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Fitness Clubs

Revolution MMA

Posted by Staff / Posted on August 27, 2011

Revolution MMA TorontoRevolution 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

Discussion

24 Comments

Brian Herrera / June 21, 2011 at 12:12 am
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I Joined this Gym back in september of 2010 , mainly because i wanted to learn everything there was to know about mma . out of all the camps in Toronto this is simply amazing , it changed everything about me from a really shy scared person to a more confident out going person . i cant complain about anything about this camp , Instructors are very Friendly and always make sure that you are improving each day . so far ive been training with Peter ( Muay thai ) instructor and Shannon ( Boxing Instructor) and in just weeks they have not only helped me to improve my stand up game but also help me go from a 270 lbs heavyweight guy to a 155 pound lightweight in just a matter of 9 months! .
if you are looking to drop weight , tone up your body ,learn stand up or ground work or even enjoy a good work out this gym has everything you need , everyone treats eachother with Respect and show good positive attitude towards eachother
Bill / March 31, 2012 at 10:16 am
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Stick with Siam...Revolution has lots of variety, but little quality...Siam#1 is home of champions.
mark / July 5, 2012 at 02:43 pm
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Both my son and I have been training at Revolution since they opened in 2006. My son was 6 years old when we started and we've had nothing but positive experiences from the excellent team of instructors at Rev -- a team that includes black belts in Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Karate, high-level Muay Thai instructors and a Golden Gloves boxing champion. This team has helped my son develop a strong sense of self-confidence and overall respect for others that I see him utilize to his fullest potential off the mat every day. For that I cannot thank Joel and his team enough. I'm not writing this to knock other schools -- I am writing this to acknowledge that Rev has an excellent kids program.

As for myself, I've trained at a few different clubs over the years and have a lot of admiration for Joel and the model he has set up. Anyone can take issue with the sales process in any business. All I can say is that I did not have an issue with Joel or how the sales process transpired. More so, I joined Rev not because of the payment terms offered, but because Rev is, HANDS DOWN, the nicest facility in Toronto with a great team of world class trainers.

If your sole criteria of joining a martial arts facility is the club's payment terms and your ability to cancel after your trial period is over, then Rev is probably not for you.

However, If you're looking for an immaculately maintained facility with an incredible roster of talented and approachable instructors -- then give Rev a shot.
Paola Correa / July 6, 2012 at 03:52 pm
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My experience at Revolution was amazing from the moment I walked in, staff were very friendly and helpful. My Tour was with Joel Gerson he was very nice and down to earth he also gave me different options for payment which makes everything easier depending on your financial situation of course. Overall I loved how he took his time to explain all the services patiently.This have been the best decision i have made for my self because it has help me become more confident which is something big for me, once you have the confidence everything seems easier in your life believe it or not. I have made a big change in my life since I join REV from Diet to my Physical appeance, i am also sleeping better and feeling better about my self aswell. I really enjoy meeting other people that have similar goals to mine and this makes me feel like am not alone and of course very motivated . I believe some people complain about the prices but honestly you pay for what you get, yes i can easily find similar services in a different MMA Gym but the trainers, the atmospheree and the experience they offer at Revolution you will not find anywhere else in Toronto. If you can't afford it you can always find something else but the experience will be completely different like i mentioned before, i mean everything is a choice you can choose to train with Carlos Newton Canadian UFC Champion, that has all the experience in the world or just any inexperience trainer at any other club. I say is pretty awesome to even be able to be part of a place that gives you the opportunity to train with the best of the best in the city.. I highly recommend to take on the challenge and join Rev if you are truly looking to be committed and change your life with a new experience, I don't regret investing my time and money at REVOLUTION MMA because i am truly happy with the results and most importantly with their customer service.
Winnie / October 18, 2012 at 04:24 pm
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I'm a member at Lin Martial Arts and the system isn't much different. You're given an one hour consultation that ends with you performing a fitness test. Before you recover they bring you a bottle of water and show you pricing options that are outright ridiculous.

With tax and a six month commitment you pay roughly $1000 just for the intro program with taxes. When you move onto the high grade program you end up paying a registration fee (This fee makes no sense as I was already a member) and then pay roughly $180 (Taxes included) a month with a 1 year commitment. Ofcourse if you're willing to pay this you eventually get into the Combat Athlete Program like I did and end up paying roughly $250 a month for unlimited classes.

