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Fitness Clubs

Krudar Muay Thai (Kensington)

Posted by Erica Berman / Posted on January 10, 2013

Krudar Muay ThaiKrudar Muay Thai has moved from Chinatown to Kensington Market. Found on Augusta Avenue, just north of Dundas, Krudar occupies two floors of a building with an open class studio and ring on the first floor, and cardio, weight equipment, including kettle balls, and change rooms on the bottom level.

Krudar Muay ThaiKrudar is primarily a Muay Thai training centre, founded by Kru Darwin over seven years ago, however, they also offer spinning classes, boot camp, yoga, and private training. I decided to step outside my comfort zone by trying a Muay Thai class instead of the other options with which I already have extensive experience.

I attended an 11am beginner class on a Wednesday and the minute I entered the facility, I realized I stuck out like a sore thumb. Krudar is nothing like your generic chain fitness club. Having almost reached 40, I was at least a decade older than almost everyone else there, and was definitely more 'soccer mom', and less pierced and inked than my counterparts.

Krudar Muay ThaiThis is more a boxing shorts and tank top place, than a Lululemon and yoga pants crowd. Nevertheless, I was instantly welcomed by Matthew at the front desk, and by all the other staff and class participants.

Warning: the classes, even the beginner level, are not for the faint-at-heart, nor the wallflower. The class, taught by Benson, with Darwin assisting, had 18 students, with about equal numbers male and female. It began with skipping for 5 or so minutes and then progressed to cardio and strength circuits involving running, kicking, squats, and core work for 25 minutes.

Krudar Muay ThaiMost of the exercises we did were pretty similar to what you might find in a standard boot camp class, however, this one is done in bare feet on a well padded floor and there was no top 40 music (a mix of what sounded like some Latin, Indian and East Asian music instead).

Krudar Muay ThaiNext, we did punching and kicking for another 30 minutes. Then everyone wrapped up their hands and partnered up. Lucky for me, there was one other newbie I could work with, and Darwin generously offered to let me borrow his wraps and gloves. The next 25 minutes were spent working on Muay Thai technique, including punches and foot work.

Krudar Muay ThaiThis was my favorite part of the class: I discovered just how cathartic punching can be! Frustrated by a TTC breakdown or a tyrant boss? No matter what the source of your angst, I guarantee this will feel very therapeutic. The final 5 minutes were spent doing additional core work and at this point I was certain my abs had not been challenged so much since I birthed my youngest child.

Krudar Muay ThaiThis class is not for someone with a low level of fitness, nor someone afraid of public scrutiny. Benson frequently called on regulars to help count down reps and to demonstrate technique to the other students. Although I tried to hide at the back, both Benson and Darwin made a point of giving extra attention and instruction to the other newbie and myself.

Krudar Muay ThaiThroughout the entire class, you are encouraged to exhale as you kick and punch and yell 'Eesh' as you do so. I was initially shy to try this, but eventually realized the verbalization is an effective strategy to get you to avoid holding your breath as you exert effort.

Krudar Muay ThaiWhat impressed me most was that I felt taken equally as seriously as my younger, more experienced peers. It would not have been unreasonable for anyone to ask me what the heck I was doing there, but the vibe was friendly, inclusive and completely non-judgemental. Along with the instructors, the other more experienced students volunteered tips and assistance.

Krudar Muay ThaiIf you are looking to incinerate some calories, work your core, and get some serious upper body strength, look no further. This class offers it all, and in spite of the youthfulness of my fellow class participants, Krudar has a lot to offer families, including children's classes three times a week. On Saturdays, there is a spinning class that runs simultaneously with their kids' class.

Krudar Muay ThaiYour first trial class at Krudar is only $10, while a single visit will cost you anywhere from $18 to $30, depending on which option you choose. A 10-class pass is also available, as are 1-month , 3-month, 9-month and full year options, with discounts increasing as your membership increases in duration.

Krudar Muay ThaiPhotos by Milns



sjj / January 10, 2013 at 09:39 pm
walked by the sign the other day
totally over-commerical looking!
I wish they did something that fits into the neighbourhood more.
This sucks!
jjs replying to a comment from sjj / January 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm
LOL... hipster
Fahad / January 10, 2013 at 10:22 pm
Instead of judging the place by the sign, why don't you try walking in? Nicest and most diverse, inclusive group you'll ever meet.
Nicole replying to a comment from sjj / January 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm
Did you know that the inside has graffiti walls painted by one of Kensington's great graffiti artists? Please come in and meet everyone inside, I am most sure the exterior sign will not mater after that :)
Darwin / January 11, 2013 at 01:44 am
Thank you BlogTO.

sheri / January 11, 2013 at 07:23 am
What a GREAT write up! I find most gyms really intimidating, but it's totally true that Krudar is "friendly, inclusive and completely non-judgemental".

An important point to mention: like Erica Berman, I am "nearly 40" & more 'soccer mom' than 'tattooed' but I have been getting personal training at Krudar for 2+ years -- and WITH my toddler in tow!! My trainer (Janice - she's awesome!!) gives me a 'Muay Thai-lite' workout that still gives me physical results. Plus my toddler enjoys running around on the grassy carpet of this kid-friendly gym - how perfect is that?

