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Best of Toronto

The Best Martial Arts in Toronto

Posted by Staff / October 28, 2014

martial arts torontoThe best martial arts facilities in Toronto promise to boost your fitness, gain self-defense skills, and prepare you to kick some serious butt. Whether you're looking to go pro or merely yearning to get away from your boring treadmill/free weights routine, these Toronto gyms offer a huge variety of programs in different training styles.

If you're not sure which is for you, most of these gyms offer free trial periods so you can try before you buy. So everyone (shout out to the ladies!) take note, because you just never know when a certain someone may need a swift kick to the you-know-where.

Here are the best places for martial arts in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Fitness Clubs in Toronto
The Best Boxing Gym in Toronto
The Best Specialty Fitness Clubs in Toronto

Writing by Chynna Wilson.

Krudar Muay Thai

Krudar Muay Thai

With two Toronto locations, Krudar Muay Thai promises a fun and innovative workout, while keeping to the muay Thai training core. Their Kensington Market location has a ring and open class studio as well cardio and weight equipment to further sculpt those muscles. With classes primarily set around Muay Thai training, they also offer spinning, boot camp, yoga and private training, leaving you with plenty of options to let out those daily aggressions. More »

Xtreme Couture

Xtreme Couture

Etobicoke's Xtreme Couture bills themselves as Canada's largest MMA training facility, with a massive 33,000 sq. ft. space. The industrial looking facility offers a large variety of martial arts classes each week, including BJJ, wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, muay Thai, Krav Maga and MMA. Other classes on tap are spinning, Zumba, yoga, and even crossfit, for all you fitness extremists. More »

Siam No. 1 Muay Thai

Siam No. 1 Muay Thai

Unlike some of the other martial arts centres around Toronto, Siam's No. 1 Muay Thai focuses solely on muay Thai classes and personal training sessions. Classes are simply divided into technical skill level More »

Toronto BJJ

Toronto BJJ

Sitting across from Christie Pits, this 9000 sq. ft. facility is where you should go if you're even the most hesitant Brazilian jiu jitsu beginner. With instructors that hold World Championship titles and black belts, you'll definitely be learning from the best. There are also several women's only classes, so the ladies can get their fight on in the most comfortable setting. More »

Undisputed MMA

Undisputed MMA

This gym near Eglinton and Victoria Park offers a well-rounded variety of martial arts classes, including muay Thai, boxing, Kali/Arnis, BJJ, wrestling and ladies' kickboxing. For extra sculpting, they offer a class with perhaps the most underrated gym tool, the kettlebell - it's guaranteed to work your body from head to toe. More »

TKMT Academy

TKMT Academy

With three conveniently located facilities in Toronto (downtown, midtown, and the Danforth), the Toronto Kickboxing and Muay Thai Academy promises that you won't find any 'meatheads' at their gym (ladies, rejoice). In fact, 50% of their members are female. Creating a setting that's comfortable for everyone, you won't be intimidated to try one of their various kickboxing classes at different levels of expertise. More »

Elite Martial Arts

Elite Martial Arts

Located inside Wynn Fitness Studio on the Esplanade, Elite Martial Arts is an official Krav Maga training centre, certified by the Krav Maga Association of Canada. The Israeli self-defense system recognizes that there are no actual rules when it comes to street fighting - so if you're looking to gain some serious self-defense skills, or even weapons defense training, this is the place to go. More »

Krav Maga Toronto

Krav Maga Toronto

Krav Maga Toronto on Dundas West is one of two certified Krav Maga training centers, both affiliated with different organizations. In addition to separate programs geared toward fitness or fighting, they also have a self-defense course aimed at women. More »

FIGHTCLUB

FIGHTCLUB

If the name doesn't draw you in ('cause you so want to be as badass as Brad Pitt), this East York gym's focus on Systema training will. They're only one of three clubs in Toronto that offers the Russian martial art, which is marked by its focus on ensuring neither you nor your sparring partner is hurt. Classes are kept small, so you won't feel crowded while fighting. More »

Axe Capoeira

Axe Capoeira

If Afro-Brazilian martial arts is more your cup of tea, then Axe Capoeira on St. Clair West is the place to be. The gym offers introductory, beginner and advanced classes for adults, as well as sesions for kids. If you're more of a lover than a fighter, they also offer samba and music classes, keeping to their Brazilian roots. More »

Ultimate Martial Arts

Ultimate Martial Arts

With a number of locations in Toronto and around the GTA, Ultimate Martial Arts promises that its classes will challenge your body in a way you've never experienced. The co-ed classes (with a women's-only kickboxing option) let practictioners of all skill levels take on a partner in wrestling, grappling, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu. More »

Headrush Training Centre

Headrush Training Centre

If you're after a truly authentic boxing experience, Headrush Training Centre (formerly Grants MMA Gym) is where you'll want to put on your gloves. Located in a warehouse on the outskirts of North York, this facility features a boxing ring, an octagon, and number of bags. Their highly-skilled instructors will be able to show both pros and newbies the ropes. More »