However even with aggressively high pricing I'm a member because it's a great place to train. Members are extremely nice and instructors that are highly skilled...well atleast in jiu jitsu. Their Combat Athlete Muay Thai and MMA programs need some work.

Brahim K / November 4, 2012 at 07:45 pm
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I just moved to toronto and was seriously considering this gym as it is right next door to where I work, but these testimonies are turning me off a bit. can someone fill me in on ALL of the payment options for individual classes and the price for all the all-class membership?
Bruce / December 1, 2012 at 02:30 pm
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Firstly, a review of a facility should not be made by people who never attended it for any amount of time. All the original poster reviewed was the "tour". Not really transferable.

Any place is good as you and the instructors make it. I trained at Rev and it's solid. If you find an instructor that is lacking, you take another class. It's not a BJJ centric place, like LIN is. Now there is Crossfit as well. Prices are reasonable, if you use it 3-4x / week.

It's not a true MMA athlete's gym, but it does make MMA more accessible to the general population.

There are more women and girls than at most clubs, and that's not a bad thing. The fitness classes are very good. It's worth checking out.

I was not paid or incentiviced for this review in anyway.


Momof2boyz / December 13, 2012 at 05:48 pm
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I would have to agree with Bruce, it’s the reviews of those who have been members of the club that matter.
I would like to speak from my personal experience with Rev MMA...My kids have been members of the club for now 3 years. They train 3-4 times a week. As a parent I am more than satisfied with the service we get at the club. Front desk stuff is amazing, huge thanks to Jessica, Jessica, Carly and Liana. These girls are always there to answer any question, they know my kids by name, and are very attentive to our every need. My kids feel like they are part of Rev MMA family. They are always greeted with a smile and do not leave without getting a hug from the girls or a high five from older kids that come to help out little once with training.
Instructors are more than qualified. They are being taught by a BLACK belt instructor and he is great. When it comes to older kids helping out....these kids are earning volunteer hours for school and learning responsibility, respect, how to be humble, patient etc. They are helping the instructor and never substituting one. I as a parent do not see a problem with that, when my boys are older I would want them to be as dedicated to the sport and the community as these kids are. I never forget to thank them for taking an hour out of their lives to come and assist my boys in their training.
Prices: If you are coming in once a week.. Yes it expensive but it’s not what RevMMA is about. For most members of the club it’s a lifestyle. My kids train 3-4 time a wk now and as they get older it will be every day. With an option of them going 3-7 times a week it is very inexpensive.
Joel Gerson come every once in a while and trains a munchkin class, I think it says a lot about him as an owner. He clearly cares to take the time out of his day to show up and spend an hour training little kids. When I had my tour he was very clear and to the point as to cost vs. benefits you get.
I have nothing to complain about. I am very happy with their service, quality of training, facility and everything else RevMMA has to offer.
Mark / December 15, 2012 at 08:06 am
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I also had a tour at Rev mma, when looking for a gym. I got the same hard ball sales tactics. When I said I need some time to think about it. I still wanted to look at the other gyms before making a decision. it's our right. Joel's face completely changed. He have me a very intimidating stare. And was not very nice. I agree he is a dick. I also agree it is probably Joel writing all the positive reviews on here with a different name. He thinks we're all stupid. I don't care if he had George st Piere teaching their, with that attitude I would never join there. I'm not going to pay money to be threaded like garbage.
austin / December 15, 2012 at 05:26 pm
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I have been doing martial arts for almost 12 years. I ve trained in a hundred different gyms, with champions of all sorts and high level ufc fighters. Revolution is the real deal. I knew who the instructors were before i walked in the door, and so even though the price is very high compaired to alot of other places i know that in life you get what you pay for. i have done maybe 15-20 jujitsu classes there...when i go home to viset family and old gyms im really messing people up with what i learned from joel, carlos, and rob. as for boxing and kickboxing they have a handfull of amazing instructors teaching great foot work and advanced tricks. Everyone teaching there has the ability to see the skills someone has and improove opportunities to win fights or matches. Revolution mma is an amazing pl ace to learn. if your brand new to martial arts, and you chose revolution...you are lucky. If you dont know martial arts you wont know if your in the wrong place or not.
anna / March 6, 2013 at 09:51 pm
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My experience her was horrible they are only nice to you cuz they want your money when i first visited the place and take to one of the owner about joining she was so pushy it was really annoying. Im sure there are other places where the people there are nicer because the ones here are just arrogant
anna replying to a comment from anna / March 6, 2013 at 09:53 pm
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I Would not suggest this gym for anyone i know
John / March 7, 2013 at 01:43 am
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I went to Rev MMA for 2 years the gym is alrite, it emphasizes on basics. Excellent gym for those looking to get in shape, and lose weight, however for those looking to elevate their skill in muay thai, or boxing and compete in amateur this is NOT the gym to do it in!!!!!!!!!!
Robert Ferraro / March 11, 2013 at 05:12 pm
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I have been attending Revolution MMA for approximately Two years. I started with one week free pass. I my view the front Desk Staff, MMA Instructors and Mr. Gerson, Joel are very Professional and work very Hard to provide an excellent service to all the Revolution Members. Also, very good environment people are friendly. Place is very clean. Revolution is open 7 days a week and offers: Morning Class, Afternoon Class and Evening Class very convenient there is always an opportunity to attend.
Tom D / March 17, 2013 at 03:05 pm
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I started training at Rev MMA Thornhill location few months ago (Nov, 2012)