I have been hanging around Kensington Market for +15 years & Krudar is a great addition to the neighborhood. It shows the true diversity of TO in both sport & in its athletes. I know it sounds corny, but they REALLY are like a big happy family at the gym!
Tiffany / January 11, 2013 at 09:00 am
Agreed, this looks like a great addition to the neighbourhood. I'd never leave TKMT at Queen and Bathurst, but the more places like that, the better. We need as many alternatives to Toronto BJJ as possible, especially for women.
bikeroo / January 11, 2013 at 09:13 am
Krudar strong! Love the new space!
TareBear / January 11, 2013 at 09:56 am
Great article! However I disagree that this class is not for people with a "low level of fitness"... the only requirement is that you want to get there :) When I started at Krudar I couldn't do 10 situps in a row and I had never thrown a punch in my life (and I know I'm not alone here!). But everyone makes you feel so welcome and no one judges you for the level you're at when you come in. Everyone can do these classes!
Bodmon / January 11, 2013 at 10:06 am
I love that my two favourite places, Krudar and Kensington market, have finally come together :). This place is like my family away from home. There is such a hugely diverse group of people in the gym, from bay street types to students to starving artists! It fits perfectly with the inclusionary vibe of kensington! People seem to be really intiimidated when they come through the door but by the end of class they've made new friends :)
Faywood 16 / January 11, 2013 at 11:29 am
If you want to get in shape, this is the place to be. Get your Ishhhh:
D Carter / January 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

Krudar is not just a gym, its a community. In more ways than one, those walls have saved my life.

Thank you Kru!

JCM / January 11, 2013 at 04:50 pm
Krudar is the best!! Nothing beat this gym and its authenticity. The people here and the energy is insane. It makes you want to work out, and push to reach your goals. You get to combine all of your work-outs into one - fitness and Muay Thai - let Krudar take care of it. There is no other gym like that. KRUDAR STRONG baby!
FERNIE / January 12, 2013 at 10:47 am
I have been training at Krudar for about 5 years now. During this time I can say with all honesty that you will never find a more dynamic group people, that will motivate and push you to be your very best weather its in the ring or in your daily life. For anyone to fully understand this, you need only to step through those gym doors and the contagious energy will keep you coming back!
Joe / January 13, 2013 at 01:18 am
THeir 7am Bootcamp and Spinning are AWESOME. Great Atmosphere. I've been to many bootcamps and this one is different. I recommend this gym to everyone.
Kyle / January 14, 2013 at 01:23 pm
Definitely check this place out! If you're looking for for fitness, competition or trying something new - There's something for everyone! Great group of people and environment. Everything you need in a gym to help reach your goals. Prepare yourself for a workout and an experience you won't regret.
sisi replying to a comment from sjj / January 16, 2013 at 12:21 am
buddy - Krudar Muay Thai is the most genuine thing in Kensington Market. What's wrong with you? Are your jeans a little too tight?
su / January 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm
Krudar is not just a gym, it is a community, our krummunity. Our Kru, Darwin, not only ensures his students and staff members feel comfortable by making this amazing new gym for us to train in, but he also makes sure the Kensington community feels comfortable as we are their new neighbors. I've seen him give back to local coffee shops, support local restaurants to the point where the owners recognize our krudar logos and will continue to serve us endless free dishes on top of our orders. We have even taken down bags, critical to our training, to ensure the neighbors next door can focus on their business ( they can't handle power of them heavy bag kicks ) . Krudar is a new structure to the kensignton market, yes, but it's definitely not new to the community.

I have only been part of the gym for a couple of months, but I find it very hard to leave. I probably spend more time at krudar than I do anywhere else. The reason is not just because the space is filled with so many fun exercise gear, machines, bags, mats, etc, or that there is a schedule with classes from 7am - 7pm at night, but because the people who work there, train there, or teach there, genuinely enjoy being there. The muay thai instructors love muay thai, to the point where you have to crazy not to fall inlove with muay thai yourself. The people at the door treat you like family, the students support one another and create goals for eachother.

If you want to train somewhere and be around people who really know what they're doing as well as love what they're doing you should sign up at krudar. And never judge a book by it's cover.. especially a really awesome looking one ;) you wont find anything 'hipster' here, unless you think thai shorts are 'hip'

Sam / March 21, 2013 at 01:01 pm
anyone knows how much is the yearly membership?
Jan Ivan / May 10, 2013 at 02:29 pm
I have trained at Krudar since 2007. Before I found this place, I went around Toronto doing trial classes at many other Thai Boxing or MMA gyms - Krudar is the best by far. The Real Deal.

I remember it started off in a small space in an alleyway but I judged it for the quality training and not the glamour of the facility. A couple of years later, we moved to a new gym, which was just beautiful. And now, we moved again and these new facilities are top notch and the instruction is still top quality.

The Muay Thai here is authentic and is taught correctly. Whether your goal is fitness or to join their stable of fighters and champions, this is THE place to train if you want to become strong.

Darwin replying to a comment from Sam / May 23, 2013 at 11:00 am
Hi Sam,

Give us a call at 416 923 5633 and we can help you choose your membership.
sjj replying to a comment from Nicole / November 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm
he's too busy judging a book by it's cover
M Lee replying to a comment from D Carter / January 22, 2015 at 01:27 pm
...and in turn D Carter you have saved my life by introducing me to what I call my new *church*.
Been attending this community for a little over 2 years on and off, and it's great, because "they're" always there.
When you return it's like you've never left.
One tip, if you have questions or concerns, ask right away, don't hold off, because you're too shy.
Everyone's approachable.
The trainers all pay attention to individuals if you ask or have issues. They're not psychic, so if you don't share with them, they won't know. Also they will not turn you away and tell you to book a personal one on one only.

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