Discussion

18 Comments

Brad / October 28, 2014 at 11:32 am
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No love for Openmat MMA and Yonge and Wellselly? Openmat is a fantastic spot for BJJ and MT with great instructors and fantastic students. There's no "Bros" or muscle heads. Just a great experience.
Huy / October 28, 2014 at 11:46 am
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Would have liked to have seen the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) represented on this list. The sheer variety of martial arts classes available combined with the very spacious facilities makes the JCCC my personal choice.
Ian / October 28, 2014 at 06:36 pm
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Pretty heavy on the MMA and BJJ. They're great martial arts, but there are others, and despite what many MMA types say, some of them are plenty effective. MMA doesn't allow certain moves you'd want to use in life or death fight.
Jen / October 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm
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Don't be offended Brad. These blogs are just people who either know the editor or have told them to train at the gyms. There are so many gyms in toronto and MOST are very good so if other gyms did not make this list it is not because they are not good it is simply who you know or how exposed you are. :)
Rachel / October 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm
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I agree with Jen. There are many great gyms across the GTA here that are definitely not on the list. Another great authentic Muay Thai gym is operating out of Scarborough by the name of Southside Muay Thai. One of the very few gyms in Toronto that provide the authentic true art of Muay Thai. These guys go on an annual trip to Thailand to learn from the best of the best and always brings back results from tournaments in the US. They are a great welcoming family and always open to new students.
hlias / October 29, 2014 at 09:19 am
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This o st is horrible. Who put it together. Have you even visited some of these gyms? Instructors in some if these are novice, some of these gyms are dirty and poorly run. Go do your homework. There is a gym not mentioned that has been in Scarborough for 24 years, probably the best mma gym in the city with the most advanced instruction. Not even a mention of them. This list is a joke
mario / October 29, 2014 at 11:44 am
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Krav maga at Toronto fight and fitness is church
Greg p / October 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Dan is a true motivator and teacher. I am in the best shape of my life thanks to Elite Martial Arts (EMA) and the training they offer. EMA is also fortunate to have great students; everyone is respectful and dedicated to their training. The additional seminars offered, in addition to a well thought-out training schedule make for a well rounded and challenging curriculum. I am very proud to be a part to EMA and look forward to progressing. I highly recommend EMA – it’s a great workout and you will learn amazing self-defense skills.
Elena / October 29, 2014 at 05:03 pm
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I must admit that as a female I was a bit intimidated to join a Krav Maga school, but with Elite Martial Arts (EMA) I quickly realized that I didn’t have to worry. The school provides a very welcoming and positive environment and Dan is a wonderful instructor. I felt like I was part of a community from my very first class at EMA.

The lessons are well structured and you get a very good workout in each class in addition to learning Krav techniques. With your membership, you can attend as many classes as you want, which makes it easy for the students to tailor their training needs for their individual schedules. If I have a very busy week, I might only show up to class once that week. But if my schedule is fairly open next week, I might attend class two or three times that week.

I would highly recommend EMA - you will learn Krav and get a great workout in a fun and challenging environment.
Yi-Jin / October 29, 2014 at 09:05 pm
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If I can give my $0.02 there's a place that's REALLY affordable called APEX MMA. The gym moved from a previous location to the lower part of Scarborough so the facilities are much better and the instruction is top notch. The best thing is there's NO B.S registration fees, hidden fees, contracts or any of that nonsense. So check out their website for more details! :)
Katie / October 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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For Etobicoke, add Etobicoke Tae Kwon Do It! Best gym, family friendly, yet still serious. Great instructors, and Master Deh is one of a kind. Highly recommended.
Rick / October 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Is this article a bit biased? As a reader, there are many martial art studio in Toronto from Karate, Tae Kwon Do Kung Fu to Kendo. To say that these are some of the best is a bit misleading the readers don't you think? Is there a standard method used to rate these gyms to be the best in Toronto?
terry / November 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm
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One of the great masters of Canadian Karate actually just recently passed away. Mas Tsuroka. So if someone is not looking to just spare and also sees the value and is looking for more of a spiritual approach to martial arts they might not agree with your choices.

Just a few cents from an old fart who washed a few dojo floors in his day. :-)
marcus / November 4, 2014 at 09:41 am
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Nice to see EMA on this list. I'd never taken any martial arts before so I was pretty intimidated walking in. I quickly found out that everyone is super friendly. It's a very supportive learning environment. Everyone is there to learn, teach, and sweat it out together.

The co-ed nature of the classes are great too: ladies, you'll be able to show yourself this is a martial art that helps equalize a size discrepancy and feel really confidant about the things you're learning.
Rob / November 19, 2014 at 09:37 pm
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Black Devil MMA on Bloor and Spadina should be mentioned here.
Kin Sze replying to a comment from terry / November 20, 2014 at 01:18 pm
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Hello Terry,

Thank you for posting about the demise of O-Sensei Mas Tsurouka.
My condolences to his family.
I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Canadian Black Belt Hame of Fame.
Vinceroni / November 23, 2014 at 10:58 am
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Krav Maga Toronto is simply the best for fighting.
Michal Jaster / November 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm
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Looking for martial arts group classes on Sunday mornings

Any suggestions?

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