My expectations have been met and exceeded. One of few places offering a mixed martial arts programs, and you can build your mix.

I selected Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Combat Fitness (CF) and will include Muay Thai in the near future.

BJJ classes have a feeling of "continuity" where you keep drilling similar techniques and transitions for several weeks as opposed to jump from one to another. Every class ends with 30 minutes of rolling. To me, that is the best part of the class - you get to fight almost everyone in class, not just your training partner.

CF classes are the real deal - if you have any energy left after it, you are not doing it right. 45 minutes of high energy cardio / strength exercises for all levels of fitness. You do your best. I'm not most fit person myself, but I don't feel pressured to go beyond my capability.

My conditioning has improved, I lost few pounds and I will continue to train.
Emma / April 2, 2013 at 05:45 pm
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Wow, I don't understand all the negative reviews! I have been going to REV for a little over a year and I love it! It's the most fun I've ever had working out. I personally haven't had much interaction with Joel himself, just the exchange of pleasantries. However, everyone else that works there is amazing. The people that work up from are great and the manager of the place is always super nice and helpful. Also, the instructors are fantastic. They are very knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. Everyone made me feel very welcome when I first joined, and continue to do so now. I'm actually leaving Toronto soon and I'm going to really miss going to REV. I'd say to do a trial week to see what the place is all about before judging it!
Rod Fraser / April 4, 2013 at 09:31 am
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I had a walk through of Rev MMA last night and wanted to share my initial experience.

I have been looking for a place to train for a little while and researched Rev online. Walked in a couple of times and tried to get a walk around without booking an appointment but none of the membership folks were around. I found the front desk staff very helpful and they allowed me to just look around and watch some of the classes.

Last night I got lucky just walked in. The lady at the front desk found someone to show me the facility and inform me about memberships. Met with Jessica and Joel and had a tour of the facility, watched some of the classes and a one on one BJJ lesson that a member was having. I was impressed with everything I saw. I found those I spoke with very knowledgeable on their disciplines and respectful.

Rev has three well equipped Dojos for different activities as well as a weight room. All the equipment looked well maintained and its a clean facility. The coaching staff were engaged with their students. I saw lots of sweat, hard work and smiles. It's an impressive package.

A moment on "Hard Selling" I did not experience that at all! I got the information I wanted, learned about the programs (some of which I have never really seen before Krav Maga) and found that Jessica understood that I needed to see how the class schedules will work with my lifestyle, family and around my work.

The cost of memberships are not out of line with any other gyms I have looked at and Rev offers more. The training staff are all experienced and quite frankly if you feel can't learn anything from guys Carlos Newton then my friends you should check your egos. Everyone can bring something worthwhile to the gym. Everyone has different backgrounds and experience. I don't mind a guy giving me his opinions or experience. If it works in fight on the matt or in the street I will take it. If you've ever been completely out of gas and over your head in a confrontation you will want to know all those things that have worked for others and you never know... that thing you dismissed as useless because of your ego may come back from your memory and work.

I digress but in fairness to the gym and as someone who has no connection and hasn't signed up yet I found them professional, interested and most importantly committed respectful people. I liked it there and had a great tour!!!

If I sign up and train there I will write another review to let you know how I found it.

Cheers.

