot of different training facilities to go to, but with everything that this gym offers, it has to be in the top 3 places to train in the Toronto Metro area. Only Couture has a better gym, and their instructors (especially BJJ) are very elitist (Although their facilities MORE than make up for any shortfalls). Grants is everything that I was looking for (so far).

Happy training!
Moving soon / July 8, 2011 at 11:33 am
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I will be moving to town soon and am wondering about the atmosphere here for females looking to train? Grant is on my list of places to check out but I am wondering, based on the above review quoting the gym is "90% male", whether any women currently training there can comment on the atmosphere?
J / July 8, 2011 at 07:40 pm
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This is a fantastic gym for women. The boxing classes especially are very women friendly and although the percentage is only 10% the women don't stand out at all. The team atmosphere welcomes everyone.

The other classes however are fewer women and even though the team atmosphere survives, it would be more difficult as the other classes are very male dominated (especially BJJ).

You should definitely come out and enjoy!
123 / May 29, 2012 at 10:17 am
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Grants is awesome. What I don't get is your comment about Couture's. I've trained there and the gyms share/have shared some of the same BJJ instruction. Never felt anything elitist at all at either gym. Wagnney, Pearson, DiCenso all teach/train or have taught at Xtreme.

99/month is a lot more than Xtreme but less than a lot of places. The 250 initiation fee is what has kept a few people i know from training there.
truthiness / June 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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Find another MMA club. Grant Brothers trainers are all arrogant, they have crazy attitude and a complete disregard for the respect and well being of their students. I was briefly there myself and I couldn't wait I leave. Currently I'm at Ultimate Martial Arts, and their trainers are awesome.
thegreatwhitenorth / June 29, 2013 at 01:29 pm
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Must say. If you're looking for a serious place to elevate your training then this is honestly the place. I've been to a few other gyms in the Toronto area and have been a member of Xtreme Couture for a while and this place BLOWS everywhere I've been out of the water. They actually have the will and the means to take you from nothing to amateur to pro, like many other gyms say they do. I attended some of the pro classes as an amateur myself and only stopped b/c I was holding them back though I was definitely getting better. I plan on joining for a full year within the next couple of weeks. This place is THE place, forget what you heard about anywhere else!
HarrisonAP / November 27, 2013 at 01:17 am
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Definitely a great place to begin and also elevate your career. Trainers and staff are laid back but when approached can give you the next big push to make something of your time and talent. Also students aren't cocky or arrogant, trainers and students are very welcoming and it feels like home away from home. Maybe not the most lavish gym yet (gym at the moment is going to some renovation) but what you see isn't what you get. you get top quality trainers and you get everything you're looking for, whether it's getting into shape or becoming amateur or professional.
jeff / June 8, 2014 at 11:57 am
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Cab anyone comment on a great gym for Youth Boxing North of Steeles or even North of the 407 - Thornhill Area ?
MMAEnthusiast / June 30, 2014 at 05:03 pm
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Very competitive gym that produces a lot of top talent in the local combat sport scene. This translates right over to the training for recreational members. The workouts are intense, the trainers and phenomenal, and the gym recently added a weight area to the back that satisfies the needs of lifters as well.
Great gym, great team atmosphere, wouldn't call any other MMA gym home.

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