Revolution MMA is a beautiful gym that makes the most of its space. The gym consists of a pro shop, octagon, MMA training area and a sound-proof Krav Maga room. Being advertised as Toronto's largest MMA facility seems misleading though, as while some schools are smaller, they don't break up their training area into so many segments.
Revolution offers Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Krav Maga, as well as fitness classes. The also have kids MMA, which isn't common.
A few minutes after i arrive I meet owner/instructor Joel Gerson. I decide to play prospective-student, telling him that I'm checking out gyms in the area. Gerson takes me on a power-walked tour of the gym. When I mention another school, he actually tells me that if I train there, I'll get a staph infection.
The tour lasts less than 5 minutes before I'm whisked to an empty room on the second floor, sat at a desk, given a pamphlet outlining three payment options, and asked to pick one. Not only do I feel incredibly uncomfortable at being isolated and given such a direct sales approach, but I also told him earlier that I was only here for information.
Unlike most gyms, there is no monthly payment option. You need to sign up for a 12 month term at the following rates:
- Option #1: $449 down and $54.95 bi-weekly.
- Option #3: $1499 for the year, plus tax. The cheapest option, but still much more expensive than most gyms.
- Option #2: Something in between 1 and 3. I found this option confusing, but didn't feel comfortable asking questions.
When I tell him I'd like to try a class before committing, I'm told to sign up, and I'll have 10 days to cancel after the first week. I tell him that I won't be signing up today, and his face visibly drops. The meeting doesn't last 30 more seconds. I ask for a brochure that I could read later, and get told "that's why we have a website".
As we leave the office, I walk a bit slower than Gerson. When he gets about 15 feet away, he finally notices. He looks over his shoulder, and I get a "you good?" from him. I nod. He gives me a thumbs-up and disappears. No one notices me leave.
Revolution MMA really is high quality. It gets professionally cleaned daily, the equipment is brand new, the entire training area is matted and the instructors are ridiculously qualified, including professional UFC fighter Carlos "The Ronin" Newton.But in the end, I can only recommend them if you're immune to high-pressure sales tactics.
Writing by Dan Cosgrove. Photo from the Revolution MMA web site