Alex Greene / April 29, 2013 at 07:42 pm
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Researching the MMA gyms in Toronto currently. I have to say, the reply from the Rev MMA owner is supremely arrogant. Ad hominem attack on the article author isn't even close to good customer service, it's the opposite. Sleazy sales tactics and failure to list membership prices upfront isn't impressive either.
Antimcdojo / July 8, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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why you guys wear colored belts? it says on the ad that you guys teaching Brazilian Jiu jitsu. As far as I know Japanese Jiu Jitsu followed that belt system? Is joel a BJJ or Judo? blackbelt?
Tony / July 10, 2013 at 02:26 am
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I also know Joel quite well, my son attended this gym for a while and it is true that Joel only cares about the money. He is so arrogant and really does not care about the people training in his gym. I am talking about the owner Joel, not the instructors who work for him. I was laughing at the review because everything that was said was exactly like when I first went. If you say I need to think about it his face changes immediately and has nothing more to say and you wont see another smile from him. I laughed even harder when I read Joels response to the review. They don't give a crap about the members unless they are pulling their wallets out. I remember one time a boy who was in class with my son got hurt and Joel was teaching that day, the kid asked if he had an ice pack or ice and Joel rudely said to him to suck it up. The boy was crying from his pain and Joel didn't even bother to go look at his ankle which was most likely sprained, and when the boy had to hop out of class not being able to put his weight on his foot, Joel completely ignored the boy and went on with his class. Quite disgusting actually. This review above written by Dan Cosgrove was the only review that said anything negative about all the gyms he checked out and all his other reviews he had nothing negative to say. Funny how Joel tries to address the review which makes him look even more of a liar and pathetic. If you want to go to a gym where the owner truly does care, then this is not the gym to go to. If he did happen to act nice and caring with you then you were fooled because it was all an act and not his true personality. He's just all fake and not caring in any way shape or form. He thinks his gym is the best gym in the world and is on this huge ego trip. My son has been going to another gym and we are very happy to have left that place. I also believe as another person said all these positive reviews must have been written by him or people who are fooled by his fake personality. This guy is a total dirtbag.
Matt / July 13, 2013 at 06:06 pm
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I was pushed, by the owner joel gerson, to sign up for one year. Don't expect to go there and find out how the gym looks like and find out the price without being pressured into getting a membership, seriously he won't let you leave unless you get a membership. I went to my first class, which was 1 hour long, and the instructor showed up 15 minutes late. The instructors are rude and lazy. You pretty much do the same thing every class and your partnered up with someone while the instructor is talking to other people. I tried cancelling my contract before my 14 day limit was up and Joel told me I wasn't able to without an explanation. BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY
Matt / July 13, 2013 at 06:12 pm
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I was pushed, by the owner joel gerson, to sign up for one year. Don't expect to go there and find out how the gym looks like and find out the price without being pressured into getting a membership, seriously he won't let you leave unless you get a membership. I went to my first class, which was 1 hour long, and the instructor showed up 15 minutes late. The instructors are rude and lazy. You pretty much do the same thing every class and your partnered up with someone while the instructor is talking to other people. I tried cancelling my contract before my 14 day limit was up and Joel told me I wasn't able to without an explanation. BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY
Mario / October 21, 2013 at 05:54 pm
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I joined Rev MMA (Thornhill) 2 months ago, and can honestly say that there was no pressure from the sales rep. She was professional and answered all of my questions and concerns even after I stated that I was unsure about joining. One of the instructors even took some time at the end of his class to come and talk to me. Since joining I have been training Muay Thai and Krav Maga under Ranny, he is a patient yet strict instructor, he will compliment you but work you hard. Everyone there is respectful and helpful, they want to see you get the best out of your experience. The one aspect of the gym I truly like, is...if you want it, you have to work for it. But they're all there supporting you.
Mario / January 16, 2014 at 12:49 am
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Update, I've been a member of RevMMA for a short 6 months now. All I can say is that the trainers are world class, there is a camaraderie among the students that I have never experienced before. If you want to learn a particular martial art, more than one or just get your butt whipped into shape this IS the place, the trainers will work you hard but help you every step of the way, they care about their students and I say students because they teach not just yell out instructions. If you want to join a simple gym and then possibly get a personal trainer...and pay them extra, then go ahead. If you want to Join a Gym where you get personal training the minute you step on the mat and learn something that will truly impact your life...Then Join Revolution MMA, every ounce of sweat will be worth it.

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